84 Hashi Cafe
The Secret Nintendo Bar in Tokyo
84 Cafe or Hashi Cafe is a private bar in Tokyo’s Shibuya ward, owned by Toru Hashimoto, a former engineer at Kyoto-based video game company Nintendo. 84 Cafe opened in 2021 under specific conditions and for a limited time of use. It provides passionate gamers the occasion to set a foot in a unique and confidential place where gathered the top of Japanese video games creators.
84 Cafe’s name, pronounced in Japanese "hashi cafe" derives from the final level (World 8 Level 4) in the Super Mario Bros game on the NES console (Famicom in Japan). It is also the nickname of its owner: Toru Hashimoto, a former engineer at Nintendo who turned bar owner. He is often pleased to remind his clients that the word hashi, also meaning "bridge" in Japanese, is a reference to the purpose of his joint, which is a convivial place to welcome people interested in the same passion: video games in Japan.
Until the Covid-19 🦠 pandemic, Hashi Cafe was a very select establishment, only accessible to handpicked members. Thus, famous Japanese video game creators and developers used to gather here for a good time with friends. As he tends to be the introverted type, Toru Hashimoto did not want to promote his bar beyond its community and the regulars’ attendance was enough for keeping it in business.
However, 2020’s the periods of mandatory closing followed by periods of shortened hours changed everything and Hashimoto decided to open the cafe to everyone each weekend starting June 2021. During one year, Nintendo’s true passionate in Japan had the pleasure to discover Tokyo’s unique and confidential address, that resembles its owner. In September 2022, the "84tour" concept is launched, with an all-inclusive course allowing to visit the bar on Friday and Saturday only.
Best kept secret address
Like in the Mario platform game, reaching the 84 bar is an adventure into which the customer-player has to endeavor to find the exact location of the cafe-donjon. Therefore, it is not enough to walk into the streets of Tokyo to find the cafe and to get your admission ticket, you have to:
- Book beforehand to your name online, on the cafe's official website;
- Go there on the day and time slot provided, following the relatively detailed indications of the owner.
Note that the hour given upon reservation allows a 90 minutes time slot maximum at the cafe.
In the area of Shibuya where the bar is located, there is no sign or poster precisely pointing to the place. Even when at the foot of the building, it is hidden behind a very common door. But once it opens, players of The Legend of Zelda will recognize the chime of its hero Link finding a secret passage. There is no doubt, it is here!
The discreet Mecca of Nintendo fans
Inside, the decoration of 84 Cafe is simple and homely: you’d think you are in a friend’s living-room rather than in a public facility. A TV screen is airing old Nintendo ads and the comfortable couches are surrounded by a lot of plush toys of the most popular characters such as Mario, Yoshi, Sonic, or Pokémon’s Pikachu or Snorlax.
The walls are decorated with several collector items of an inestimable value. You will see unique drawings dedicated to the bar and signed by the most famous and respected creators of Nintendo games. Toru Hashimoto is also displaying on shelves his own collection of original articles and pictures he gathered over time. It is possible to keep an official souvenir from the Hashi bar: you will find some merch to purchase, such as fabric tote bags, pin’s, stickers or masks 😷.
The menu offers a large range of drinks, with the specialty being the very delicious "Cocktail 84". As for food, there is a course including nibbles and snacks, but while they look pretty good, they are not the reason to visit the place.
84 Cafe is the ultimate Nintendo secret bar in Tokyo. His owner entertains a touch of mystery about this unusual place that can please the most passionate. However, it does not aim at becoming the most popular place in the capital, and on the contrary is committed in holding onto its tranquility. We therefore strongly recommend to respect Toru Hashimoto’s wish for confidentiality and to keep the exact address for yourself.