a-cho is the famous arcade in Kyoto that can be found in the main shopping mall, easily identified by the large writing that points upstairs. A-cho is in a shopping mall in central Kyoto, off the main shopping avenue. Here you will find a very high level of play, with regular tournaments such as DUELLING THE KOF and others for the new and classic games!
Google maps has now managed to go down Teramachi so you can see it all here. Nearest subway is Shincho Kawaramachi (as you can see on the image above in the bottom right corner).
A-cho’s mascot is a bear and it used to be on the side but last time visited it was covered up by lots of posters for the photo booth machines. Walking through the mall, you’ll need to look for the escalators; the ground floor is a big pachinko place (called Omega) so it’s not too hard. Thanks to Anindo Mukherjee for the update!
What’s cool for the KOF machines is they have a layout switch so you can change between 2×2 or 2+2 (see pic below). Note XIII deals with the problem of KOF using SF layouts using internal software switching. The 1×4 button layout is extremely rare as arcade owners are no longer keen on buying dedicated cabinets.
A-cho is home to some of the most hardcore players you’ll ever meet. These are the players featured in those videos from their site and on youtube etc (links below). Highly recommended, especially if you’re visiting the silver and golden palaces, there’s no reason not to come here too!
50 yen a go, iirc, expect to lose it quick!
I’ve removed the old grainy photos and added some new ones by Lolo of SBR!
Armshouse at Acho!
Down one of the streets parallel to Teramachi dori, is another arcade. Heaven knows what it’s called, but I remember it being one of those cool community arcades, where they have mooks lying around for those learning the games.