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#Tokyo: Madness of Far Eastern show

Time 6:46 am, December 2, 2011

blog4MAD concepts, future tech and incredible scenery – a trip to Japan was always going to be a landmark trip.

This week I’ve been in the Far East for the 42nd Tokyo Motor Show, thanks to Nissan, and the whole experience has been somewhat a surreal one.

Nine hours ahead of UK time, I’m writing this while sipping a Sopporo overlooking the most stunning Tokyo skyline.


There are lights and tower blocks stretching for miles into the distance and to be completely honest, the whole thing feels a bit like a dream.

I got here on Tuesday after a 12-hour flight from Heathrow. Hardened hacks who’ve been here before told me I’d wake up at 3am and they were nearly right – it was actually 2.30am when I woke up, put the lights on and was convinced it was time to get up. Despite checking my watch and phone I still couldn’t compute it was the middle of the night. Jet lag does strange things to you.

The Tokyo show was fantastic, though. Spread over four halls it’s not as big as those in Europe, like Frankfurt for example, but it’s packed with amazing stuff.

It wasn’t really the mainstream stuff that interested me either, it was the mad and far out concepts – all of which had an EV flavour to them – that really sparked my interest. Like this weird concept below…


blog1The tradition of coating your show stands in beautiful women was also still en vogue with every display draped in near Japanese super models.

After two days at the show we got the opportunity to check out the city today. A bus tour, with a guide who works 16-hour days, took us around this amazing place.

To be honest, I didn’t take in much of what was said – it was the sites of the Japanese people going about their daily business that really kept me amused.

We went up the Tokyo tower – a huge Eiffel Tower-a-like – which doubles as a TV mast, visited a Buddha temple and explored the electronics district where the Sony shop is spread over seven floors. Oh, and had a McDonald’s – we hacks know how to do culture.

To be fair, the night before we did indulge in a bit of Kobe beef. That’s the beef that lives in houses and is massaged by virgins, or something. Anyway, the elaborate meal was cooked in front of us on hot plates – including live prawns being roasted to death. This was quite horrific, as you can see in the following video. Beware, it’s not for the faint hearted.

The whole Tokyo experience has been an amazing one. The traffic jams are incredible, the people extremely polite and the city so clean it puts our capital to shame.

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This weekend we head out to Fuji where we’ll experience Nismo fest – a performance car show purely for Nissan nutters. It’s so big it even has a press day! I’m certainly looking forward to it.

I’ll try and report on that over the weekend, but for now enjoy this time lapse video of my day on the tour bus, it gives you a good idea of the wonder that is Japan.

James Baggott


James Baggott's avatar

James is the founder and editor-in-chief of Car Dealer Magazine, and CEO of parent company Baize Group. James has been a motoring journalist for more than 20 years writing about cars and the car industry.

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