Tokyo Motor Show Coverage: Holy Crap, I'm in Japan!
I'm in Japan! After closely following some strict instructions from my boss--"never refuse anything in business class"--I arrived in Tokyo loopy off fancy champagne, ears ringing from a song that'd blasted into my ears while I napped and with a new appreciation for seafood. Yup, even at 30,000 feet, the Japanese cook shrimp in a way that elevates it from humble crustacean to flesh of the Gods.
Before I got off the plane, a pair of stewardesses gave me a postcard thanking me for flying ANA, along with a couple of origami swans. I'm sure Lexus PR is behind that, but if you can be anything but stoked when a couple of hot girls present you with tiny paper birds, you're way more cynical than I am. It was completely adorable.
So what's Tokyo like?
Geographically, similar to LA, in that the traffic sucks and there's no proper center--Japan's capital city is all about the sprawl. But while it's familiar layout-wise, everything else is different from La La Land. First off, it's already Christmas here. My handler told me the Japanese love holidays, and that celebrations of Christmas and even Halloween are becoming more common and elaborate every year. There's a giant tree in the lobby of Hotel Nikko Tokyo, and the sign says "Merry Christmas," so I'm guessing the Land of the Rising Sun has a bias toward the American--not British--take on the season. In a fit of circumstance that can only be explained as divine intervention, my home for the next few days is awash with James Bond and Legos. I about lost my shit when I say the little guy the by elevators--"Oh my God look they have a Lego matador!"--and even though I don't support bull fighting because I think it's cruel, I strangely thought the Lego matador was hilarious. "Look he even has blood on his shirt--that's so awesome! It wasn't until after I got my picture taken looking stupid next to him that my handler pointed out Lego Dude is an"artist," which makes sense because he looks pissed off and he's wearing a beret. Why I thought he was a matador, I have no idea--I'm going to blame jet lag.
Last night I had dinner at the hotel with the Lexus folks, so I haven't ventured out yet, my other observations about the city are few. Everyone I've met has been extraordinarily polite, it's squeaky clean everywhere, tons of people walk around with surgical masks on, and all of the toilets are super complicated. The one in my hotel has more settings than my oven at home, and it has a "standby" mode, which I find kind of hilarious.
I'm about to head to Fuji International Speedway, and drive the LFA, IS F CCS-R and IS F Japan Special Edition. To say that I'm stoked would be the height of understatement! Stay tuned!