Sushi Arcade Games, Pretty Flowers, and Zima

Over the years I read a lot about “strange” Japanese arcade games. There was the one where you poke people in the butt, that’s a classic. And of course there was the table flipping one that I think a lot of people know about. But I’ve never been lucky enough to find either of them in the wild since I moved to Tokyo three years ago. I think the weirdest arcade game I had ever come across was a Typing Of The Dead style game starring Lupin The 3rd, which to be honest, was pretty damn weird now that I think about it.

But it’s not as weird as this!


What you’re looking at is a video of me playing  料理の達人2, also known as Master Of Cooking 2, an arcade game by Namco where you have to slice up live fish. I feel as if the video kind of speaks for itself.

It was really hard! If you do well enough apparently you could win a real-life prize, although I never came close to the score needed for that. I don’t really know how the game works, technically speaking. You’re never touching the screen with the knife, I assume the box that the knife is attached to is some kind of positional sensor that reads where your knife is and that’s how you register a successful slice or a miss. I have no idea how old this is, but judging from this static screen of a website I found, it looks to be from 2001.

I found this antique at Toshimaen, a theme park located in Nerima, a neighborhood not too far away from Ikebukuro. Toshimaen is known for its water rides, but it also has a well-regarded hydrangea garden, which is why the boyfriend and I went. I like looking at flowers, it’s relaxing and one of the few things that puts my mind at ease when the world is working against it. Peter Cushing movies also help. Unfortunately, I didn’t take too many photos of the park itself, but I recommend it if you have time. Its a really strange combination of ancient-looking roller coasters, absolutely beautiful flowers, and odd restaurant decor.

Boombox. Zima. Firetruck. I think it’s supposed to be “American.” You tell me.

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