May 6, 2018
My family went out to a small festival a few towns over in a place called Horinouchi. The festival was full of pleasant folks selling home-grown veggies, secondhand goods, and homemade foods. There were some great things there, but none as cool as this:
A homemade wooden Gachapon machine
Gachapon (also referred to as Gashapon) is making a comeback in Japan, in large part thanks to the advertising towards foreigners. The last time I was in an airport, I saw a huge sign above a bunch of Gachapon machines saying something to the effect, “Use the rest of your Japanese coins here!” They were mainstays in department stores when I was growing up, but now you can find them all over the place.
In any case, I don’t know how long the guy had been using his homemade Gachapon machine at local festivals (should have asked!), but it was really a clever contraption. Seeing the rest of the bloke’s wooden toys, I’m not surprised he was handy enough to create something that operated just like a real Gachapon machine but with wooden parts, and my daughter was more than happy to give it a whirl.
The absolute best part of the machine? For just 200 yen, my daughter got a handmade miniature wooden giraffe instead of some machine made hunk of plastic.
All in all, a pretty cool find for a Sunday morning in the inaka.
Hitting the books once again as a Ph.D. student in Niigata Prefecture. Although I've lived in Japan many years, life as a student in this country is a first.
Blessed Dad. Lucky Husband. Happy Gaijin (most of the time).