In the photo, you find folk comfortably seated in rows and concentrating intently on their game, its a relaxed scene, leisurely even. But if you have ever stepped into a pachinko parlour in Japan, I think you will agree with me that the atmosphere is not a bit as relaxed as depicted in the photo. The games audio and the sound of steel balls bouncing and rolling about from the numerous rows and rows of machines operating in a typical pachinko parlour generates such an incredible and deafening amount of noise. Add to this a thick layer of cigarette smoke pervading the air from patrons’ cigarette smoking – suffocating.
For me, it’s a place I can only spend a few minutes in, no more, before things starts to become stressful and unbearable for me. I came out from one momentarily stupefied with my ears ringing long after. But I suppose many Japanese don’t mind it as pachinko parlours are hugely popular in Japan with its legion of fans who regularly make their way to their favourite parlour to be victorious in battling the machines and taking home some winnings.
Fuji X-E1 with XF 18-55mm