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As a car-loving foreigner living in Japan, for me, any cruise around Tokyo can suddenly turn into an automotive photo safari. Japan has tons of cool domestic cars which were never exported to the U.S., and whenever I come across one in the wild, I feel the need to whip out my camera for a few photos.

But while I’m happy my photo collection includes snapshots of Mazda AZ-1s and Subaru 22B Imprezas, motorists in Chiba Prefecture recently spotted something even rarer, in the form of a street-legal trike being ridden by none other than Batman!

Last Saturday, multiple drivers on the Wangan Line expressway, which runs along Tokyo Bay, spotted the Caped Crusader zooming past them, either on his way to fight the Joker or to pick up some really good sushi at the Tsukiji fish market.

We’re as happy as anyone to have the Dark Knight protecting the Land of the Rising Sun, but we weren’t sure how legit these photos were when we first saw them. There’re just so surreal, and while the rider’s rigid pose is in keeping with Batman’s no-nonsense personality, you might get the same sort of result from a statue molded out of hard plastic.

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There was also this photo, in which we see someone’s hand jutting into the frame, almost like they’re holding a model and engaging in a bit of trick photography.

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Are these photos of Batman patrolling Chiba’s highways all just an elaborate ruse?

Not at all, and here’s video proof.

As the footage clearly shows, that’s a full-sized vehicle with a human rider wearing a complete Batman costume, including an awesomely rippling cape. Some Twitter users even say they spoke with, or more accurately to, the superhero while he was parked. “I asked if I could take his picture, and he silently gave me a thumbs-up,” reported one, which is just the sort of taciturnly helpful reaction we’d expect from the DC Comics icon.

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Now, someone hook Batman up with a couple of those criminal-marking giant paint balls convenience store clerks in Japan use, and he’ll be ready to do in Chiba, what he did in Gotham.

▼ By which we mean clean up crime, not fake his own death and flee the country.

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Source: Huffington Post Japan
Top image: Twitter
Insert images: Twitter (1, 2, 3)