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Tokyo Block Party

Approximately 25 miles east of Tokyo’s city center sits Chiba, Japan, a port city that hosted the X-Games in April. In case you missed it, Rayssa Leal and Yuto Horigome took gold in women’s and men’s street. Not a bad way to follow up last year’s contest in Tokyo…

Immediately following the skate events, Nike SB Japan worked with local business owners near the venues to unlock a space historically high on the bust factor. Perfect stairs and marble ledges ripe for ripping—a skateboarder’s dream.

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The plan was simple: unlock the spot and skate. No trophies. No Prizes. Just tricks. But the skatepark builder, MBM, and Homma-san from Instant Skate Shop had other plans. Pulling wads of cash from their own pockets, the stakes were raised as rolling away from anything was now rewarded with a high five and crispy yen bills.

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Returning the following day with our friends from The Dojo, the rain decided to pull up as well, so we carted ramps and ledges (and a speed gun) to a nearby bridge for protection from the elements and started handing out cash and shoes.

As X-Games spectators exited the stadium on its final day, some discovered a side a skating typically self-contained to this sub-culture’s core. A group of outcasts cheering for each other in a space that, come Monday morning, they’d likely get kicked out of.

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