- 28 . 04 . 05
A misspent day, spent misspending hard earned coins on pointless gaming. Fun though.
Gaijin, Gambling, Japanese Culture
Had a cool, if slightly pointless day today, having a flutter on the Gee-Gees. Apparently, I was wrong before about gambling being illegal in Japan. It turns out that it is legal to bet at racetracks, so I spent the afternoon at a local one in Kasamatsu today with Trev and Ben, laying down a few bets and watching my horses fail to come in. I don’t gamble at all, apart from the Grand National, so it was a pretty new experience for me. In fact, I won on the National this year, enough to cover all my other (mi)stakes at least, so I was feeling lucky.
At least here I didn’t even have to pretend I knew what was going on, as all the form was in Japanese and figuring out the odds was an exercise in futility. The only bet we knew how to place was to pick the first two in order. Bizarrely, we couldn’t work out how to pick just the winner. Actually, I didn’t do quite so badly, picking the 2nd and 3rd placed horses in two races, instead of 1st and 2nd. For that, I received… nothing. I also took the worst ever photograph of a close finish. I think I caught the tail of the final horse in a pack of 6, and even that was out of focus. For a thousand yen or so it was a good few hours of entertainment and I’d go again, but not for a while.
With the buzz of throwing our money away rapidly fading, me and Trev were in need of a new fix so we thought we might as well round out our day with a spot of Pachinko. Today, the second time I’ve been, I fared a little better than last time, by which I only mean that it took me longer to lose my stake. It’s just not a very satisfying pastime. At ¥2000 for about 15 minutes, it’s not a patch on horse-racing, which in itself isn’t even as good as having the money in your pocket and being able to buy things…