2010 – Iki-shi, Nagasaki-ken, Japan, Earth

01-05

Slot machines at the local Pachinko Taro.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.

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