Western Japan Pearl Biz Pinning Hopes on Capsule Machines


Uwajima, Ehime Prefecture, Jan. 27 (Jiji Press)--A local business is trying to revitalize Uwajima, Ehime Prefecture, Japan's biggest pearl production center hit by mass oyster deaths, with "gacha gacha" vending machines for capsule toys.

The efforts by pearl processor and wholesaler Uwakaishinju Co., based in the western Japan city, are beginning to pay off. Pearls sold in capsules through the machines are proving popular.

"I wanted to liven up the industry by offering a cheerful topic," said Uwakaishinju sales official Tomohide Mase, 54, who came up with the idea.

Gacha gacha machines usually dispense toys in capsules. Buyers do not know exactly what toys they receive until the capsules are dispensed and opened.

The company's version gives out, in exchange for two 500-yen coins, a capsule containing an accessory, such as a bracelet, a pair of pierced earrings and a necklace, each decorated with a pearl 6.5 to 8.5 millimeters in size.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press