Walking Bingo: A smart alternative to adventure games like Pokémon GO


How many everyday Japanese icons can you find on a walk around the neighborhood?

Of Ring shaped adventure up to Pokémon GO, there is a range of video games designed to get us off the couch and move around, but now we’ve found a game that not only keeps us active, but also gives our eyes a little time away from the screen.

Called “Osanpo Bingo”, which translates to “Walk Bingo” or “Stroll Bingo”, this nifty product is a bingo game designed to be played while walking. There are seven types to choose from, with themes like ‘City’, ‘Beach’ and ‘Aquarium’ to match your surroundings, and since they’re great for solo players, our Japanese-speaking journalist Ninoude Punico decided to ‘test one on a walk, opting for the “Field Guide” collection, which seemed best suited to its urban environment.

â–¼ The Bingo card comes with a total of 25 beautifully illustrated tabs, which should be pulled down when you spot the corresponding image in the real world.

Punico had never played bingo with her feet before, so she put on her most comfortable walking shoes and went out to complete at least one row on her card, pulling the middle tab to start. Some images, like “convenience store” and “mailbox” would definitely be easy to find, but there were a few that would be more difficult, like “kindness“(top left) and”pair look(A couple in matching outfits).

â–¼ Interestingly, the second tab from the right in the top row is for “kinpatsu” (“blonde hair”)

As she began her game of bingo, Punico felt a little embarrassed to hold a piece of cardboard in front of her instead of a smartphone, but she quickly put her inhibitions aside when she made her first discoveries: a clock and a pink flower.

On a typical day, Punico would have passed by these things without thinking about them, but today she was very grateful for their existence. Next, she spotted two more bingo items: an employee and a couple in matching outfits, which she thought was one of the hardest things to find.

Being in a busy thoroughfare certainly helped find these two, and she was grateful that she had been in the right place at the right time for the rare ‘couple gaze’ sighting. She had already completed four tabs in 30 minutes, noticing the environment around her all the time, rolling her eyes to “vapor trails“(Middle row, bottom) and on the ground for”ant trails”(Right, from the second to last row).

Punico couldn’t remember the last time her eyes had been so busy scanning the environment around her.

Eager to continue her game of bingo, Punico began to feel like she was on the hunt rather than a walk, and her sense of excitement and adventure grew with every step. It didn’t take long for her to find four other things on her map: a Letter box, convenience store, an overhead gangway, and a pigeon.

The one discovery she was most pleased with, however, was this “dokonjou bana,” the term used to describe flowers growing in a gravelly, cement-hard place.

Although it took him a while, Punico was finally at the stage where he had one box left to go in order to clear a straight line on his map. However, the required item – a spider web – proved difficult to find.

She searched high and low around buildings and flower beds, scanning nooks and crannies for the slender threads of a spider. After an hour and a half of searching, the sun was about to set and Punico was about to give up his game of bingo when she came across … a fence with a spider web!

It wasn’t as big and perfectly shaped as the spider web pictured on the map, but it was still a spider web, and that meant Punico was able to squeeze through the cardboard with a satisfied smile. and triumphant.

She thanked the spider who had installed her web in the street, and held back in her urge to shout “bingo!” towards the sky and all around it. There would be no prizes or congratulations from others in this bingo game, but the sense of accomplishment she felt was reward enough for her efforts.

As she walked home, the evening seemed a little brighter than usual, and the streets seemed surprisingly friendly and familiar. This is probably because she had just spent about four hours exploring every detail they had to offer, and her adventure had taken her along streets and roads she had never ventured before.

Priced at 550 yen ($ 5) for a four-pack, Osanpo Bingo can be purchased online at big sites like Rakuten and Amazon, and it’s a great game to play with friends, kids, or even on your own. It’s not only a fun way to motivate yourself to be active and explore the great outdoors, but it takes you away from your phone screen for hours on end and lets you see your surroundings in a whole new light.

Punico was so impressed with the game that she hid the other cards in her bag for her next outdoor adventure. Because with so many hidden treasures to discover in the streets of Japan, it’s always worth going for a stroll!

Photos © SoraNews24
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