To Tokyo, and the biannual motor show that this year seems THE event to be at.
The last time I came to the Tokyo Motor Show was back in 2009, in the depths of the recession. You felt it: the show didn’t seem as confident as the European norm, had clearly been scaled back, felt as if rushed economising was pervading throughout.
Despite this, I really enjoyed it, because Japan is such a shock to those of us used to Western normalities. Such as, even if you can’t speak the language, still being able to read road signs. Or subway maps. Or elevator buttons. Seemingly straightforward things are suddenly alien: it’s the most foreign place I’ve been to, and I adore it.
The Japanese culture helps too. Walking through the airport, you’re struck by how immaculately clean and cared for it is. Everyone smiles, and nods, and asks to help. Respect is everywhere. It can’t help but rub off on you, making every interaction a feel-good pleasure.
Past experience tells me the motor show is going to run exactly on time and be logistical perfection, so I’m looking forward to the many, many surprises and curious waiting on the stands. This year’s theme seems to be future fuels, autonomous driving and alternative mobility: just as it always is, you may say – only now, it’s right on the horizon.
Making this year’s exhibits more relevant than ever. Who knows, in two years’ time, we may be building up to see their production-ready equivalents…