Gashapon (or gachapon) is a brand, owned by the famous company Bandai, referring to capsule toys, but also to the capsule vending machines. The name comes from two onomatopoeia, gasha and pon, sounds made by the capsule while going through the vending machine and dropping into the cup.
Of course, there’s a large variety of gashapon products in Japan and what differentiates them from the toy vending machines available in other countries is that the products are generally of good (or even very good) quality. Of course, the prices are also higher, varying from 100 to 500 yen - that’s about 6.5 US dollars now.
For a collector like me, gashapon is always a big temptation, because, “you never know what you’re gonna get!”. I tried a lot of items, from lapel pins (these are top-quality in Japan) to phone straps or figurines. But sometimes you can find unique gashapon machines, like these found in Higashiyama, Kyoto, with a collection of statues representing cute chibi Jizo statues… and next to it, obviously, one with lucky cats…
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: