The World’s Largest Gashapon Store Is Home to More Than 3,000 Coin-Operated Machines

Tokyo’s Ikebukuro shopping district is home to the world’s largest gashapon capsule toy store – a 1,250m² area decked with over 3,000 gashapon machines filled with various figurines.

Gashapon machines have been a big part of Japan’s recreational culture for over half a decade, but while these toy capsule-filled machines are ubiquitous in the Asian country, the Mecca of gashapon machines is the Gashapon Official Store in Ikebukuro, Tokyo. It features over 3,000 coin-operated machines and probably millions of collectible toys and figurines. Using most of these machines requires a few hundred yen – from ¥200(~$1.33) to ¥500 (~$3.32) – but if you’re feeling generous, you can spin the wheel at the much more expensive ‘premium’ machines, which can cost up to ¥2,000 (~$13.27) on average for one random toy.

The world’s largest gashapon store opened in 2021 and quickly became somewhat of a tourist attraction among gashapon toy collectors all over Japan. With such a high concentration of coin-operated machines organized by toy collection, it is the perfect place to find the last few figurines needed to complete your beloved collection. And as long as you don’t run out of 100-yen coins, you can keep spinning that machine dial.

With thousands of coin-operated machines everywhere, the Gashapon Official Store can be overwhelming at times, but owner Bandai-Namco has specialized staff available to help you find specific collection machines, refill certain machines, and ensure that everything is running smoothly.

Japan’s obsession with gashapon machines would have you believe that they invented them, but they were actually inspired by the coin toy machines created in the United States in 1965. Interestingly, the word gacha gacha, pronounced gatcha-gatcha, is the onomatopoeia for the sound made when twisting the crank of the machine.

According to a recent Timeout article, the Gashapon Official Store in Ikebukuro is home to 3,010 machines, but if we count the extra 300 machines of a newly-opened section on the same flower of the Sunshine City shopping mall, the number goes up by 10 percent.


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