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What is Japanese Pachinko?

16.07'13 - Jörg Nitzsche, Japan Interpreter
Categories: Popular culture

If you are visiting Japan for business or for a holiday, do not miss to visit Pachinko Parlours. The Pachinko parlours are spread throughout the country and the game is enjoyed by millions of Japanese as well as gaijin-the foreigners who visit Japan.

What exactly is Japanese Pachinko?

Pachinko is a rare combination of slot machine and pinball. Pachin refers to the sound of the ko or the ball in Japanese language. While playing pachinko, the players sit rigidly, watching the balls bounce around and hoping that they will fall in to the winning centre hole. The more the number of balls that a players wins, the more cash he/she gets.

Pachinko is more or less like a slot machine. Like slot machines, a player wins if the same three pictures appear. Though it is quite a rare phenomenon in a pachinko, but if it happens, the winning player gets countless new balls. The balls that you win can be used for buying the goods that are available in the gift shop at the pachinko parlour. Or you can exchange them for cash at a small window that is placed just outside the pachinko parlours.

Pachinko parlours originated in the 1940s in Japan and have gained a lot of popularity since then. Today, you can find pachinko parlours every where in Japan. However, the latest machines are lot more sophisticated and advanced than the traditional, mechanized machines. While LED lights are fixed within the frame of the pachinko parlour, silver metal balls move around on pins, and an LCD screen sits in the middle of the machine and plays the latest Japanese anime or TV show along with displaying the score of the game.

Pachinko parlours are quite easy to recognize. They are bright and colorful from outside and the interiors are loud and smoky due to cigarette fog. On entering a pachinko parlour in Japan, you will see both men and women sitting at pachinko machines and would hear sounds of bells and cartoon voices filling the parlour.

To enjoy pachinko parlours, karaoke, Japanese movies, and other entertainment in Japan, look for English Japanese translation services or Japanese Italian translation or Japanese German translation services. A qualified and experienced Japanese translator would help you understand the Japanese language, culture, customs and traditions.


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