Back due to popular demand and this time in Osaka, Pac-Man will give a few lucky passengers a ride as it chases takoyaki.

Last Christmas Tokyo residents were delighted by the sight of beloved video game character Pac-Man in rickshaw form as he gave rides to a select group of people chosen by lottery. It was a huge hit and generated a lot of buzz online, so they are bringing it back for two nights in Osaka, on 25 and 26 March.

Dubbed the Pac-Man Rickshaw Osaka Business Trip, the human-powered, power-pellet-popping protagonist will be hitting the streets and alleyways of Shinsekai, Osaka. The vibrantly decorated storefronts and brightly tiled paths make it the ideal stomping ground for Pac-Man. Heck, when seen from above it even looks like a huge Pac-Man maze.

The familiar additions that everyone loved from the Tokyo rides will return. Again, if you take a photo of the rickshaw as it passes by using a long exposure time, it will reveal the ghosts in hot pursuit. However, instead of the “Merry Xmas” greeting, this time Pac-Man will give a hearty “Hello!” to all of Osaka.

If you look closely you’ll notice that the usual dots Pac-Man is known to pound away have been replaced by the Osaka specialty takoyaki which are fried balls of batter with a little piece of octopus inside and slathered in a savory sauce – everything a growing yellow circle needs.

As such, special classically trained actors (I assume) will be hired to play the part of takoyaki as Pac-Man cruises the alleys of Tsutenkaku in search of them so that he may eat them.

Also, while the Tokyo Pac-Man ride was more of a kitchy yet romantic trip through the beautiful scenery of Asakusa, on this tour you can expect things to be even more upbeat. The organizers also promise some slapstick humor during the ride in honor of Osaka being the heart of the Japanese comedy scene.

Rides are absolutely free but they won’t be easy to get. Unlike Tokyo’s Twitter entry, passengers of the Pac-Man Rickshaw Osaka Business Trip will be selected by lottery on-site only 30 minutes before each ride takes place. Unfortunately, with only 22 available spots (11 per day) it looks like many people will walk away without being able to shout “waka-waka” in glee.

Luckily, even if you don’t make the cut, there’s still lots to do in Shinsekai like dining on gloriously greasy cuisine, dressing up like an Osaka obachan, or running afoul of some yakuza.

Event information
Pac-Man Rickshaw Osaka Business Trip / パックマン人力車 大阪出張編
Boarding point: Near the entrance to the Tsutenkaku (通天閣) Tower Observation Deck at the bottom of the tower
Rides: 10 minutes each on 25 and 26 March at 11:30 a.m., 12:15 p.m., 1:00 p.m., 1:45 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 3:15 p.m., 4:00 p.m., 4:45 p.m., 5:30 p.m., 6:15 p.m., and 7:00 p.m.
*Passengers will be chosen by lottery 30 minutes before each ride, maximum two people per ride
Admission: free

Source, images: Value Press