Matsumoto Towers

Guest blog by Ray Shortridge

The famous Black Crow Castle has loomed over Matsumoto, Japan, since 1504. Over the centuries, several successive warrior clans ruled the region from the eponymous black wooden fortress until 1868.

Black color was used to intimidate enemies

Swan in moat by Matsumoto castle

Another equally tall structural steel tower now looms over the city, facilitating voice, data, and video digital communications.

During dusk, a flock of black crows cawed their way from the sixteenth century to twenty first century one, and back, circling from the past to the present.

Pachinko, the Japanese alternative to casinos

Pachinko machines are sort of a vertical pinball machine. One of my coworkers collected antique models (at what I considered exorbitant prices). So I was excited to see Pachinko parlors near our hotel. The older models are classy in the same way as classic movies. The newer models are glitzier but the concept of play remains the same.

If you’re interested in playing pachinko, this link https://www.wikihow.com/Play-Pachinko gives a good description. From Wikipedia: “By 1994, the pachinko market in Japan was valued at ¥30 trillion (nearly $300 billion).
As of 2015, Japan’s pachinko market generates more gambling revenue than that of Las Vegas, Macau and Singapore combined.

The entire Wikipedia article and references is at this link. Now, pachinko is spreading, mostly to other Asian countries, so it’s a trend to watch.