Inside brittle shell
of urban gacha gacha
lies Kitty city.
Our kids love Japan’s gacha gacha balls. These plastic shells with tiny toys inside are available from vending machines at service stations and convenience stores everywhere for the small change in your pocket.
For me, Japanese cities are a bit like gacha gacha balls. Like any industrialised country, Japan is all hard surfaces and modern materials. On first appearance it’s not the fragile tea ceremony or bamboo glade that you see in the guide book inserts. Don’t get me wrong, this stuff is here, but you have to work hard to get inside the exterior shell, and even then you can’t totally predict which novelty you will be gifted.
But when you get the equivalent of the prize kitty or the rare Pokemon, you feel like a child who has spent the day in a toy shop. That’s Japan.