Random thoughts, comments, observations and general fluff from a random bint who left London at the end of September 2004 to embark on a new life and new adventures in Tokyo, land of the cute.... and is leaving mid-June 2010 - and counting!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Birthday Post Six

Just a few every day sights for you this time.

Everywhere you go people are promoting things, normally with a megaphone or a microphone, or just screaming out. Many of them have to dress up to do this. Of course, for the girls, this usually means a bum-skimming skirt. The guys tend to be shoved into 'character' costumes, like this one:

Is Japan a nation of gamblers? Nah, probably not. But I never would have imagined there would be so many slot machines, pachinko parlours or other ways to gamble and quickly lose a few hundred yen. This picture is of a pachinko parlour. Salarymen (mainly) sit down at a machine, let themselves be deafened by the noise, smoke themselves into a frenzy, and watch little balls whizzing around a machine in the hope that they might win some money. People take note of 'good machines' (the ones that pay out well, or something like that) and you'll often see queues of people outside the parlours, waiting for them to open. This includes at 8am on a Saturday morning. Nuts. Absolutely nuts.

One of the things I love about Japan is vending machines. They are everywhere and it's unusual to walk for more than five minutes without seeing one. Of course, this being Japan, if you put money into a machine, you always get something out. Unlike in England. The most common type of machine is the one that sells drinks (hot or cold, naturally), like this one:

But you can get ice-creams, flowers and all sorts from them. Used pants too, apparantly, though luckily I'm yet to discover one of those. Here's one with batteries:

And this one had ties and disposable cameras amongst it's selection of merchandise. Well, you never know when you might need a quick tie, do you?


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