The magical rides include mysterious “invisible” ghosts chasing the carriage, which can be seen by passers-by.
Bandai Namco’s Pac-Man arcade game sure has come a long way since it was first released in Japan 36 years ago. The simple, yet addictive gameplay, where players guide a round, dot-chomping Pac-Man through a maze while being chased by ghosts, is so enduringly entertaining that the concept is now coming out of the gaming world and into the streets of Japan for a few special nights this December.
Bandai Namco Entertainment announced yesterday that they’ve created a special rickshaw in the shape of Pac-Man for a unique three-night event to be held at Tokyo’s popular Asakusa area later this month. Called the “Pac-Man Rickshaw Asakusa Night Cruise”, the intriguing service involves a journey through the back streets of the historic area, complete with appearances from Pac-Man’s ghostly foes.
To see what’s in store, check out the promotional video below:
According to Bandai Namco, the new event is being organised as part of the company’s wider mission to provide “Dreams, Fun and Inspiration” through their products and services. As the third venture in their “Asobimotto Project” to bring everyday play to the world, the company decided to team up with rickshaw pullers in the Asakusa area, one of Tokyo’s most popular spots for rickshaw rides.
While the two-wheeled carriages usually appear with a quaint, black canopy, this new rickshaw will be turning heads in the district with its bright yellow Pac-Man exterior.
The rides, which will take place hourly from 4-9 p.m. on 23-25 December, are set begin at the Komagata-bashi bridge in Asakusa.
Designated rickshaw-pullers will complete the full course in roughly 20 minutes, at a speed that’ll make you feel as if you’re running away from ghosts inside a Pac-Man game.
The route has been designed to take in some glorious sites like Senso-ij temple, to add to the magical atmosphere of the journey.
And it’s not just those inside the rickshaws who’ll be having the time of their lives, as passers-by on the street will also be able to join in the fun. Those who spot the rickshaw are being encouraged to take a photo of the cart using a long exposure, which will reveal the invisible ghosts chasing Pac-Man, along with an adorable festive message.
The Pac-Man Rickshaw Night Cruises are bound to be incredibly popular, so those wanting to enjoy a ride inside the wide-mouthed character will be chosen by lottery, with applications being accepted online until noon on 22 December (PST) as part of a three-step process. To apply, visit the official campaign site and follow the instructions, which include giving the group a follow on Twitter, selecting your preferred night from 23, 24 or 25 December, and then tweeting your choice.
If you miss out on the lottery, there’s no need to lose heart – there are still plenty of ways to console yourself with awesome Japanese Pac-Man wallets and even a virtual reality gaming experience. Plus, there’s always the chance that the rickshaw itself will be popping up to explore other areas around Japan in the future!
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