The Biggest Bowling Alleys in the World

    02/20/06

    Japan

    The Castaways Hotel in Las Vegas, Nev., formerly known as Showboat which housed the biggest bowling alley in the United States with 106 lanes was demolished on Wednesday, January 11, 2006. Click here to read Frenchy Letourneau's report.

    The Castaways was often promoted as the biggest bowling center in the world, but this theory was far away from reality. Rumors said there would be a bowling alley in Tokyo with more than 500 lanes.

    During the bowling boom in Japan, more than 120,000 bowling lanes were installed in the Eastern Asian country between 1960 and 1972 and some of them were two-times or even four times bigger than the Castaways.

    We asked Masahiko Kosugi from the Japan Bowling Congress to give us some details about today's biggest bowling alleys in Japan and here is what he answered:

    "Nagoya Grand Bowl is now the biggest bowling center in Japan. It has 156 lanes on three floors with 52 lanes each. One floor is synthetic and the others are wood. Formerly, the alley had even 260 lanes in two buildings. One of the buildings was demolished and the space is now part of the Freeway Interchange.

    "In the same prefecture, Inazawa Grand Bowl has 116 lanes on one floor. Once the alley had 232 lanes on two floors, but the ground floor is now a supermarket.

    "Aoki Bowl in Hokkaido has 126 lanes.

    "The Tokyo World Lanes Bowling Center used to have 512 lanes (five hundred and twelve), but actually it had several bowling centers in one place. Tides turned when the owner changed. There is just one bowling alley remaining, the Toyo Bowl Ikegami, and it has mere 28 lanes.

    "You know, these were the 'good old days' "Masahiko Kosugi added.