December 24, 2021
Tokyo Time Travel: WOW RIDE
From Ginza to the virtual fantasy
By Rene Arata
If your motivation in life is traveling, we’re sure the past couple of years have been tough. Though it may be still unfeasible to casually globetrot for now, this Tokyo time travel bus tour into a virtual fantasy world of the past is a pretty good substitute.
With Japan’s world-class level of technology and entertainment, WOW RIDE is the world’s first-ever virtual bus tour that entertains the riders with VR and AR projected videos and images on the bus windows. Sit down, relax and enjoy entertainment directed by one of the most famous Japanese movie directors, Yukihiko Tsutsumi, from your passenger seat – without even donning a VR headset.
The bus starts at the terminal in Ginza. The first stop is in the Jomon era, and the MC (there is no typical bus guide in this tour) introduces the history of Ginza. The bus time-travels all the way from the Jomon era to the Edo era and comes back to the present where the screen attached to the windows winds down and finally shows the real present-day scenery of Tokyo.
As Tokyo is a vast city, each area on the tour is full of its own rich history. When the bus reaches the kokyo (imperial palace), where there used to be an Edo castle, time-traveling to the Edo era shows the historical moment of the Sakurada gate incident (the assassination of one of the feudal lord/chief minister of the Tokugawa shogunate which hugely impacted on the overthrow of the shogunate) delivered with the comedic taste of the Japanese actor Tetsuhiro Ikeda.
While most popular tourist spots in Tokyo, including Ginza, Tokyo Station, Kokyo, the house of parliament, Tokyo Tower, Kabuki-za and more are covered on the tour, some spots that can’t be included in this tour also appear in an original anime, which you only can watch in WOW RIDE. A popular voice actor, Yuki Kaji, and actress Yoko Hikasa, play a long-distance couple planning to meet in Tokyo for the first time in a while. Misguided to different places due to miscommunication well-represents the hugeness and complexity of Tokyo. Whether they can meet each other at the end or not is one of the highlights of this tour.
This dream-like bus tour that is full of entertainment with comedy, history and education allows you to explore all kinds of perspectives of Tokyo in just 60 minutes. WOW RIDE will begin the service from February 2022. Visit the website for more info.