UFO catchers, or crane games, are a common sight at game arcades not just in Japan, but in various parts of the world as well. We’re sure you’ve come across the typical kind of machine loaded with soft toys, anime figurines or snacks, or even the occasional rare prize of live pufferfish.
It goes without saying that the more valuable the prize is, the more difficult it would be to get a drop. Sometimes it takes so many tries to get even close to winning something, and when you just miss by that tiny bit, it really makes you want to cry. There is one special machine, however, that will really make you cry, especially if you manage to catch one of the prizes! Check out this one of a kind Tamanegi UFO Catcher!
Tamanegi is the Japanese word for “onion”. Just as its name suggests, the Tamanegi UFO Catcher offers onions as a prize!
This unique game machine is exclusively available at the Uzu no Oka Oonarutokyou Memorial Hall located in Minami Awaji City, Hyogo Prefecture. Awaji-shima (or Awaji Island in English) is famous for their local produce of arguably the most sweet and tender onions in Japan.
Just like most regular UFO catchers, the Tamanegi UFO Catcher would set you back 100 yen (US$0.81) per play, or 500 yen for six consecutive tries, but the prize that awaits is not just the lucky onion you manage to catch. Obviously, 100 yen for a chance to get an onion is too expensive to attract any challengers; regular onions roughly cost around 40 yen each at supermarkets in Tokyo, after all. No, a successful catch from the machine entitles the winner to exchange it for 1.5kg (3 lb; approximately 6~7 onions) worth of locally produced onions!
▼ Catch an onion!
It’s not easy trying to catch an onion, though! Unlike plushies, onions are hard and rounded, making it a difficult task to try to grasp or balance it on the claw. However, there have been people who have managed to scoop up one of those golden brown baubles of goodness. If you’re visiting Awaji-shima, drop by the Oonarutokyou Memorial Hall and try your luck at it!
▼ This little girl’s daddy is a UFO catcher aficionado, and he got it in one try!
▼ Sometimes it takes group effort to win the prize.
〒656-0503 兵庫県南あわじ市 福良丙 936-3
Uzu no Oka Oonarutokyou Kinenkan (Memorial Hall)
〒656-0503 Hyogo Prefecture Minami Awaji City Fukurahei 936-3