After 17 years of operation, the iconic and massive Sega arcade building in Akihabara, the otaku capital located in Tokyo, is closing its doors for good on August 30.
The announcement came in a post outside the doors of the Sega Akihabara Building 2, according to SoraNews24.
— 乙城蒼无(Otusiro, Aomu) (@aomu) August 2, 2020
“Thank you for your continued patronage. We are sorry to announce that this branch, Sega Akihabara Building 2, will be closing,” the closure note read, as translated by SoraNews24. “Our last day of operations will be Sunday, August 30. The entire staff wishes to express, from the bottom of our hearts, our sincere gratitude at the loving support you have given our establishment for so many years.”
First opened in 2003 under the name “Akihabara Kigo,” the Sega Akihabara Building 2 became a gaming spot and tourist destination as well as a prime location for anime or video game-related advertisements.
— ﾂﾙﾐﾛﾎﾞ (@kaztsu) August 1, 2020
The company did not specify the reason behind its closure, but some news outlets believe the temporary restrictions in tourism as well as the halt of operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic are the possible causes.
Many stores in the district temporarily stopped their operations for months as the country fought the pandemic, Game Rant reported.
Sega’s arcade building was also affected by the temporary shutdown when it closed in mid-April. They re-opened in mid-June, but few people visited for fear of contracting the virus in an enclosed environment.
SEGA Akihabara Building No. 2 (previously SEGA GiGO) is set to close after 17 years. pic.twitter.com/1y9sOaN7cR
— Arcade Otaku (@arcadeotaku) August 1, 2020
Although Building 2 is closing for good, Sega’s four other stores will reportedly continue operations in the district, Mothership reported.
Feature Image via Google Maps (left), Nicholas Doherty (right)