Summary: How to play pachinko in Japan.

pachinko gundam unicorn Pachinko
gundam unicorn

Ultimate Guide for Foreigners: How to Play Pachinko in Japan

When traveling to Japan, one of the things that might catch your interest is pachinko.
You might see pachinko parlors near train stations or large stores in the suburbs.
You may have also seen them in anime or dramas.
However, it can be a mysterious place where you don’t know how to play or if foreigners are even allowed inside.

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In conclusion, even tourists visiting Japan can enter pachinko parlors and play.
All you need is Japanese yen in cash, and no passport is required.
There are no legal issues, and you can play under the same conditions as Japanese people.
However, you must be at least 18 years old to enter!

One of the great things about pachinko is that it is not only found in big cities but is widespread throughout Japan, so you can play almost anywhere.
This site will guide you through the mysterious Japanese culture of pachinko, from a Japanese pachinko master like myself.
When you travel, be sure to experience this part of Japanese culture and perhaps get hooked on it.

Basic Steps to Playing Pachinko

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Insert bills

When you first try pachinko, you will follow these steps:

  1. Enter the parlor: First, enter the pachinko parlor. Pachinko parlors can be found in both large cities and small towns, so you won’t have trouble finding one.
  2. Sit at a machine and play: Inside, you will find rows of pachinko machines. Sit at an available machine, buy some pachinko balls, and start playing.
  3. Hit the jackpot: If you’re lucky, you’ll hit the jackpot and win a lot of pachinko balls.
  4. Collect your prizes and leave: Exchange the balls you won for prizes and take them home. Prizes can range from snacks to household items to electronic gadgets.

That’s all there is to it.
However, I understand that there can be many unclear points in each step.
Let’s look at each step in more detail.

Step-by-Step Guide to Playing Pachinko

Entering the Parlor

First, when entering a pachinko parlor, there are no special precautions to take.
Look for big signs or neon lights, as they are the landmarks of pachinko parlors. The entrances are bright and inviting.
Sometimes age verification may be conducted, so it is safe to carry an ID that can verify your age.
Additionally, some parlors have smoking areas, so if you are sensitive to smoke, look for a non-smoking section.

Sitting at a Machine and Playing

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pachinko handle

Next, sit in front of a pachinko machine.
There is a slot where you can insert pachinko balls to purchase them. Each machine has an instruction manual, so even beginners can feel at ease.
Basically, you shoot balls into the machine and aim to land them in specific zones to progress in the game.
Depending on the machine, there might be animations on a screen, adding to the visual enjoyment.

Hitting the Jackpot

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jackpot of pachinko

The highlight of pachinko is undoubtedly hitting the jackpot.
When you hit the jackpot, a large number of pachinko balls are dispensed.
This moment is very exciting, and many people in the parlor will notice.
There are various types of jackpots, and sometimes you can hit multiple jackpots in a row.
Music and visuals accompany the jackpot, making it a delightful experience.

Collecting Prizes

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TUC Special Prize Buying Office in tokyo

The pachinko balls you win can be exchanged for various prizes at the prize counter.
Prizes range from snacks to daily necessities, electronics, and toys.
Some parlors even offer high-value items like travel vouchers.
Choose your favorite prizes and take home fun memories.

What Plans Are Available?

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Pachinko rates: 1 yen, 2 yen, 4 yen, and so on.

To enjoy pachinko, there are various plans depending on your time and budget.
Here are some plans for you to choose from:

  • Very Light Plan: 1 hour, 1000 yen. Experience pachinko with 1-yen balls and low-cost machines.
  • Light Plan: 3 hours, 10,000 yen. Play with 1-yen balls, mid-range, and high-range machines.
  • Mid-range Plan: 2 hours, 30,000 yen. Light gambling with 4-yen balls.
  • Heavy Plan: 4 hours, 50,000 yen. Serious gambling with 4-yen balls, mid-range, and high-range machines.
  • Very Heavy Plan: 10 hours, 100,000 yen. Hardcore gambling with 4-yen balls, high-range, and smart pachinko machines.

Choose the plan that suits you and enjoy your pachinko experience.
Experiencing Japan’s pachinko culture can lead to discovering new fun and excitement.


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very old pachinko.
the banner of thanks for the full house.

Pachinko may seem complex at first, but once you understand the basic flow, anyone can enjoy it.
When you visit Japan, be sure to try pachinko.
Diving into the world of pachinko will allow you to experience something out of the ordinary.