face it, deep down inside everyone has a little
space reserved for playing with dangerous things.
So when I had a chance to investigate Fortress,
a gun shop that looks like it came straight out
of Commando, I couldn’t resist.
difference is that Fortress is a BB gun shop;
a delight I was never able to experience as a
child because of the strict laws in my own country.
Fortress is the place where little kids dream
they could hide away in the toilets at night and
then emerge when everyone has gone home to play
with all the toys. Hell, I still dream of doing
that every night…but anyway.
perusing the massive amounts of hardware, I began
wondering where exactly you could use a full sized
minigun replica. I mean, playing in the park with
something like that is certainly going to raise
more than a few eyebrows.
spoke with the manager, Mr. Ito, briefly about
that dilemma and found out that regular war games
are scheduled. The games are played out in Gifu
and all sorts of scenarios and conditions are
simulated, including night games. When I asked
him if Japanese was an essential skill he said
“As long as you adhere to the rules, it
won’t matter whether or not you can speak
After a brief explanation of said rules, I concluded
that even the most amateur Japanese speaker could
have a blast (no pun intended).
some of you maybe shaking your heads at the very
thought of the words ‘war-game’ but
hear me out. The games are controlled strictly
so there is no misuse of the weapons and as a
stress release running through the bush with the
aim (apologies again) of nailing the enemy with
a small, far-from-lethal, plastic ball, can’t
be beat. Used properly and safely they can be
a great deal of fun. However it is perhaps important
to mention at this point that using these guns
improperly can result in serious injury, blindness
for example, and if the authorities catch you
acting irresponsibly (this includes shooting at
animals) you can bet it is going to be about as
fun as picking up the soap in a prison shower
full of ‘lifers’; unpleasant.
given that, in a controlled environment, the weapons
are used properly, can we assume that this hobby/sport
meets the requirements for “a big thumbs
up”? I mean, you are running around firing
handfuls of plastic BB’s, or “air
soft pellets” that are bound to accumulate
in the environment.
seems pellet manufacturers have taken this into
consideration, and as awareness increases, ‘eco-bb’
pellets, which melt away to nothing after being
exposed to the elements for a short amount of
time, are becoming more popular with enthusiasts;
one for the green team.
do I sign up?
on down to ‘Survival Gear Shop FORTRESS’
for more information, ask for Ryuta Ito who can
speak a bit of English and get ready for
WANT TO VISIT FORTRESS? click
here to download map and directions
their Japanese site visit www.fortress-web.com