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Tron Light Cyle in Ikebukuro West Gate Park

Patrick Macias — editor-in-chief of Otaku USA magazine, among MANY other things — has been in town for the past couple weeks, and he dropped by my neck of the woods the other day for a bit of Ikebukuro flavor. I wanted to start with some tonkatsu spaghetti at Nobu but it was unfortunately closed, so we ended up getting tonkotsu ramen at Ippudo. That done, it was time for a few beers out on the street, and since Patrick requested a good place for people watching, we of course had to go and hang out at Ikebukuro West Gate Park.

If you’re not familiar with Ikebukuro — which you shouldn’t really be — in past decades it has had a reputation as one of the “rougher” parts of town, and although that has changed a lot in the past decade, the west side of the station remains the more, ahem, raw part of town. So hanging out at the park — a park with barely any trees mind you — we were treated to a lively show, including the Tron light cycle dude you can barely see in this video, shot with my iPhone 4.

As I was tweeting that night, the guy was amazing, making rounds around the park, occasionally stopping to “service” his blue-lit bike, walking around with quite the swagger. Also, he was wearing a full-body workman’s uniform, and his facial expressions as he rode close to us were priceless. Oh, an the lights, they automatically light up as he starts going, powered by motion. Here’s hoping he’s there again the next time I’m in the area.

By Jean Snow

Senior Manager, Esports at Ubisoft. Before that, half a life spent in Tokyo.