Pachinko is practically a national past time in Japan, and it’s also a running joke among the ALTs on the island. Though gambling is technically illegal, and Pachinko parlors often have a reputation of association with the yakuza, it’s one of the most popular activities on the island. Though a lot of that is probably because there’s not much else to do. For some reason, the most common participants that I know are my Kyoto-sensei’s–Vice Principals–though the Kocho-sensei’s–Principals–apparently go a lot, too.
I’d never entered a pachinko parlor before today, and let me tell you–it’s a sensory overload. Crazy bright fluorescent lights, exceedingly loud (like you’re in a club loud) music, lots of random jackpot noises, and food and beverages easily accessible. Then participants just sit and play for hours and hours. I have no idea how they do it.
Decided to take a picture of this because I realized three of the other four, so far, were not very colorful. And let me tell you, Japan is a damn colorful place.