Tokyoite Life, Part 4 (Including the Tokyo Motor Show)

Hi all,

I’ve been really busy the past few days, so didn’t get to post regularly. I’ll try to cover what all I did in this segment, as it’s been an awesome 3 or 4 days here in Tokyo (as usual).

First off, I went just south of Tokyo on Friday to Kawasaki (only 20 minutes from southern Tokyo) to visit the Kirin brewery there that offers free tours and free samples.

Kirin Beer Village in Kawasaki

Kirin Beer Village in Kawasaki

The tour, in Japanese only, lasted about an hour and went through the brewery complex, offering explanations and video presentations on Kirin’s process. It ended with free samples of select Kirin products, and I tried my hand at the new Kirin ‘frozen’ beer (yes, it was delicious).

Kirin frozen beer

Kirin frozen beer

On Saturday, I headed east of Tokyo to Chiba to visit my host family from 6 years ago. They are two of the kindest people I have ever met, and really made me feel at home (along with their two dogs, Chobi-chan and Poteto-chan).

My host mom, Shinobu-san, had prepared a lot of great food, from grilled chicken to sushi and sashimi. It really was a great time reminiscing about my stay 6 years ago, and we must have talked, ate, drank beer and watched TV for a good 7 hours.

Takahiro-san and Shinobu-san

Takahiro-san and Shinobu-san

Around 11:00 pm, I realized I was in danger of missing the last train, so I said my goodbye (I’ll be seeing them again before I leave) and rushed to the station. Chiba is roughly 50 minutes from Tokyo by local train, so I was definitely cutting it close (the entire Tokyo train system shuts down every night a little after midnight before starting up again around 5:00 am). I reached my first transfer station and just made it onto the last train for that line. Same thing happened at my second transfer, I made the last train at around 12:10 am or so. Anyway, it wouldn’t have been a huge deal if I missed the last trains because taxis are everywhere. Still, I was determined to make the last trains just for the experience, not to mention taxis here are off-the-charts expensive.

Oh, and a side note: the last trains are as packed as morning/evening rush hours. I guess everyone was trying to get home like me.

Moving on, I spent most of Sunday with a couple friends from my hostel. We went to Shimokitazawa and Shibuya in western Tokyo to check out the trends of Tokyo’s youth culture. We went into tiny shop after tiny shop in Shimokitazawa’s narrow alleys, known for their strange (even by Japanese standards) clothing and accessory merchandise.

As usual, Shibuya's futuristic-look caught our eye

As usual, Shibuya’s futuristic-look caught our eye

Finally, today I went to Odaiba (the artificial island in Tokyo Bay) for the very popular and extravagant Tokyo Motor Show, held every 2 years.

Entrance to Tokyo Big Sight, a colossal complex that hosts the show

Entrance to Tokyo Big Sight, a colossal complex that hosts the show

Even if you’re not super crazy about cars, which I’m not either, the Tokyo Motor Show will blow you away. The show has all the big names, from Honda to BMW, Audi to Porsche, and largely focuses on automobiles designed with the environment and changing technology in mind. Each company has their own area, some (like Toyota) with multiple stations complete with huge TV displays, live music by a DJ, and often Japanese models showing off the cars.

My favorites though were the concept cars showcased by each company. Most of these advertise zero-emission designs and either fully electric or hybrid systems. Who knows if these are actually viable options for the future, but I think they’re a step in the right direction, and best of all is they just look so freaking cool.

The below pictures are just a sample of all I saw at the show, but it should give you an idea of the sleekness and elegant designs these car manufacturers emphasized for Tokyo’s audience.

Porsche's lineup

Porsche’s lineup

Volkswagen concept

Volkswagen concept

Volvo design on display

Volvo design on display

Suzuki hybrid concept

Suzuki hybrid concept

Inside of the Nissan Bladeglider

Inside of the Nissan Bladeglider

Toyota's presentation of its hybrid concept

Toyota’s presentation of its hybrid concept

My favorite was the BMW concept (that will please my Dad)

My favorite was the BMW concept (that will please my Dad)

Lexus concept

Lexus concept

They even had hybrid buses! Japan never ceases to amaze...

They even had hybrid buses! Japan never ceases to amaze…

I spent about 3 hours at the show, and it was definitely a surreal experience (even if there were way too many people there).

To end things, since the show was in Odaiba, I took a quick detour to see the Rainbow Bridge and southern Tokyo’s skyline again since I can’t get enough of the view.

The Rainbow Bridge living up to its name tonight

The Rainbow Bridge living up to its name tonight

Thanks for reading!

Utsav

Advertisements

3 responses to “Tokyoite Life, Part 4 (Including the Tokyo Motor Show)

  1. Wow, what an automobile show, amazing. All cars
    are so elegant, very difficult to choose the right one.
    If I have to choose, I will go for Volvo.
    Eagerly waiting to read & see the next episode.

  2. The world of cars is not my fascination too but loved the futuristic models splly the BMW & Lexus 🚗🚕.
    Nice to know that u r spending time with ur host fam before u wrap up ur trip. Looking fwd to seeing u State side 👍
    Luv always ❤️ JSK 🙏
    Mom.

  3. Car show was cool, I loved the concept cars, Particularly BMW ( Biased). Give our regards to your host family, Enjoy the last leg of your amazing adventure. Take Care, JSK, JSJS

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s