Welcome to 84 Cafe (pronounced Hashi cafe), a secret Nintendo cafe and bar located within Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward. It’s owned and operated by Toru Hashimoto, better known by his nickname, “Chokan,” who used to work as an engineer for Nintendo back in the day. Recently, Tokyo Weekender got the chance to not only get an inside look at 84 Cafe, but also speak with Chokan about the bar, his special 84tour, and his thoughts on video games.

Introducing 84 Cafe

What is 84?

Hashi Cafe is, simply put, a gamer’s paradise. The entire place is filled to the brim with iconic Nintendo memorabilia that Chokan has gradually collected over 40 years, ranging from Animal Crossing to Zelda and everything in between. Art, plushies and games, often signed by the creators themselves, line every inch of the walls, shelves and even the ceiling of 84’s cozy interior. If you have played at least one Nintendo game in your life, odds are there’s something here for you. 

Visitors are welcome to walk around the cafe and inspect the hundreds of collectables, or just chill out at a table and enjoy the vibes. Chokan has created a variety of unique menu items for guests to snack or sip on, including an exclusive “84 cocktail” that changes into 84’s signature shade of orange when stirred. 

Where does the name 84 (Hashi) come from?

Hashi is derived from the Japanese pronunciations of the kanji eight and four, but according to Chokan, there are several more reasons behind how Hashi Cafe got its name.

“As my name is Hashimoto, the first hashi comes from that,” he explains. “Also, I entered Nintendo back in 1984, so that is the second hashi. The next hashi comes from the Japanese word for chopsticks.” 

Chokan continues, “The final stage of Super Mario Bros. is 8-4, World 8 Level 4, which is another. And finally, another person suggested the fifth hashi, which comes from the Japanese word bridge, to symbolize connecting people together.”

hashi cafe secret door entrance

Why 84 Cafe is a secret bar

Opened back in 2015, 84 was originally meant as an exclusive, members-only bar for Chokan’s friends (according to him, it’s because he’s shy by nature and doesn’t do well with new people). But also, it’s in part due to him being a huge fan of puzzles. Even the entrance to 84 is a sort of puzzle: once you make it past the plain, false door and find the hidden true entrance, you are rewarded with the chime from The Legend of Zelda that goes off once you’ve successfully solved a puzzle. From the very start, you feel as if you’ve been sucked into a video game.

As for keeping the bar’s location a secret, Chokan assured us it has never been an issue in the nearly 10 years since opening his secret doors. “If 84’s location were to be leaked, there is a team of assassins on standby to — I’m kidding, I’m kidding! In the nine years, now going on its tenth, that 84 has been here, its location has yet to come out, so I’m not sure what I would do if it were.”

84 hashi tour chokan

The History Behind 84tour

During 2020, in an effort to connect more to an international audience and share his collection with the world, Chokan came up with the idea of 84tour, which would give overseas visitors a chance to visit the secret bar for themselves. Unfortunately, just as the plan came together, Covid-19 came in full force to Japan, practically halting all inbound tourism to the country. The idea of  tours were temporarily put on hold. In September of 2022, after a year-long trial run where the tours were conducted on weekends, 84tour officially began!

Experiencing the 84tour

Participants in the 84tour are able to explore the entire cafe in all its glory. Japanese-English translators are also present, allowing you to talk to Chokan about anything you like. After exploring around a bit, guests will receive a special 84 stamp book, modeled to look just like a real Japanese passport. Inside, a unique 84 seal is stamped on, making it appear as if you’ve visited another country. 

Japanese snacks and 84’s unique refreshments — they have an alcoholic and non-alcoholic version — are also provided! Just above the bar, you can find a TV that continuously plays rare Nintendo commercials for various games.

How to Reserve a Spot at the 84 Cafe

Making a reservation for the 84tour is quick and easy. Reservations can be made online, and cash and credit cards are both accepted.

Business Hours: 12:00-13:30 (first session) and 15:00-16:30 (second session), Tuesday through Saturday

Availability: 15 people max 

Price: ¥ 9,999

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