Saturday, June 28, 2014

Gashapon / Gachapon Capsule Toys in Japan

Wow.  This is my 201st post on the blog.  It is kind of fitting as gashapon were one of the first things I actually ordered from Japan 10 years ago.  Gashapon is a trademark of Bandai, so everyone else uses the term Gachapon.  Gasha or gacha is supposed to sound like the turning of the knob to drop your capsule from the machine.

Bank of capsule machines
Bank of capsule machines
Gachapon Machines
Everyone has seen these machines.  Bandai has successfully infiltrated them everywhere, especially at our local mall or cinema complex.  In Japan, there are special shops just for these machines and places like Yodobashi camera in Shinjuku or Akihabara amongst many others have hundreds of the machines in one place.  I you like capsule toys, you'll feel like you have died and gone to heaven the first time you see one of these motherlodes of gashapon machines.  Best of all there are usually many that you'll want to try with your 100 yen coins.

Gashapon mchines at the mall.

Types of Capsules
The capsules come in various sizes and shapes.  The larger the capsule, the more expensive they can be.  The cheapest gashapon are 100 yen, but the most expensive I've seen are one coin (as in 500 yen coin, but you need to feed in five 100 yen coins).  Almost all of these dedicated gashapon hotspots have change machines.  They are switching some of the machines to more cylindrical capsules so they can put bigger and more expensive prizes in some of the machines.

Types of Toys
You'll find everything from keychains, cell charms, mini styluses, pencils, notepads, mini-figures, tiny guns, little cars and trucks, models of bugs / fish, etc.  The variety is pretty much endless.  Not all of these are just targeted at kids either.  Many of the toys are based on Japanese anime and are pretty good quality for the price.

Some gashapon prizes.

One of the Coolest Gachapon Prizes
I got little gachapon machines that actually vend tiny little capsules.  They don't take coins or tokens, but they work and they are soooo cute.  This was awhile back though.
Pretty amazing that one of these little machines fit in the capsule at the left when disassembled.
Closeup of tiny gachapon machines.
Japanese Gashapon Fun For Everyone
More Japanese Pop Culture Posts


  1. That second gallery, with the red and purple machines, looks huge! Can I ask, where is that one?

    1. That is at the Yodobashi Camera flagship store in Akihabara on the toy floor. There were hundreds of machines there. Google map it but you can see it from the Yamanote line train platform. It is on the map in this post of mine.

    2. Thank you! I will check it out.

  2. Hi, may I know where exactly you got the tiny gachapon machines in the last picture? I've been to several big shops in Akihabara but didn't have any luck finding those. Much appreciated!

    1. These were out about 3 or 4 years ago. Like everything in Japan it they were made only for a limited time. You might be able to find them in some second hand toy store in akiba or Nagano but I've noticed they don't always carry more than the current stuff sometimes. Bring a picture and ask. Sorry I can't help more. I tried to find the Theater seat released last year and couldn't.

    2. There's a specialist capsule shop in Nanko Broadway on 3F, I think which specialises in sets and capsule items. Might be worth a try.