This past Sunday, Akihabara was re-opened to foot traffic, two-and-a-half years after a brutal killing spree that left seven dead. This weekend, folks came to pay their respects, and folks came to celebrate the return of "pedestrian's paradise".
As thousands of otaku poured out on the main drag in Tokyo's geek mecca Akihabara, the folks behind bar hostess simulator Dream Party held a special event, complete with cosplaying companions and Dream Club itasha. The event had demo kiosks and drew a sizable crowd.
There were rules in place for the pedestrian's paradise, as it's called: Bicycles were prohibited as were performances and the sale of goods.
The timing couldn't have been better for Dream Club. The latest game, which has a following in Japan, is out later this month on the Xbox 360.
What's more, events like this — as frivolous as they seem — provide escapism from the reminders of what happened two-and-a-half years earlier.
"I get a lump in the throat when I think of the tragic incident and the grievances of the victims and their families," Chiyoda Ward Mayor Masami Ishikawa said during the ceremony, reports Kyodo News. "We will give our full cooperation in creating a safe and secure Akihabara."
The vehicle-free pedestrian will continue until June on a trial basis. If no incidents arise, it is expected to continue after June.