Apparently, the Japanese don't have guns. I asked a friend why there were so many gun ranges in town and that's what I was told. I did a little research on this and it turns out he was correct - sort of. The only type of firearm which a Japanese citizen may even contemplate acquiring is a shotgun. Sportsmen are permitted to possess shotguns for hunting and for skeet and trap shooting, but only after submitting to a lengthy licensing procedure/ Without a license, a person may not even hold a gun in his or her hands.
Anyway, last week I went to one of the shooting ranges - the SWAT Gun Club. Now, if you like shooting guns or have gone hunting or are even somewhat familiar with shooting ranges, then I'd advise you to stay away. First of all, they don't let you rent a gun, buy some ammo and targets, and have at it. It's all designed around tourism, which makes it 1) too expensive and 2) pre-determined. You walk in, and you can choose from one of several "courses" that increase in price with the size and number of guns you're permitted to shoot. Course A, for example, is $35 ($24.50 w/internet coupon) and gives the shooter 3 guns with one round of ammo each. You get to shoot a .22 caliber Ruger rifle, a .22 caliber Ruger pistol, and a .22 caliber pistol (total 32 shots). So, in reality, you're paying about $1 a bullet. Once you're in the range, there is a person there with you at all times who can help you if a gun jams or you have any questions. The guns themselves are chained to the booth where you're shooting so that there is no risk of a confused Japanese tourist turning around and shooting something by accident, which I am very thankful for.
|.22 caliber revolver|
|.22 caliber Ruger pistol|
|.22 caliber Ruger rifle|