With nearly a 100 year history, “Pachinko” has been a major form of entertainment for the Japanese population. Having undergone transformations to meet the demands of players, it has become such a unique, cultural aspect of Japan that visitors often go to Pachinko halls to experience the unknown. Especially in countries where casinos are a form of entertainment of similarity, it’s often an interesting sight for them to see what all the fuss is about.
Now, there is not only “Pachinko”, but “Pachislot” as well, a different style from the original pachinko, which looks more like slot machines. Companies have also collaborated with Japanese animes and idols to change things up and continue to keep its appeal to the public. Although the market has shrunk since its peak and the legalization of casino in Japan may transform this market further, the demands for Pachinko are still and will continue to be stringent, as an aspect of the Japanese culture that cannot be experienced elsewhere.
With the conscious effort from the government to put a heavier focus on tourism over the last few years, Japan has successfully been able to increase its numbers of visitors into the country, recording an all-time high in 2017, surpassing the 28 million mark. With traveling becoming a more attainable form of luxury for man, this trend is more than likely to continue growing. Looking at it on a larger spectrum, tourism affects not only airlines and hotels, but almost every industry there is to name, as well as vast regional development, providing substantial economic growth and stability in Japan.
Although still ranked fairly low in terms of visitor counts into Japan, the country has so much potential for growth, development and expansion, and the strategy to do so is evident. With the progressing of globalization, improved technology, accessibility in booking flights and hotels, as well as the hurdle of language barriers thanks to translators, traveling is becoming more and more popularized, and it won’t take long until Japan catches the eyes and hearts of more people around the globe.
Otaku is defined as a person who is obsessed with a particular aspect of the pop culture. This is a word that had been exclusive to Japan, but in the recent years, has popularized more throughout the world, thanks to the internet. With so many categories in pop culture where people can become “otakus”, the idol market was the sector which topped the industry. Other subsectors include cosplay, figure, comics, animes, and games, all of which are garnering more attention overseas as well.
The term used to be used as somewhat of a negative connotation, but has become widely accepted in the recent years thanks to its further exposure on the media. Visitors into Japan appreciate this unique aspect of the Japanese culture, experiencing places like Akihabara, considered a Mecca of otakus. From chasing idols to cosplaying into their favorite characters, it’s become a hobby, lifestyle, an aspiration, and an industry which cannot be dismissed in the Japanese market.