New Japanese Culture: The World of Capsule Toys
Ubiquitous in Japan
Capsule toys, which generally go by such names as Gashapon, Gachapon, and Gacha Gacha in Japanese, are ubiquitous throughout Japan. There are capsule-toy vending machines in supermarkets, candy stores, shopping malls, drugstores, restaurants, tourist sites, art museums, expressway parking areas—almost everywhere. When I was a child, I used to beg my grandparents to let me have a go. Kids can be seen standing in front of the vending machines sobbing, “Just once more!” When I became a parent myself, I had a hard time steering clear of the machines when we were out. For Japanese, these are familiar experiences.