We sent a reporter to go gamble for a genuine gachapon gem.

Who doesn’t love a good gachapon machine? The machines are a common sight in arcades and shopping malls across Japan, offering a random prize for a typical offering of 200-500 yen (US$1.92-US$4.81). These prizes run the gamut from plastic figures of animals going to the toilet to hand-written letters from your imaginary, homicidal little sister.

More expensive editions of gachapon exist too, like the mega-sized machine that costs 2,000 yen a try and offers a Nintendo Switch as a potential prize. We’d heard rumblings of another expensive gachapon machine in our midst — this one asking for 1,000 yen per try. Interestingly, this is one gachapon where it’s impossible to lose since every possible reward features a genuine, bona fide Akoya pearl. Your capsule prize will also come with a certificate verifying the pearl’s authenticity. How could we resist?

So off we sent SoraNews24 reporter P.K. Sanjun to go win an Akoya pearl.

▼ To Tokyo’s Kichijoji neighborhood!

There are two of these Akoya pearl gachapon machines in Tokyo, with one installed at the trendy knick-knack store Majerca. As P.K. traversed the 10-minute walk from Kichijoji station to the capsule machine, he wondered…just how good could a pearl from a 1,000-yen gachapon machine be, anyway? He imagined the pearls in question must be minuscule, or maybe riddled with holes.

▼ The sign attached to the machine explains its offerings in both Japanese and English.

The range of pearly prizes covers clip-on earrings, stud or dangling earrings, and a variety of different necklaces. P.K. rummaged in his pockets for some change and twisted the lever…

▼ No doubt about it: that’s a pearl.

Contrary to his musing, the pearl necklace he received featured a pearl of a generous size and a beautiful luster. It came, just as promised, with a certificate to prove it was a true Akoya pearl.

A strange change came over P.K. after winning this 1,000-yen pearl necklace. Just by holding it in his hand, he felt the glamor and glitz transfer into him. This was an Akoya pearl, which apparently only make up 1.2 percent of all pearls across the globe! He was now a man of means, a possessor of a rare gem, practically a celebrity.

▼ P.K. claims that wearing this gives him a “celebrity aura”. What do you think?

There are around 20 Akoya Pearl Gacha machines installed across Japan, but the one P.K. visited can be found outside houseware and accessory shop Majerca, if you want to try your luck there too. On the other hand, if you’re less willing to cough up 1,000 yen for a gachapon prize, though, even a rare pearl, remember there’s plenty of cheaper alternatives out there!

Location information
Machine located at:
Majerca / マジェルカ
Address: Tokyo-to, Musashino-shi, Kichijojihoncho 3-3-11
Open 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

Photos © SoraNews24
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[ Read in Japanese ]