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"Pachinko - I don't get it!" Japan Local Custom Tip by Maline

Japan Local Customs: 477 reviews and 616 photos

  The noise is overwhelming!!
by Maline

Pachinko is the name of a Japanese arcade game reminiscent of pinball machines.

Pachinko pinball is vertical instead of the horisontal slope I am used to. And there isn't just one or a few balls in the game, but hundreds in a constant stream.

The little handle is for catapulting the miniature balls onto the field, and the path they then take on the gameboard is what decides if you win or lose. Then there are also digital tasks etc to be taken on the screen, I never got that far ( I didn't get anywhere!!) in this amazingly popular game.

There are pachinko parlours in every city, in Tokyo for example they are extremely numerous in the small streets in front of Ueno station. So far, I haven't found any machines with English instructions though, which is what you need I imagine, unless you have someone to explain the fun to you!

If you happen to be a pachinko champion or fan, please send me an e-mail and explain to me where the fun lies in this, to my inexperienced eye, extremely pointless and just irritatingly noisy pastime...!

Review Helpfulness: 4 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Jan 16, 2005
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