The Japanese like to gamble, and among other methods they have this game called "pachinko" - or, as it is translated in my phrasebook, a vertical pinball machine.
Today I played it (knowing my interest in pinball, I'd be surprised if I didn't play it) and lost five bucks while at it. The game has nothing in common with pinball, except for the fact that it has balls involved - you may just as well call it vertical roullette. But anyway, there are a lot of people playing it, and there are some old ladies who are sitting there, looking like they are winning a fortune.
In any case - here are the rules of the game. When you put in the money, it gives you a few hundred little metal balls. You put your hand onto the only handle that the machine has and turn it to the right. As you turn it, the machine starts feeding the balls into it and shoots them up at a rate of some two balls per second. The more you turn the knob, the harder it will shoot the balls. When the balls go into the machine, they are bouncing around many different obstacles and eventually dribble down into the oblivion. But some balls can get into the middle hole and that will win you something. So the key to success is to find a position of the knob where the balls go into the middle hole with some regularity. As you put them through, things happen on the screen and you win more balls that come out and are added back into the game - at any moment you may stop, get the balls you have left and convert them back into cash.
The final word - I think that the game is stupid and over rated. It has no reaction, no skill and no valor. I won't play it again.