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.
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.
Okinawa, Japan

Ryukyu Dances: Centuries old. In No Hurry.

The Ryukyu kingdom prospered until the XNUMXth century as a trading post for the China and Japan. From the cultural aesthetics developed by its courtly aristocracy, several styles of slow dance were counted.
Miyajima, Japan

Shintoism and Buddhism with the Tide

Visitors to the Tori of Itsukushima admire one of the three most revered scenery in Japan. On the island of Miyajima, Japanese religiosity blends with Nature and is renewed with the flow of the Seto Inland Sea.
Iriomote, Japan

The Small Tropical Japanese Amazon of Iriomote

Impenetrable rainforests and mangroves fill Iriomote under a pressure cooker climate. Here, foreign visitors are as rare as the yamaneko, an elusive endemic lynx.
Nikko, Japan

The Tokugawa Shogun Final Procession

In 1600, Ieyasu Tokugawa inaugurated a shogunate that united Japan for 250 years. In her honor, Nikko re-enacts the general's medieval relocation to Toshogu's grandiose mausoleum every year.
Nara, Japan

The Colossal Cradle of the Japanese Buddhism

Nara has long since ceased to be the capital and its Todai-ji temple has been demoted. But the Great Hall remains the largest ancient wooden building in the world. And it houses the greatest bronze Vairocana Buddha.
Takayama, Japan

From the Ancient Japan to the Medieval Hida

In three of its streets, Takayama retains traditional wooden architecture and concentrates old shops and sake producers. Around it, it approaches 100.000 inhabitants and surrenders to modernity.
Okinawa, Japan

The Little Empire of the Sun

Risen from the devastation caused by World War II, Okinawa has regained the heritage of its secular Ryukyu civilization. Today, this archipelago south of Kyushu is home to a Japan on the shore, anchored by a turquoise Pacific ocean and bathed in a peculiar Japanese tropicalism.
Kyoto, Japan

An Almost Lost Millennial Japan

Kyoto was on the US atomic bomb target list and it was more than a whim of fate that preserved it. Saved by an American Secretary of War in love with its historical and cultural richness and oriental sumptuousness, the city was replaced at the last minute by Nagasaki in the atrocious sacrifice of the second nuclear cataclysm.
Ogimashi, Japan

A Village Faithful to the A

Ogimashi reveals a fascinating heritage of Japanese adaptability. Located in one of the most snowy places on Earth, this village has perfected houses with real anti-collapse structures.
Magome-Tsumago, Japan

Magome to Tsumago: The Overcrowded Path to the Medieval Japan

In 1603, the Tokugawa shogun dictated the renovation of an ancient road system. Today, the most famous stretch of the road that linked Edo to Kyoto is covered by a mob eager to escape.
savuti, botswana, elephant-eating lions
Savuti, Botswana

Savuti's Elephant-Eating Lions

A patch of the Kalahari Desert dries up or is irrigated depending on the region's tectonic whims. In Savuti, lions have become used to depending on themselves and prey on the largest animals in the savannah.
Aurora lights up the Pisang Valley, Nepal.
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 3rd- Upper Banana, Nepal

An Unexpected Snowy Aurora

At the first glimmers of light, the sight of the white mantle that had covered the village during the night dazzles us. With one of the toughest walks on the Annapurna Circuit ahead of us, we postponed the match as much as possible. Annoyed, we left Upper Pisang towards Escort when the last snow faded.
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.
Full Dog Mushing
Seward, Alaska

The Alaskan Dog Mushing Summer

It's almost 30 degrees and the glaciers are melting. In Alaska, entrepreneurs have little time to get rich. Until the end of August, dog mushing cannot stop.
Balinese Hinduism, Lombok, Indonesia, Batu Bolong temple, Agung volcano in background
Ceremonies and Festivities
Lombok, Indonesia

Lombok: Balinese Hinduism on an Island of Islam

The foundation of Indonesia was based on the belief in one God. This ambiguous principle has always generated controversy between nationalists and Islamists, but in Lombok, the Balinese take freedom of worship to heart
Rabat, Malta, Mdina, Palazzo Xara
Rabat, Malta

A Former Suburb in the Heart of Malta

If Mdina became the noble capital of the island, the Knights Hospitaller decided to sacrifice the fortification of present-day Rabat. The city outside the walls expanded. It survives as a popular and rural counterpoint to the now living museum in Mdina.
World Food

Gastronomy Without Borders or Prejudice

Each people, their recipes and delicacies. In certain cases, the same ones that delight entire nations repel many others. For those who travel the world, the most important ingredient is a very open mind.
Tombola, street bingo-Campeche, Mexico
Campeche, Mexico

A Bingo so playful that you play with puppets

On Friday nights, a group of ladies occupy tables at Independencia Park and bet on trifles. The tiniest prizes come out to them in combinations of cats, hearts, comets, maracas and other icons.
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.
Martian Scenery of the White Desert, Egypt
White Desert, Egypt

The Egyptian Shortcut to Mars

At a time when conquering the solar system's neighbor has become an obsession, an eastern section of the Sahara Desert is home to a vast related landscape. Instead of the estimated 150 to 300 days to reach Mars, we took off from Cairo and, in just over three hours, we took our first steps into the Oasis of Bahariya. All around, almost everything makes us feel about the longed-for Red Planet.
Barrancas del Cobre, Chihuahua, Rarámuri woman
Barrancas del Cobre (Copper Canyon), Chihuahua, Mexico

The Deep Mexico of the Barrancas del Cobre

Without warning, the Chihuahua highlands give way to endless ravines. Sixty million geological years have furrowed them and made them inhospitable. The Rarámuri indigenous people continue to call them home.
ice tunnel, black gold route, Valdez, Alaska, USA
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

Sensations vs Impressions

Horseshoe Bend
Navajo nation, USA

The Navajo Nation Lands

From Kayenta to Page, passing through Marble Canyon, we explore the southern Colorado Plateau. Dramatic and desert, the scenery of this indigenous domain, cut out in Arizona, reveals itself to be splendid.
Lake Sorvatsvagn, Vágar, Faroe Islands
Vágar, Faroe Islands

The Lake that hovers over the North Atlantic

By geological whim, Sorvagsvatn is much more than the largest lake in the Faroe Islands. Cliffs with between thirty to one hundred and forty meters limit the southern end of its bed. From certain perspectives, it gives the idea of ​​being suspended over the ocean.
Reindeer Racing, Kings Cup, Inari, Finland
Winter White
Inari, Finland

The Wackiest Race on the Top of the World

Finland's Lapps have been competing in the tow of their reindeer for centuries. In the final of the Kings Cup - Porokuninkuusajot - , they face each other at great speed, well above the Arctic Circle and well below zero.
Almada Negreiros, Roça Saudade, Sao Tome
Saudade, São Tomé, São Tomé and Principe

Almada Negreiros: From Saudade to Eternity

Almada Negreiros was born in April 1893, on a farm in the interior of São Tomé. Upon discovering his origins, we believe that the luxuriant exuberance in which he began to grow oxygenated his fruitful creativity.
Enriquillo, Great Lake of the Antilles, Dominican Republic, view from Cueva das Caritas de Taínos
Lake Enriquillo, Dominican Republic

Enriquillo: the Great Lake of the Antilles

Between 300 and 400 km2, situated 44 meters below sea level, Enriquillo is the supreme lake of the Antilles. Regardless of its hypersalinity and the stifling, atrocious temperatures, it's still increasing. Scientists have a hard time explaining why.
Sheki, Autumn in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Autumn Homes
Sheki, Azerbaijan

autumn in the caucasus

Lost among the snowy mountains that separate Europe from Asia, Sheki is one of Azerbaijan's most iconic towns. Its largely silky history includes periods of great harshness. When we visited it, autumn pastels added color to a peculiar post-Soviet and Muslim life.
Everglades National Park, Florida, United States, flight over the Everglades canals
Natural Parks
Everglades National Park, Florida, USA

Florida's Great Weedy River

Anyone who flies over the south of the 27th state is amazed by the green, smooth and soggy vastness that contrasts with the surrounding oceanic tones. This unique U.S. marsh-prairie ecosystem is home to a prolific fauna dominated by 200 of Florida's 1.25 million alligators.
Palm trees of San Cristobal de La Laguna, Tenerife, Canary Islands
UNESCO World Heritage
Tenerife, Canary Islands

East of White Mountain Island

The almost triangular Tenerife has its center dominated by the majestic volcano Teide. At its eastern end, there is another rugged domain, even so, the place of the island's capital and other unavoidable villages, with mysterious forests and incredible abrupt coastlines.
Visitors to Ernest Hemingway's Home, Key West, Florida, United States
Key West, United States

Hemingway's Caribbean Playground

Effusive as ever, Ernest Hemingway called Key West "the best place I've ever been...". In the tropical depths of the contiguous US, he found evasion and crazy, drunken fun. And the inspiration to write with intensity to match.
Santa Marta, Tayrona, Simón Bolivar, Ecohabs of Tayrona National Park
Santa Marta and PN Tayrona, Colombia

The Paradise from which Simon Bolivar departed

At the gates of PN Tayrona, Santa Marta is the oldest continuously inhabited Hispanic city in Colombia. In it, Simón Bolívar began to become the only figure on the continent almost as revered as Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary.
Conflicted Way
Jerusalem, Israel

Through the Belicious Streets of Via Dolorosa

In Jerusalem, while traveling the Via Dolorosa, the most sensitive believers realize how difficult the peace of the Lord is to achieve in the most disputed streets on the face of the earth.
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.
Military Religious, Wailing Wall, IDF Flag Oath, Jerusalem, Israel
Jerusalem, Israel

A Festive Wailing Wall

The holiest place in Judaism is not only attended by prayers and prayers. Its ancient stones have witnessed the oath of new IDF recruits for decades and echo the euphoric screams that follow.
Ditching, Alaska Fashion Life, Talkeetna
Daily life
Talkeetna, Alaska

Talkeetna's Alaska-Style Life

Once a mere mining outpost, Talkeetna rejuvenated in 1950 to serve Mt. McKinley climbers. The town is by far the most alternative and most captivating town between Anchorage and Fairbanks.
Crocodiles, Queensland Tropical Australia Wild
Cairns to Cape Tribulation, Australia

Tropical Queensland: An Australia Too Wild

Cyclones and floods are just the meteorological expression of Queensland's tropical harshness. When it's not the weather, it's the deadly fauna of the region that keeps its inhabitants on their toes.
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.