Tokyo Motor Show

Trip Start Sep 15, 2007
Trip End Nov 14, 2007

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Monday, November 12, 2007

On Sunday, 11 November, we took the train to the Tokyo Motor Show. Bernd had been wanting to go, so we finally made it on the last day. This kind of thing isn't normally my cup of tea, but I figured it would be entertaining, as it's one of, if not the single largest car show in the world. It was definitely entertaining!

The show was held in an ENORMOUS exhibit hall in a town 30 minutes plus SE of Tokyo. This city must have been built for these mega conferences and exhibitions ... there were a lot of huge, new hotels, shops, and this conference center that must have had 20-some giant halls. It was on the banks of Tokyo Bay, probably on reclaimed land. It was only 2 stops away from Tokyo Disneyland.

The Motor Show took up something like 8 exhibit halls, with all the car companies (and motorcycles, and tractors, and trucks, and audio, and parts, and and and) really putting on the dog. There were a tremendous number of people there, although I'm sure this was far from the busiest day of the show.

Of course all the car makers had their latest models (and Bernd already knew them all from reading about them in car magazines), shown off on lighted rotating stages, on top of makeshift buildings, hung on the walls, etc. etc. Some models seemed to have their own cadre of  bodyguards - wearing black suits and talking surreptitiously into microphones. The concept cars were the best part; this year it was focused primarily on super-compact hybrids and electric cars. Of course, this being Japan, some were extra cutesy with big round robot "eyes" that watched you and talked to you in a soothing voice ... creepy, if you ask me. That stupid little robot would be decapitated in a minute!  The best part of the whole show was the scantily clad girls (and guys) prancing around, posing, and showing off the cars ... and the hordes of adoring fans gawking and photographing them. Hiliarious!

When we'd had enough after a couple of hours, we made our way back to Tokyo and met up with my friend Susan's nephew, Charlie, and his wife, Junko. They're great, really interesting people. She's from Hokkaido, he's an artist (does really cool sculptures), and they both do translations to make a living. They've lived in Japan, Germany, and the US. We traded stories about language, culture, travel, and family. We had dinner at an izakaya (~Japanese pub), where we stuffed ourselves silly with good food. It was a blast!

This brings me to the end of our Japan adventure. We've spent this week packing, shipping, taking care of paperwork, etc., and getting ready for the next phase of our travels. I hope you've enjoyed following along on our excellent adventure!  I've had fun sharing it with all of our friends.

On Friday (11/16) we leave for Vietnam. We'll be visiting Vietnam, Cambodia, Bhutan, and Thailand over the next 2 months before making our way back across the pacific. I will attempt to keep up with this blog (actually, I'll start a new one for this part of our trip), but won't have the time or access to computers that I've had up to now, so don't expect too much. Keep in touch ... we enjoy your emails and comments. And have a great holiday season! ... Jerry Sue & Bernd

3 December: I finally got a reasonably modern computer and some time, so was able to upload photos to this Travelog. Hope to see you on the next one from SE Asia!!
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