”I have a good reason for doing this,” our reporter insisted as he stepped out the door wearing his camouflage foliage suit.

Earlier this week, after putting in a few hours at SoraNews24 headquarters, our crack reporter Mr. Sato started heading for the door, dressed in the SoraNews24 camouflage ghillie suit. To be honest, we didn’t pay him too much mind, since Mr. Sato making unusual wardrobe choices is actually more common than, say, his coworker Seiji going on a date with a happy ending.

But this time, Mr. Sato told us he actually had a legitimately logical reason for his behavior. “You know that PC game, World of Tanks?” he asked. They just updated it to Version 1.0, and it looks so much better now!”

The screenshots he excitedly showed us did indeed show a major leap in graphics quality, especially on the trees, bushes, and grass covering the maps. “So I figured it’s time to upgrade the ghillie suit’s appearance too.”

Realizing we were now at the point where investing logic in the conversation was going to start showing rapidly diminishing returns, we wished Mr. Sato luck as he hopped on the train, eventually getting off at Jiyugaoka Station.

▼ Ironically, Mr. Sato’s camouflage attracted tons of attention, and he could feel almost everyone’s eyes on him as he walked out the gate.

Located about 15 minutes south of Shibuya, Jiyugaoka is a fashionable but laid-back neighborhood, with boutiques, specialty sweets shops, and even a rabbit cafe. Feeling just a little out of place among the well-groomed and well-dressed young ladies and gentlemen he passed, he nevertheless put one foot in front of the other as he made his way to one of the district’s numerous hair salons.

Arriving at his destination without being hauled in for questioning by the police, Mr. Sato stepped into the elevator and punched the button for the fifth floor, where the salon is located.

The receptionist quickly showed him to a seat, either because of the salon’s great customer service or to get him out of the lobby/out of sight as quickly as possible.

Before long, the stylist came over, and Mr. Sato asked for a trim, leaving the details up t the discretion of the professional hairdresser by simply saying “Please change me from Version 0 to Version 1.0.”

Since ordinary hair-cutting scissors weren’t going to do the trick on the ghillie suit’s imitation foliage, the stylist came back with a heavier-duty set of shears. As Mr. Sato sat back and relaxed, the stylist went to work.

Obviously, the tangle of vines and leaves was too thick to comb through smoothly, and while Mr. Sato basked in the posh surroundings, he could see the face of the stylist, reflected in the mirror, crease with bewilderment at this crossover between cutting hair and pruning hedges.

Still, the stylist soldiered on, and eventually, the project was complete.

▼ “So, what do you think?”

▼ “Pretty stylin’, huh?”

▼ Version 0 (top) and Version 1.0 (bottom)

After paying his bill, Mr. Sato was back out on the street, and with a new confidence swelling inside of him. Remember how we said he initially felt out of place in Jiyugaoka? After his trim, it was just the opposite, as he blended right in…literally.

▼ Spot the Sato

Eventually, it was time for him to stop rubbing elbows with his fellow beautiful people, so we headed to the station and got on the train for home.

But remember, should you happen to be out and about in Tokyo and find yourself thinking, “My, that shrubbery over there looks rather dapper,” it just might actually be Mr. Sato.

Related: World of Tanks
Photos ©SoraNews24
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Follow Casey on Twitter, where Jiyugaoka remains the only place in Japan he’s spent the night sleeping on a bench.

[ Read in Japanese ]