Some final bits of “real Tokyo” as Gordon Price departs this prefecture of 13 million people, just one part of the world’s most populous metropolitan area at almost 38 million. And we ask, “what core values do people embrace in an urban world some 15-20 times the size of our own?”

He’s shown us many examples over the past week, but in the following video (12+mins) by the Fung Brothers, we see two worth considering:

  • Convenience: Best represented by Family Mart, an institution like a grown-up 7-Eleven
  • Mario Kart: Those buggies seen outside the Apple Store on Day 6

Perhaps the latter one isn’t what we would traditionally consider a value, but it’s hard to define what this is. Recreation? Transportation? Product placement?

Whatever it’s expressing, Mario Kart is low intensity, individualized, and fun; and while there has been a spate of crashes in the past year, they’ve seemingly resulted mostly in property damage and injuries. Whereas in many North American cities (most prominently these days, Toronto), using the device called a bicycle is almost akin to a death wish.

Can you imagine the council debate on Mario Karts in your city? How different is it from a scooter, a hoverboard or even an e-bike?

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Mediium-scale in Tokyo suburbs.

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Every town must have its tower

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