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Introducing "Gacha Gacha" (Capsule Toys) on the First Floor of Akihabara Station

The video “[4K] Akihabara Station, Capsule toys, Gacha Gacha (September 16, 2019)”(【4K】秋葉原駅・カプセルトイ・ガチャガチャ(2019年9月16日))introduces a lot of "Gashapon" or "Gachapon" (capsule toy vending machines) on the first floor of Akihabara Station.

You won't know what the product inside is until you open the capsule, which is really exciting for children, and even adults.

In the past, it was common to see three to four capsule-toy vending machines at the corners of supermarkets or candy shops.
Now, there are special shops such as "Gacha Gacha Forest" and "Gacha Gacha Kingdom."
You'll often see tens of the latest and most popular capsule toy-vending machines lined up.

This article introduces Gashapon.

What are Gashapon? Capsule Toys? And What's With the Name?

Image of Turning the Gashapon
Photo:Turning a Gashapon

The history of Gashapon is long.
They started in 1964, the year of the first Tokyo Olympics.
As of 2020, it has been a long lasting historical business for 55 years.
Gashapon are vending machines that contains capsules with various different kinds of toys.
A fixed amount of coins is slotted into the machine and the lever is turned, after which a random toy pops out.

With its long history, there are various names depending on times and regions, such as "Gacha Gacha," "Gacha," "GachaPon," "GashaPon," "P cup," and so on.
These names can be categorized according to the manufactures.
"Gacha Gacha" and "GachaPon" come from BANDAI and "Gacha" from TAKARA TOMY ARTS.
Due to trademarking, "capsule toys" is the formal name.

These names are important for the sellers.
However, we, the consumers, are free to call it what we want of course.

The Charm of Gashapon Variety!

When it comes to Gashapon capsule toys, the variety is definitely what attracts most people. There are many once-dominant products catching many children’s hearts.
Trading cards, bouncy balls, erasers of supercars or Kinnikuman (muscle man) are a few among them.
There are several varieties of the same kind as well, so it's fun to collect them.

This video introduces capsule toys vending machines with a complete set displayed in a case on them.
You can see the quality products right before your eyes and you may not be able to stop yourself from put in just a little more...
Vending machines selling cards and stickers are also shown from 0:45 in the video.

These days, there are many Gashapon at Narita Airport.
They are very popular among visitors from abroad.
At first, they were installed so that the unused coins left over from tourists sightseeing in Japan would have a use.
Now, more and more tourists buy them as Japanese souvenirs.

Summary of Japan's Gashapon

Image of High School Girl Opening Her Gashapon
Photo:High School Girl Opening Her Gashapon

The video this time introduced Gashapon vending machines on the first floor of Akihabara Station.

Nowadays, local goods and toys to make your own Gacha goods are sold in the machines, so although the idea is old, they've remained quite popular to this day.
They range from major items like quality miniature toys and figurines to eccentric items such as pill bugs and public telephones.
New products pop up every day, keeping people coming back for more.

If this article has you interested in Gashapon, be sure to save some of your pocket change for Gashapon vending machines!

Written By
Last Updated : Sep. 15, 2020
鈴木 正孝(Masataka Suzuki)
A writer born and raised in Asakusa, Tokyo who loves traveling and novels
Countless Capsule-Toy Vending Machines Line the Walls of Akihabara Station. So Many of Them It’s Hard to Choose! Let’s Get Some Quality Capsule Toys!
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