Tokyo, Japan

Pachinko: The Video Addiction That Depresses Japan

Tokyo night
The illuminated skyscrapers of the Japanese capital, one of the largest cities in the world and one of the privileged haunts of pachinko players
Spheres of Chance
Ball receptacles used and won by Pachinko players.
complete alienation
Players immersed in the different screens of a Pachinko salon.
Pachinko's lifeline
There are thousands of Japanese people, mainly from the big cities that let themselves be caught by the addiction of Pachinko
A long hallway filled with players from a Pachinko parlor.
Electronic victory and cash profit form an illusion that captures thousands of Japanese people every year.
Sleeve with pachinko
Passerby passes by a wall decorated with the image of one of the characters from a time ahead that young Japanese people have been growing up with for a long time, in manga books, video games and also in pachinko
Pachinko Hall
Passersby pass in front of the facade of a casino in Shibuya, Tokyo.
Tokyo night
Passersby cross a wide avenue of Tokyo, surrounded, like most, by several pachinko parlors
The Players
Players side by side in decorated seats and in front of Pachinko's gaudy electronic screens
Another night of pachinko
Traffic flows on a Tokyo avenue lit by the twilight and urban lighting of the Japanese capital
Keeping an eye on Tokyo
Cyclist in an illuminated square in Tokyo.
It started as a toy, but the Japanese appetite for profit quickly turned pachinko into a national obsession. Today, there are 30 million Japanese surrendered to these alienating gaming machines.

The day is drawing to a close.

Tokyo remains in a spring with blue skies and radiant sun. We wander through the streets of Shibuya. On the way home, groups of students in checkered mini-skirts and gray pullovers get lost in mischief and mischief, .

brash lolitas and gyarus glamorous pass by gray wage earners at the most crossed intersection of the world. Young people on modern bicycles advance through spaces disused by the flow and counter-flow of the crowd.

On the other side, we enter a commercial alley full of shop windows that attract teenagers thirsty for the latest fashions.

A wall decorated with posters with characters de manga and Japanese characters on yellow backgrounds. We examined the building to look something Blade Runner.

Pachinko Salon, Video Addiction, Japan

Passersby pass in front of the facade of a casino in Shibuya, Tokyo.

Pachinko's Noisy, Smoky and Alienating Halls

We find its main entrance, barred by a door that obeys sensors. And with a technological den, noisy and smoky. It was one of thousands of salons in pachinko that infest Japan.

Inside, dozens of souls waste hours of their lives in front of multicolored electronic aquariums in which they release glittering spheres. Most players lose track of reality and many thousands of yen.

Pachinko, video addiction, Japan

Players immersed in the different screens of a Pachinko salon.

The irony of ironies is that it all started with a simple toy.

Corinthian Bagatelle: The Amazing Western Inspiration

In 1920, the Japanese discovered an American children's game, the Corinthian Bagatelle. They created their version which they called korin moaned.

Ten years later, the contraption fell in love with the adults of Nagoya. From this city onwards, the phenomenon spread to the rest of the nation.

After World War II stopped its spread, the hobby soon returned to Japan defeated and destroyed. So, the game's prizes were valuable products on the black market, like soap and chocolate.

Players, Pachinko, Video Addiction, Japan

Players side by side in decorated seats and in front of Pachinko's gaudy electronic screens

From Mere Pastime, to the Japanese Pachinko Salons Network

In 1948, in the same Nagoya, the first commercial halls appeared. They grouped machines that used bells to signal game states and pinball machines that projected the spheres with adjustable impacts.

These machines remained in business until the turn of the 80s. japanese electronics revolution guaranteed increasingly futuristic and seductive models.

Back in the same hall as Shibuya, serious players continue to ignore the many pleasures of the outdoors.

It is normal for them to arrive long before the opening of houses to compete for the more familiar or less sophisticated machines, which they believe they can manipulate more easily.

Pachinko, video addiction, Japan

Passerby passes by a wall decorated with the image of one of the characters from a time ahead that young Japanese people have been growing up with for a long time, in manga books, video games and also in pachinko

Japan's “Children's” Machines That Suck Adults' Life

Then they sit side by side, leg against leg. For hours on end, they suffer the digital alienation of "sea ​​story","Star Wars" or "Mappy Park” – graphic and programming themes for games.

It's rare that they communicate with each other, or even look away. The slightest loss of concentration causes defeat in the match in which they are involved.

we would explore pachinkos in different cities. Without much knowledge, we just insert endless yen.

We get bored faster than we thought, watching the infernal spheres follow their own destiny between pins and other barriers. Contrary to what we thought, the pachinko gives us little or no control.

For the game's victims, however, the lights, the childlike sounds and the circle of the spheres prove to be hypnotic.

Tokyo, Pachinko video addiction, Japan

Traffic flows on a Tokyo avenue lit by the twilight and urban lighting of the Japanese capital

Pachinko: A Long Latent Social Drama

Even if the game allows maximum jackpots of 40 euros and loss rates never higher than 1.5 euros per minute, pachinko has the power to change lives. Almost always for the worse, by the way.

It is the reason why proprietary companies protect players' identities as much as possible. And because they force us into repeated cat-and-mouse exercises with their security guards in order to get decent photographs inside the salons.

We feel how many Japanese are taking refuge from the crushing pressure of their work in front of the machines. And how, after a while, they lose job after job. They ruin themselves and their families and are forced to join groups of anonymous compulsive gamblers.

Tokyo, city of Pachinko's video addiction, Japan

Passersby cross a wide avenue of Tokyo, surrounded, like most, by several pachinko parlors

Strangely enough, these are not even the most dramatic consequences. Almost every year, two or three children die from excessive heat when parents forget about them in cars after entering the halls to play "just a few minutes".

And yet, when Japanese people in general are asked about their nation's gambling habits, most simply say it's illegal or that Japanese people don't. These answers prove the degree of tolerated or camouflaged marginality of the pachinko.

In fact, Japan has ten times more gaming machines than the United States.

Addicts, Pachinko, video addiction, Japan

A long hallway filled with players from a Pachinko parlor.

A Video Addiction that Ruins Families and Enriches Corporations

Thirty of its nearly 130 million inhabitants attend the salons of pachinko where they leave more than 150 billion euros every year. They cause estimated losses in the order of 40 billion euros.

Threatened by the growing video game industry and other forms of gambling, pachinko promoters and owners chose to present themselves as fun and exciting.

They even borrowed the type of characters and manga graphics that the hyper-sophisticated Japanese videogames perfected for their façade and interior decorations.

Pachinko, video addiction, Japan

Electronic victory and cash profit form an illusion that captures thousands of Japanese people every year.

Japanese businessmen are as obsessed with money as pachinko players. They resort to even lower tricks. We even entered salons in the morning.

On these occasions, the noise of music and games is exaggerated compared to the number of customers. It didn't take long to find out that the halls continuously play a soundtrack that simulates a full house.

This song urges newcomers to stay and spend. When the various strategies work, pachinko houses are filled to capacity at a glance.

Much faster than the baskets in which bettors keep the spheres they conquer.

At spaces, we see the most experienced or lucky players get up and call officials to collect them.

These rush to satisfy the customer's wishes, dump the spheres into a counter device and bring back a receipt which the player exchanges for cash.

Spheres of Chance, Pachinko, Video Addiction, Japan

Ball receptacles used and won by Pachinko players.

The Game on the Edge of Pachinko Awards

In theory, pachinko they should be just products. Each salon has its own boutique with Channel perfumes, Hello Kity alarm clocks and other almost insignificant objects, towels, pens, magazines etc – which can be exchanged for a few hundred spheres.

In reality, almost all players prefer to receive money. In order to circumvent the law, the salons created "special prizes” fictitious and worthless winners take to shadowy trading houses located nearby.

In these houses, other employees exchange the spheres for the desired Japanese cash.

The yen soon enter the machines and renew the vicious cycle of the pachinko.

Tokyo, Pachinko, video addiction, Japan

The illuminated skyscrapers of the Japanese capital, one of the largest cities in the world and one of the privileged haunts of pachinko players

Las Vegas, USA

Where sin is always forgiven

Projected from the Mojave Desert like a neon mirage, the North American capital of gaming and entertainment is experienced as a gamble in the dark. Lush and addictive, Vegas neither learns nor regrets.

The Beverage Machines Empire

There are more than 5 million ultra-tech light boxes spread across the country and many more exuberant cans and bottles of appealing drinks. The Japanese have long since stopped resisting them.
Tokyo, Japan

Disposable Purrs

Tokyo is the largest of the metropolises but, in its tiny apartments, there is no place for pets. Japanese entrepreneurs detected the gap and launched "catteries" in which the feline affections are paid by the hour.

When Only Cock Fights Wake Up the Philippines

Banned in much of the First World, cockfighting thrives in the Philippines where they move millions of people and pesos. Despite its eternal problems, it is the sabong that most stimulates the nation.
Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo's fashion

In ultra-populous and hyper-coded Japan, there is always room for more sophistication and creativity. Whether national or imported, it is in the capital that they begin to parade the new Japanese looks.
Ogimashi, Japan

An Historical-Virtual Japan

"Higurashi no Naku Koro never” was a highly successful Japanese animation and computer game series. In Ogimashi, Shirakawa-Go village, we live with a group of kigurumi of their characters.
Osaka, Japan

In the Company of Mayu

Japanese nightlife is a multi-faceted, multi-billion business. In Osaka, an enigmatic couchsurfing hostess welcomes us, somewhere between the geisha and the luxury escort.
Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo's Hypno-Passengers

Japan is served by millions of executives slaughtered with infernal work rates and sparse vacations. Every minute of respite on the way to work or home serves them for their inemuri, napping in public.
Tokyo, Japan

Japanese Style Passaport-Type Photography

In the late 80s, two Japanese multinationals already saw conventional photo booths as museum pieces. They turned them into revolutionary machines and Japan surrendered to the Purikura phenomenon.
hippopotami, chobe national park, botswana
Chobe NP, Botswana

Chobe: A River on the Border of Life with Death

Chobe marks the divide between Botswana and three of its neighboring countries, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Namibia. But its capricious bed has a far more crucial function than this political delimitation.
Thorong Pedi to High Camp, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal, Lone Walker
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 12th - Thorong Phedi a High camp

The Prelude to the Supreme Crossing

This section of the Annapurna Circuit is only 1km away, but in less than two hours it takes you from 4450m to 4850m and to the entrance to the great canyon. Sleeping in High Camp is a test of resistance to Mountain Evil that not everyone passes.
Sheets of Bahia, Eternal Diamonds, Brazil
Architecture & Design
Sheets of Bahia, Brazil

Lençóis da Bahia: not Even Diamonds Are Forever

In the XNUMXth century, Lençóis became the world's largest supplier of diamonds. But the gem trade did not last as expected. Today, the colonial architecture that he inherited is his most precious possession.
Passengers, scenic flights-Southern Alps, New Zealand
Aoraki / Mount Cook, New Zealand

The Aeronautical Conquest of the Southern Alps

In 1955, pilot Harry Wigley created a system for taking off and landing on asphalt or snow. Since then, his company has unveiled, from the air, some of the greatest scenery in Oceania.
orthodox procession
Ceremonies and Festivities
Suzdal, Russia

Centuries of Devotion to a Devoted Monk

Euthymius was a fourteenth-century Russian ascetic who gave himself body and soul to God. His faith inspired Suzdal's religiosity. The city's believers worship him as the saint he has become.
Table Mountain view from Waterfront, Cape Town, South Africa.
Table Mountain, South Africa

At the Adamastor Monster Table

From the earliest times of the Discoveries to the present, Table Mountain has always stood out above the South African immensity South African and the surrounding ocean. The centuries passed and Cape Town expanded at his feet. The Capetonians and the visiting outsiders got used to contemplating, ascending and venerating this imposing and mythical plateau.
Cocoa, Chocolate, Sao Tome Principe, Agua Izé farm
São Tomé and Principe

Cocoa Roças, Corallo and the Chocolate Factory

At the beginning of the century. In the XNUMXth century, São Tomé and Príncipe generated more cocoa than any other territory. Thanks to the dedication of some entrepreneurs, production survives and the two islands taste like the best chocolate.
Sculptural Garden, Edward James, Xilitla, Huasteca Potosina, San Luis Potosi, Mexico, Cobra dos Pecados
Xilitla, San Luis Potosí, Mexico

Edward James' Mexican Delirium

In the rainforest of Xilitla, the restless mind of poet Edward James has twinned an eccentric home garden. Today, Xilitla is lauded as an Eden of the Surreal.
Swimming, Western Australia, Aussie Style, Sun rising in the eyes
Busselton, Australia

2000 meters in Aussie Style

In 1853, Busselton was equipped with one of the longest pontoons in the world. World. When the structure collapsed, the residents decided to turn the problem around. Since 1996 they have been doing it every year. Swimming.
View from John Ford Point, Monument Valley, Nacao Navajo, United States
Monument Valley, USA

Indians or Cowboys?

Iconic Western filmmakers like John Ford immortalized what is the largest Indian territory in the United States. Today, in the Navajo Nation, the Navajo also live in the shoes of their old enemies.
Navala, Viti Levu, Fiji
Navala, Fiji

Fiji's Tribal Urbanism

Fiji has adapted to the invasion of travelers with westernized hotels and resorts. But in the highlands of Viti Levu, Navala keeps its huts carefully aligned.
Sunset, Avenue of Baobabs, Madagascar
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio

days like so many others

Alaskan Lumberjack Show Competition, Ketchikan, Alaska, USA
Ketchikan, Alaska

Here begins Alaska

The reality goes unnoticed in most of the world, but there are two Alaskas. In urban terms, the state is inaugurated in the south of its hidden frying pan handle, a strip of land separated from the contiguous USA along the west coast of Canada. Ketchikan, is the southernmost of Alaskan cities, its Rain Capital and the Salmon Capital of the World.
The inevitable fishing

Florianopolis, Brazil

The South Atlantic Azorean Legacy

During the XNUMXth century, thousands of Portuguese islanders pursued better lives in the southern confines of Brazil. In the villages they founded, traces of affinity with the origins abound.

Geothermal, Iceland Heat, Ice Land, Geothermal, Blue Lagoon
Winter White

The Geothermal Coziness of the Ice Island

Most visitors value Iceland's volcanic scenery for its beauty. Icelanders also draw from them heat and energy crucial to the life they lead to the Arctic gates.
shadow vs light
Kyoto, Japan

The Kyoto Temple Reborn from the Ashes

The Golden Pavilion has been spared destruction several times throughout history, including that of US-dropped bombs, but it did not withstand the mental disturbance of Hayashi Yoken. When we admired him, he looked like never before.
Peasant woman, Majuli, Assam, India
Majuli Island, India

An Island in Countdown

Majuli is the largest river island in India and would still be one of the largest on Earth were it not for the erosion of the river Bramaputra that has been making it diminish for centuries. If, as feared, it is submerged within twenty years, more than an island, a truly mystical cultural and landscape stronghold of the Subcontinent will disappear.
Mother Armenia Statue, Yerevan, Armenia
Yerevan, Armenia

A Capital between East and West

Heiress of the Soviet civilization, aligned with the great Russia, Armenia allows itself to be seduced by the most democratic and sophisticated ways of Western Europe. In recent times, the two worlds have collided in the streets of your capital. From popular and political dispute, Yerevan will dictate the new course of the nation.
Meares glacier
Natural Parks
Prince William Sound, Alaska

Journey through a Glacial Alaska

Nestled against the Chugach Mountains, Prince William Sound is home to some of Alaska's stunning scenery. Neither powerful earthquakes nor a devastating oil spill affected its natural splendor.
Holy Sepulcher, Jerusalem, Christian churches, priest with insensate
UNESCO World Heritage
Holy Sepulcher Basilica, Jerusalem, Israel

The Supreme Temple of the Old Christian Churches

It was built by Emperor Constantine, on the site of Jesus' Crucifixion and Resurrection and an ancient temple of Venus. In its genesis, a Byzantine work, the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher is, today, shared and disputed by various Christian denominations as the great unifying building of Christianity.
Couple visiting Mikhaylovskoe, village where writer Alexander Pushkin had a home
Saint Petersburg e Mikhaylovkoe, Russia

The Writer Who Succumbed to His Own Plot

Alexander Pushkin is hailed by many as the greatest Russian poet and the founder of modern Russian literature. But Pushkin also dictated an almost tragicomic epilogue to his prolific life.
Magnificent Atlantic Days
Morro de São Paulo, Brazil

A Divine Seaside of Bahia

Three decades ago, it was just a remote and humble fishing village. Until some post-hippie communities revealed the Morro's retreat to the world and promoted it to a kind of bathing sanctuary.
Armenia Cradle Christianity, Mount Aratat

The Cradle of the Official Christianity

Just 268 years after Jesus' death, a nation will have become the first to accept the Christian faith by royal decree. This nation still preserves its own Apostolic Church and some of the oldest Christian temples in the world. Traveling through the Caucasus, we visit them in the footsteps of Gregory the Illuminator, the patriarch who inspires Armenia's spiritual life.
Train Kuranda train, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
On Rails
Cairns-Kuranda, Australia

Train to the Middle of the Jungle

Built out of Cairns to save miners isolated in the rainforest from starvation by flooding, the Kuranda Railway eventually became the livelihood of hundreds of alternative Aussies.
aggie gray, Samoa, South Pacific, Marlon Brando Fale
Apia, Western Samoa

The Host of the South Pacific

She sold burguês to GI's in World War II and opened a hotel that hosted Marlon Brando and Gary Cooper. Aggie Gray passed away in 2. Her legacy lives on in the South Pacific.
Coin return
Daily life
Dawki, India

Dawki, Dawki, Bangladesh on sight

We descended from the high and mountainous lands of Meghalaya to the flats to the south and below. There, the translucent and green stream of the Dawki forms the border between India and Bangladesh. In a damp heat that we haven't felt for a long time, the river also attracts hundreds of Indians and Bangladeshis in a picturesque escape.
Maria Jacarés, Pantanal Brazil
Miranda, Brazil

Maria dos Jacarés: the Pantanal shelters such Creatures

Eurides Fátima de Barros was born in the interior of the Miranda region. 38 years ago, he settled in a small business on the side of BR262 that crosses the Pantanal and gained an affinity with the alligators that lived on his doorstep. Disgusted that once upon a time the creatures were being slaughtered there, she began to take care of them. Now known as Maria dos Jacarés, she named each of the animals after a soccer player or coach. It also makes sure they recognize your calls.
Napali Coast and Waimea Canyon, Kauai, Hawaii Wrinkles
Scenic Flights
napali coast, Hawaii

Hawaii's Dazzling Wrinkles

Kauai is the greenest and rainiest island in the Hawaiian archipelago. It is also the oldest. As we explore its Napalo Coast by land, sea and air, we are amazed to see how the passage of millennia has only favored it.