Pac-Man and one of Ginza’s poshest department stores aren’t 2 things you’d put together.
And then someone did.
Pac-Man Ginza Style took over the 9th floor of the Mitsukoshi building for just a week in August 2017. During the summer holidays. As you probably guessed by now, we so went there.
Ready, Player One
At the top of the escalator to 9F, this is the first thing people saw:
The man (the Pac-Man) himself welcomed us in. We were too chicken to ask the security guard nearby if he’d take a photo.
Decorations literally covered the place from top to bottom. There were lanterns on the ceiling, and stickers on the floor.
The open plan space meant no queues for pics. We wanted a line of yellow dots to lead us around the building. No chance. Mitsukoshi isn’t the kind of place you shuffle round whispering ‘wakka wakka wakka’ under your breath.
Press any button to begin
Mitsukoshi made us happy by making space for an arcade’s worth of old school Pac-Man games. They were all free to play. With signs asking you to let the next person have a go when you run out of lives.
All the Namco classics – even Ms. Pac-Man and Jr. Pac-Man. Along with a few other Namco arcade games, just to keep things interesting.
The highlight of the setup was, of course…
…the biggest Pac-Man game in the whole world. On a giant screen you could see from the other end of the building.
As cool as it looked, we didn’t wanna embarrass ourselves on that thing.
A winner is you, if you can afford to be
Yep, there’s Pac-Merch. And this being an exclusive event, it came at a premium.
Most of the goods were typical merch: hats, bags, t-shirts, phone cases, badges. Then… it got a bit weird.
From top to bottom:
First up, a pass case with a weird message. “I wanna Pac you!” What? What would that involve? “I wanna… turn you blue then devour everything but your eyes?” Wouldn’t have fitted on the case.
The next pic is lines of lures. Pac-Lures, they’re called. Pac-themed fishing lures. We wish we were kidding. A video screen next to the lures showed how Pac-Man fans catch fish.
And finally, yes those are Pac-Man fidget spinners. Those things are officially unescapable. A bit like a Pac-Man level.
There was meant to be an original Pac-Store clutch bag that looked like a paper bag. Gone already, none on the shelves. We played it safe and bought a set of Pac-Man coffee. But not from the Pac-Man Cafe…
Oh, did we tell you there was a Pac-Man Cafe yet?
Retro gaming, retro dining… kinda
Here, there was no need to go round munching fruits in the dark. The cafe tables were pretty well lit up. That colourful wall at the back was an even better backdrop than the official Pac-Man photo spot.
A ‘fun’ fact about collab pop-up cafes in Japan: not all of them sell coffee, and not all of them sell food.
The Pac-Man Ginza Cafe menu had 3 things on it. Candyfloss soda, mango cake, and cookies. No caffeine to be found. And no chairs – you gotta eat standing up, it’s the Pac-Way.
In the mood to play some Pac-Man? We’ve got some suggestions:
- The 12-game Pac-Man plug & play controller
- Pac-Man & Galaga Dimensions for the Nintendo 3DS (Japanese ver.)
- Pac-Man Collection for the Game Boy Advance
- The Pac-Man Amiibo