Thursday, September 25, 2008


Day 23 (-8) Pachinko is the Japanese game machine, a cross between pinball and a slot machine. Players buy metal balls, at 4 yen per ball that's 250 balls for every 1000 yen. These balls are then shot into the machine from a ball tray with the purpose of attempting to win more balls. Sounds riveting eh? Under Japanese law, cash cannot be paid out directly for pachinko balls, rather they get prizes, but there is usually a small exchange center located nearby where players can conveniently exchange their winnings for cash. Winning strategies abound, same as poker machines in OZ. Stay at the same machine , find ones that pay out more etc. As a gambling activity, pachinko is widely held to have links to organised crime (specifically the Yakusa)."Official" figures put the sum of remittances from the parlours at 3 billion to 10 billion yen.
The pachinko parlors share the reputation of slot machine dens and casinos the world over — garish decoration; over-the-top architecture; a low-hanging haze of cigarette smoke; the constant din of the machines, music, and announcements; and flashing lights. You can tell when you are approaching one by the noise of the steel balls, and the garish displays. There is also a queue of men outside in the morning before opening. Not being a gambler of any persuasion I have never played them!

Another beautiful day, but the Matsuoka museum I walked up to see was closed for a new exhibition; but I peered in the door anyway (lovely glass) and as I walked away a woman came running out to give me a flyer for the next exhibition of Japanese ceramics opening on Tuesday.
I was in a coffee shop later, but saw it was busy and no empty seats. As I was walking out I was checking out the area off to the right, and walked slap bang into a solid plate glass door! A bruise, small lump and a headache later I am fine!
That was the sum of any action today.

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