For years, a former Nintendo Co. employee ran a members-only diner at a secret location in Tokyo, frequented by movers and shakers in the video game industry. After closing its doors just before the pandemic last year, it has quietly reopened as a cafe — and this time anyone can make a reservation. It’s a one-of-a-kind industry institution filled with classic game memorabilia that insists on keeping its location a mystery.
Tucked away at the back of a nondescript building in the city's Shibuya district, the establishment named 84 is the brainchild of Toru Hashimoto, who initially conceived it as a sanctuary for game developers to nerd out and relax in. Entering the venue triggers a Legend of Zelda achievement jingle. On the walls are impromptu doodles by the creators of legendary franchises like Pokemon, Dragon Quest and Mega Man. And scattered around the place are precious artifacts from Hashimoto’s time with Nintendo.
The name 84 — which can be pronounced hashi in Japanese — is a combination of the creator’s last name, the year he joined the Kyoto-based games maker and the final stage in Super Mario Bros.