The KOF Trail


This section talks about places to visit in Japan if you’re a KOF fanatic. You have to be a fanatic, because a fan really wouldn’t go this far.

There are three things that a fanatic needs to do in Japan

  • Play KOF
  • Buy KOF stuff
  • Visit SNK

The first two are already covered in the other guides to arcades and shopping. The last point is much more tricky and truly only the fanatic will bother. It’s now also much more difficult to achieve. The home of SNK is not Tokyo, but Osaka.



Esaka, home of Japan stage (95, 96, 98) is now pretty desolate. You can get there on the subway, the station is called Esaka. Gone are the Neogeo Land arcades, and while the SNK tower still remains, the office has closed down.

KOF 98 Esaka
KOF 98 Esaka

You could go stand under the bridge and try to replicate the shot. [ map link ]

KOF 98 Esaka
KOF 98 Esaka

The 95 stage is just up the road, but pointless because the NEOGEO land arcades are all gone.

Geese Tower
Geese Tower

The SNK tower is still there, with the logo, but they’ve gone. You can even find the front door….

[google map link]

Too late?
At the foot of Geese Tower

[ a closer look at the door ]

Central Osaka

Once in Osaka, you need to head to Nipponbashi, in Osaka city. [ google map link ]

Once you have made your way onto Dotobori, you’re on the main tourist strip, parrallel to the river. Walk down the strip, check out the crabs and clown.

You should also be sampling octobus balls and okonomiyaki as these are the local delicacies. One thing to note is that barkers will try hard to get you into their restaurant. They will be really nice about it. I only checked out one restaurant so I can’t tell you the best one to go to. Something tells me off the strip is probably a better bet…

Glico Stage

Once you’ve done the strip, head towards the river and walk down it. You should see the amusement ride and…

Osaka Stage Glico Man
Osaka Stage Glico Man
Glico Man
Glico Man + KOF Freak

Yes, y0u too, can follow the millions and millions who have copied the pose for a photo. Or you could one of the few that is actually thinking of KOF and beating on Ryu using your Neogeo pocket.

Regarding your pocket, don’t forget to check out Den Den Town, Osaka’s equivalent of Electric Town aka Akiba.

SNK Offices

SNK Playmore has moved into central Osaka but it doesn’t have an in house arcade like there was in the tower.? I saw a sign over the river but couldn’t trace it, quite annoyingly and of course didn’t have easy access to google maps.? If you really wanted to stalk them, they have actually a few offices in Osaka and Tokyo:


Thinking of extending your visit?? Heard about teaching in Japan?? I wouldn’t advise it, if all you want to do is play video games and shop in Akiba….

Tired out of being a nerd?? Here are some of my photos of Japan, to maybe give you some ideas of what else to do when you’ve had your SNK fill!

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