The Absolute Last Post from Tokyo
By now you think you know about everything that happened at the Tokyo Motor Show. Well, you know what? You’re wrong. You may know the 0-60 time of the Nissan GT-R, but do you know that in Tokyo, you can buy a DVD of insects fighting? Did you know that running is generally banned in Tokyo’s parks? (Note: based on my extensive experience, which included visiting two parks.) Did you know that I saw two Chevy Blazers? No, you didn’t. Not till now. So come take a scroll with me, as I show you the real behind-the-scenes scenes from the Tokyo Motor Show.
The view out my 32nd-floor hotel room window. First impression: Tokyo ain’t small.
I got out of the shower to discover that my bathroom mirror uses some kind of magical anti-fogging technology. Why can’t we have mirrors like this in the U.S.? I’m now working to import a JDM anti-fog bathroom mirror for myself, but I’m not sure it’ll get through customs.
When choosing a bus company, you want someone who’s got a proven track record of safety and competence. Someone who knows the city inside and out. Not some fly-by-night Johnny-come-lately, but a bus company that’s been around since at least earlier this year.
This sign warns against falling down while doing the Electric Slide on a steep mountain with a giant bicycle inside. Thanks to simple pictograms like this, the foreign visitor to Tokyo can easily get around and understand the local rules and customs without a working knowledge of Japanese.
Tokyo ain’t small, Part II. The view from atop Rappongi Towers.
I told my editors that I’d uncovered a fantastic story in Tokyo. Here it is.
Around a corner, I spied a meeting whereupon Several officials of High Rank were discussing plans for a new Airship of fearsome size and Vast Capability. They call it a ‘Zeppelin’ and it appears capable of Carrying many Soliders and Horses to the Front whilst concealing itself amongst the Very Clouds.
If you’re looking for good, quality entertainment, it’s hard to beat insects in a glass box sparring with one another. This DVD confirms that you don’t want to tangle with a scorpion, even if you happen to be a tarantula.
Ford’s not the only company to capitalize on hip-hop culture to market an SUV. Rumor has it that not one but two well-known DJs will lend their names to an upcoming special edition of Daihatsu’s mini off-roader, which will be called the Funkmaster Flex Mudmaster-C Mixmaster Mike Edition.
Here I am terrorizing the virtual roads of Japan in the Honda Eco-Driving simulator. There was a bit of a language barrier, so I’m not exactly sure what the guy there said when he handed me the printout of my score. Hold on, let me type his comments into my pocket translator… Here we go: ‘You receive zero points, and may God help your soul.’ Ok, then.
‘Don’t worry, be happy!’ sings the Mitsuoka Orochi, which has a front end inspired by the organic hydrodynamic face of Billy Bass.
How many times have you wanted to go on a canoe trip, only to realize that your box truck wasn’t suitable for canoe transportation? Exactly. And with that burgeoning market squarely in its crosshairs, the Nissan Atlas Canoe Base looks ready to dip its toe and make a rapid splash and such.
The Nissan Pivo-2: In a delightful technological innovation, its regenerative brakes capture not electricity, but your dignity.
Since this transportation pod is made by Suzuki, I am legally bound by the Automotive Writer’s Union to request that if they ever build it, they offer it with a Hayabusa motor. There. I did it.
The downside of Japan’s ETC toll system is that it requires this overly large humanoid transponder, which stays in your car at all times and must be periodically let out to go to the bathroom.
This is why I hate auto show press conferences. They’re a festival of B.O. and bad breath and general teeming pits of frothy virulence. This is as close as I could get to the Nissan GT-R without crowd surfing.
The new Daihatsu Tanto was unveiled to a rousing song-and-dance number led by this guy, who may or may not have appeared in one of the Matrix movies. You can break free of the shackles of your reality only when you accept that the Daihatsu Tanto is a mere construct.
I’m guessing that this is some kind of Golf variant.
One of the best names at the show? The Tanto Welcome Seat.
A blonde wearing a helmet next to a lightweight 135i: BMW, have you been reading my mind?
The Nissan GT-R’s already taken a little flak for weighing in on the heavy side, but I got this scoop on what appears to be a super-lightweight track version.
The Suzuki SX4 rally car, sponsored by Roca Wear. Because when you think urban fashion, you think World Rally Championship.
This wasn’t even the most Tokyo-inappropriate vehicle I saw on the street. In fact, it wasn’t even the most Tokyo-inappropriate Blazer…
It takes a real man to drive a car named Carol.
Prepare for legions of Japanese auto journalists to descend on the U.S. with a completely unrealistic expectation of the typical American car wash experience.
The Gold’s gym adjacent to the show wasn’t equipped quite as thoroughly as I’d hoped.
I’d never eat a lunch like this in America, but the grub at the auto show left much to be desired. And so I eschewed mystery sushi for a repast as the uncultured American.
I managed to push through the crowd to get an exclusive shot of this, the latest in unleaky technology from Nippon Leakless Corporation.
This is how pretty much everyone feels by the end of the first day.
Now this is what you want to drive in Tokyo: a Blazer on 33′s with a bass-fishing sticker on the back. Obviously, Larry the Cable Guy has more international influence than we’d previously suspected.
At a bar I was at, I was comforted to see that there was an easy, uncomplicated 12-step plan for escape in the event of an emergency.
On your way out of the Tokyo airport, you pass a glass case depicting items that are forbidden in Japan. And if you’re wondering why it took me so long to post this blog, let me just tell you this: Kids, international armadillo smuggling is no joke, and can lead to up to 60 days in prison. I had to learn this the hard way, so hopefully you won’t make the same mistakes I did, and ruin a perfectly good trip to Tokyo with an illicit armadillo in your carry-on.