This gachapon capsule machine dispenses real Akoya pearls, with certificates of authenticity

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 …continue reading