Thursday, 30 September 2010

Outer suburbia and upper hell

I accidentally deleted the photos. Will endeavour to relocate them.

A Sunday shopping trip to H&M Shin Misato was never going to be a whole lot of fun.  Shibuya, Shinjuku & Ginza all have H&M - so far the only place in Japan where I can get jeans that fit - and are all closer, but the trek to outer suburbia seemed reasonable since odds on the store there would be less crowded.  

It wasn't that crowded and I did get my jeans.
We took a wander around the complex and ventured into what could generously be ranked as being located in Dante's upper hell, but a convincing argument could be made for it being in uncharted depths that Dante didn't find.

I'm not quite sure where my wowser genes came from - it's very "unAustralian" to be thoroughly indifferent to the Melbourne Cup.  Wowser aside, this was a den of vice. Gambling is illegal in Japan - except for Horse racing, and boat racing, and bike racing and pachinko - though that is a bit grey zone and because people win (or lose which is more likely the case) - chips that are transferable for money rather than money perse it's not exactly gambling by Japanese definition. 
The place we stumbled on was a games centre. Athough there are lots of game centres in Tokyo, I'd never ventured into one like Shin Misato where it  was so big and such a family affair.  Parents sitting with their children essentially playing pachinko encouraging their kids to be pouring tokens through the machine. In some cases children with grandparents.  Parents sitting with kids watching simulated horse races encouraging them to be betting on the horses.   Utterly retarded parents putting 100Y coins into machines and being really excited when their 5 year old wins a chocolate that you can buy for 20Y at any convenience store... So excited that they put in another 2 x 100Yen in to win ..... another 2 chocolates....  300Y to get 30Y of chocolate.......evidently not the sharpest tool in the shed.... my friend Jenny reminds me that I should remember that 100 is the average IQ of the population...

With the pachinko and horseracing type games, apparently the winnings are not transferable for cash. Hiro is adamant that is the case - that the pachinko parlours have a lot of political clout and maintain political pressure to ensure game centres can't  transfer points to money - though they can be exchanged for time at karaoke or playing 10 pin bowls - in the same game centre.  I find this very hard to believe... where there are points there will be exchange....

I will confess to being a wowser ... but it really doesn't inspire much confidence in the future of Japan... or perhaps I just don't understand the culture yet...

20 yen chocolates - if you are lucky you might
win one if you spend 100Y...
Hard to understand spending so much money trying to win ugly,
cheap quality stuffed toys, when you could just go and
buy a nice one...for the same money.
I guess I don't understand the
thrill of winning...

A model of parental responsibility - keep feeding through
the tokens....won't be long before he graduates to

I don't think I would know what to do with an oversized
Hello Kitty...
How many 100Yens does it take to win a 200Y icecream? 

Individual  seats for horse racing bets

Betting on simulated races - buy your tokens from
the Medal Bank in the background - take your children and their friends.

A proud father proving his skill to his family.
After 5 attempts that we saw - 500Y -they won a Doraemon doll.
A memorable achievement.

I'm not sure I understand anyone wanting to win the character on the left.
It could be a valid alternative to a print of Munch's The Scream.
Hiro told me who it is, but I forget.

An oversized stuffed orange snake is not very high on
my shopping list.

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