If I asked you to name a video game, what would you say? The Legend of Zelda? Super Mario? Metal Gear? Ask anyone to name the first video game that comes to their head, and it’s fairly likely that their answer will be a game or character that originated in Japan.
This country has been an enormous part of the games industry for decades and continues to dominate the industry with new titles released all the time on various consoles and across many genres.
If you’re a big fan of video games, then it’s likely that during your visit to Japan you may have paid a visit to Akihabara, the famous metropolis area of games, anime and manga merchandise, retro merchandise, and figurines. Games may have even inspired you to learn Japanese.
For an exciting experience for fans of Japanese game companies, why not visit the various beautiful company buildings around Tokyo and Kansai? Here are 6 major gaming companies in the country and where you can find their headquarters.
— Davey Young (@SecondUtensil) February 21, 2016
Square Enix Holdings Co. Ltd is responsible for various gaming masterpieces like Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy. Their building is a gorgeous glassy work of art that just screams “We make video games!” It’s surrounded by many other lovely company buildings but the Square Enix really stands out.
You can’t tour the building itself but there is an official Square Enix store, Artnia, and Luida’s Bar, which is Dragon Quest themed. This should be the first stop on your game company building pilgrimage.
To get there, take the A2 exit from Higashi-Shinjuku Station and you’ll be able to see it across the road.
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Konami is best known for its survival horror franchise Silent Hill and its action series Metal Gear. The building is located in Roppongi and is a giant glass monster of a corporation. Take note, however, that you can only enter the lobby.
There has been some drama with Konami lately as it lost one of its main developers of the Silent Hill series, Hideo Kojima. It’s unclear what this means for the future of the company. The building is well worth a visit, however, so make sure to check it out if you’re in the Roppongi area.
Sega is one of Japan’s leading gaming companies and stretches back as far as Pinball. It is well known for titles such as Sonic the Hedgehog, the Yakuza series, and many well-loved consoles like the Sega Genesis. Their headquarters, not to be confused with the Sega building in Akihabara, are located in Haneda, Tokyo and are in another huge building boasting its financial success.
There is a bright and recognizable sign in front of the building, making it stand out from the other company buildings in one of Tokyo’s corporate areas, and easy to spot.
Sony Headquarters at Sony City in Minato, Tokyo ソニー、東京 日本では東京 pic.twitter.com/I0m5tdwvw7
— Juhaina (@Juj93) October 24, 2015
Sony is a gigantic company not only working with video games but also financial services, electronics, and entertainment. Therefore, its headquarters in Minato, Tokyo is not as video game focused as some other buildings, but still worth a visit on the game buildings pilgrimage. This, after all, is the company that brought us one of the best gaming consoles in the world, the Playstation 4.
Back to Osaka. Capcom.Shoryuken!! pic.twitter.com/yLAPEHaA
— Go Yamamoto (@shiroobi) June 2, 2012
Games by Capcom include the awesome Resident Evil series, Megaman, and the hit mobile app game Monster Hunter. It has headquarters in both Tokyo and Osaka, and although the buildings themselves aren’t as big as Sega or Konami, either branch is worth a visit for fans of Capcom’s games.
Nintendo was founded in Kyoto in 1889 and is one of the oldest and highly established gaming companies to date. With timeless characters such as Super Mario, Link, and Samus, endless games and brand new consoles, the latest of which is the Nintendo Switch, it only continues to find success.
Nintendo’s main headquarters is in Kyoto, though it also has branches in other cities such as Osaka and Tokyo. The headquarters itself is a little out of the way in the city but fun to track down for diehard fans of Nintendo! You can’t go inside, but it’s easily recognizable by the huge distinguishable logo at the top.
Any gamer who loves some of the mentioned games in Japan should definitely pay a visit to these buildings during their time in Japan. The country is bursting with fantastic gaming companies, developers, and designers with vivid imaginations and great talent. Visit these headquarters and discover where the magic of the next hit game may happen!
・Top 100 Things to Do in Akihabara, the Home of Japanese Pop Culture, in 2018
・Top 100 Things to Do in Roppongi, Famous for its Daytime and Nighttime Attractions, in 2018
・98 Things to Do in Shinjuku, the Party District of Tokyo, in 2018!