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Old 27th November 2019, 09:46   #1
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Default With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!

Team-BHP was invited to the Tokyo Motor Show 2019 by Toyota.

With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-cover-pic.jpg

As a part of the 4-day trip, the agenda covered:

  • Toyota's initiatives towards the support of athletes from across the globe, in their journey to the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games
  • The way ahead for Toyota towards their gradual transition from an Automobile Company to a Mobility Company
  • Toyota's electrification strategy for the future
  • Launch of the 2020 Toyota Mirai concept fuel cell car
  • Launch of Lexus' first concept BEV, the LF-30 at Lexus' booth at the Tokyo Motor Show
  • Toyota's futuristic and interactive booth dubbed 'Future Playground' at the Tokyo Motor Show and their progress towards the goal of a global mobility company
  • Visit to the under construction New National Stadium at Tokyo which will host the opening and closing ceremonies, and the track and field events at the upcoming 2020 Summer Olympics and Paralympics event
  • A ferry ride in the Tokyo Bay
  • Visit to Toyota Research Institute - Advanced Development (TRI-AD) at Tokyo, wherein Toyota gave an overview and demonstration of the different robots and mobility solutions which will be deployed at the 2020 Summer Olympics and Paralympics event to assist and engage with athletes and spectators
  • Visit to Iwatani's Hydrogen refueling station with an attached Toyota Mirai showroom
  • Visit to teamLab Borderless, a digital art museum

So, join me on a fun-filled trip as I take you across Tokyo with a day-by-day coverage.

Last edited by Aditya : 27th November 2019 at 09:49.
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Old 27th November 2019, 09:46   #2
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Index:

Day 1
- The Welcome Session
- The Toyota LQ Concept
- Toyota's Ultra-compact BEVs
- Toyota's Strategy for Vehicle Electrification
- The Toyota e-Palette
Day 1 Cont’d
- The Ride Experience and Exhibition Tour
- The Toyota APM
- The SORA FC Bus
- The Toyota Supra and 86
- The Toyota Century
- The 2021 Toyota Mirai Concept
Day 2
- Lexus at the Tokyo Motor Show 2019
- Toyota at the Tokyo Motor Show 2019
- The Promo Models
- The Ferris Wheel at Odaiba
Day 3
- Visit to the New National Stadium, Tokyo
- The Yakatabune Ride
- Visit to Toyota Research Institute - Advanced Development (TRI-AD)
Day 4
- Visit to a hydrogen refueling station with an attached FCV showroom
- Visit to teamLab Borderless
Conclusion
- The awesomeness about Japan!

Last edited by Aditya : 27th November 2019 at 10:25.
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Old 27th November 2019, 09:46   #3
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Day 1:
  • The Welcome Session:

    The opening day kick started with a welcome session on Toyota's START YOUR IMPOSSIBLE campaign by David Nordstrom (VP, Asia-Pacific, Toyota Motor Corporation). Toyota had previously announced the support of 12 athletes from SE Asia, India and Pakistan in their journey to the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, Tokyo 2020. Toyota intends to support these athletes not just in their journey to the Olympic dream, but also in their advocacy for social causes such as safer roads, equality of opportunity, supporting orphans, taking a stand against bullying, improving literacy rates etc.



    For our welcome session, David introduced four such athletes who were champions in their respective sport and in the peoples' hearts, back in their respective communities:
    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_7834.jpg
    L to R - Saadi Abbas/O/Karate/Pakistan, Ernie Gawilan/P/Swimming/Philippines, Toh Wei Soong/P/Swimming/Singapore, Abdul Latif Romly/P/Athletics/Malaysia and David Nordstrom; O - Olympics, P - Paralympics

  • The Toyota LQ Concept:
    The LQ is a concept vehicle. Toyota feels, over a period of time, people have taken cars for granted, and treat them as a mere mode of transport from point A to B and they no longer have the same feelings of love for them as they did before. With the LQ, the company intends to change just that! Oh, and LQ stands for Love Quotient!

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191022_155351.jpg

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191022_155327.jpg

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191022_155441.jpg

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191022_155426.jpg

    The next-generation Toyota 'Concept-i' - a concept vehicle that was first showcased at the CES 2017, Las Vegas, the LQ is equipped with an SAE Level 4 equivalent automated driving function, automated valet parking system, Augmented Reality Head Up Display (AR-HUD), seats with alertness and relaxation functions and 'Yui' - an AI powered interactive agent (think Alexa or Siri, just a bit more advanced and interactive) designed to learn and adapt from the driver and deliver a personalized mobility experience. Yui and LQ's automated driving technology, have both been developed in partnership with Toyota Research Institute (TRI).

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-lq_1.jpg

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-lq_2.jpg

    For the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympic/Paralympic Games, The Toyota LQ will provide operational support as convoy vehicles for the Olympic torch relay and as the lead vehicle for marathon and other events. Check out this short clip wherein Gill Pratt, the CEO at TRI speaks about their involvement in the development of the vehicle and about Yui:



  • Toyota's Ultra-compact BEVs and Initiatives for BEV Popularization:

    In order to popularise BEVs (Battery Electric Vehicles) in the global markets, Toyota has showcased various production-ready and concept ultra-compact BEVs. Toyota claims, they intend to create a mobility solution that can support Japan's ageing society and provide freedom of movement to people at all stages of life. Toyota has already engaged approximately 100 corporate and government partners (including Uber, Japan) to explore new transportation models that would include BEVs such as the Ultra-compact BEV and is in ongoing discussions with others.

    1. Ultra-compact BEV:
      With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191022_155502.jpg

      With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191022_155556.jpg

      With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191022_155529.jpg

      A production-ready 2-seater BEV with a claimed maximum speed of 60 km/h, a cruising range of 100 km and a charging time of ~ 5 hours. Overall length - 2,490 mm, overall width - 1,290 mm and a turning radius of 3.9 m. Primarily intended for the home user to do daily errands such as shopping or for short-distance trips within the city. The ultra-compact BEV is scheduled for a winter 2020 release.

    2. Ultra-compact BEV concept model for business:
      With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_7932.jpg

      A concept model designed for business applications that include repeated short-distance trips and parking, this BEV is meant to serve as an 'office on-the-go' with three modes - 'Drive mode' for traveling, 'Office mode' for working inside the vehicle and a 'Relax mode' for taking a break inside the vehicle. Same specs as that of the Ultra-compact BEV except that it is a single seater. Target release date is unknown.

    3. Toyota i-ROAD:
      With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-_dsc0466.jpg

      The Toyota i-ROAD is a short-distance mobility solution that is claimed to combine the size of a motorcycle with improved stability to support last-mile urban commuting or tourism. Available in 1-seater or 2-seater configurations, the i-ROAD has a claimed maximum speed of 60 km/h, a cruising range of 50 km and charging time of ~ 3 hours.

    4. Walking area BEV Standing Type:
      With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-5d4_0197.jpg

      Toyota's version of the Segway, the Walking Area BEV Standing Type can be used for patrolling, conducting security checks or carrying heavy equipment around large facilities such as airports or factories. This unit comes with switchable speeds from 2 to 10 km/h, has a claimed cruising range of 14 km and takes ~ 2.5 hours for a single charge. Scheduled for release in winter 2020.

    5. Walking area BEV Seated Type:
      With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-5d4_0210.jpg

      The Walking Area BEV Seated Type improves upon the Standing variant by providing mobility for people who are handling large amounts of luggage or who may have difficulty walking. This unit comes with switchable speeds from 2 to 6 km/h, has a claimed cruising range of 10 km and takes ~ 2 hours for a single charge. Scheduled for release in 2021.

    6. Walking area BEV Wheelchair-linked Type:
      With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-5d4_0214.jpg

      The Walking Area BEV Wheelchair-linked Type connects to the manual wheelchairs by providing motorized power to them for use at large establishments and tourist locations. This unit comes with switchable speeds from 2 to 6 km/h, has a claimed cruising range of 20 km and takes ~ 2.5 hours for a single charge. Scheduled for release in 2021.

  • Toyota's Strategy for Vehicle Electrification:

    Some key takeaways:
    • In its quest in transitioning from a car company to a mobility company, Toyota is aiming to popularize electrified vehicles on a global scale. From the perspective of planet Earth, Toyota intends to solve some environmental issues by reducing the CO2 emissions and air pollution.
    • Among Toyota's range of initiatives related to various types of electrified vehicles, it is advancing its evolution of zero-emission vehicles, such as FCEVs, which are claimed to emit no CO2 during use. In terms of BEVs, Toyota is developing a wide range of vehicles, from pedestrian-zone (or walking-area) BEVs to ultra-compact two-seater BEVs, as well as conventional-size passenger vehicle BEVs, among others.
    • Toyota had previously announced its plan to gradually have more than 10 BEV models available worldwide by the first half of the 2020s, starting with a rollout in China in 2020.
    • To respond to the rapid increase in EVs, Toyota plans to build a battery-supply framework in co-operation with battery manufacturers around the world. Toyota's focus is on high-performance batteries that do not easily degrade compared to conventional batteries which typically require replacement once in every 7-10 years. We shall also witness a transition from Li-ion batteries to solid-state batteries from 2020 and metal-air batteries in the future.
    • Toyota plans to make maximum use of BEVs and their batteries, all the way starting from manufacturing to disposal. In an effort to get the most out of the life of each battery, it plans to collect BEVs that have been used by its customers and, after inspecting the status of the batteries of these vehicles, distribute them as pre-owned BEVs, use their batteries as service parts, or use their batteries in applications other than automobiles.
    • Toyota intends to plan and develop a midsize BEV SUV jointly with Subaru, and it will jointly plan and develop a compact BEV with Suzuki and Daihatsu.
    • The Toyota ZEV Factory is a Toyota internal organization that specializes in product planning and business planning for zero-emission vehicles. The planning and development of the BEVs is conducted by the Toyota ZEV Factory.
    • Toyota shall provide its fuel cell technology for use in different systems such as passenger vehicles, commercial vehicles (buses and heavy duty trucks), transportation equipment (forklifts), space exploration vehicles (lunar rovers) and provide its system to other OEMs.

  • The Toyota e-Palette:

    The e-Palette is Toyota's first vehicle developed specifically for Autonomous Mobility as a Service (abbreviated as Autono-MaaS) application. It combines electrification, connected networks, and advanced driving technologies to support new shared mobility businesses and business models.

    The 'Tokyo 2020 Version' e-Palette has been adapted to meet the unique needs of the Olympic and Paralympic villages, featuring large doors and electric ramps to allow groups of athletes, including Paralympians, to board and deboard quickly and easily. The vehicle will be controlled by an automated driving system capable of operating up to 20 km/h at SAE level 4, supported by an on-board safety operator.

    It is designed with front/rear symmetry, a distinctive cube shape, and wheels at the four corners:

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191023_143333.jpg

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191023_143340.jpg

    It comes with handrails and seats that are easy to use regardless of height; the vehicle also features floor, trim, seats, and other components with contrasting colour for assisting people with colour-blindness:
    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-20191009_01_16.jpg

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-20191009_01_23.jpg

    The e-Palette is equipped with large sliding doors, low floors, electric ramps and an Arrival Control system for use when approaching destinations to enable passengers, including those in wheelchairs, to enter and exit quickly and easily. With its long wheelbase and flat floor, the vehicle can transport up to four passengers in wheelchairs along with additional standing passengers at one time.



    The e-Palette is equipped with a specially-designed automated driving system that includes control hardware, software, and advanced sensors such as cameras and LiDAR. Combined with high-accuracy 3D mapping and an operation management system, e-Palette will realize low speed automated driving at SAE level 4.



    To support safe operation, the e-Palette features an external human-machine interface (HMI) designed to assist communication with those around the vehicle, including pedestrians, during automated driving. Both front and rear lamps on vehicle mimic eye contact to inform pedestrians of vehicle actions.



    Basic specifications - Overall length of 5,255 mm, overall width of 2,065 mm, wheelbase of 4,000 mm, capacity - 20 including one operator or 4 wheelchairs + 7 standing passengers, claimed cruising range of 150 km and maximum speed of 20 km/h.

By the end of this session, we were quite exhausted what with so many presentations one after the other. Toyota had a surprise in store for us! Continued in the next post.

Last edited by Aditya : 27th November 2019 at 09:54.
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Old 27th November 2019, 09:47   #4
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Day 1: Cont’d

  • The Ride Experience and Exhibition Tour:

    The presentation sessions were held at The Hilton Tokyo. About 600 m across the road, we were accompanied to an empty, cordoned parking lot with several booths set up under large tents. There were a few live demos happening in the area:
    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191022_162536.jpg

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191022_162541.jpg

  • APM:

    Toyota's Accessible People Mover (APM) is a more modern and sleeker version of the golf cart meant for the 'last mile' transport and relief services for athletes, staff and visitors for the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. During the event, Toyota plans to deploy ~ 200 APMs to enhance mobility at facilities including the event sites as well as the non-event sites such as the Olympic Village.

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191022_152416.jpg

    The APM is available in two configurations - the 'Basic' variant and the 'Relief' variant. The Basic variant provides 3-row seating in a 1+3+2 configuration. A wheelchair can be accommodated by folding the second row seats. A manually retractable ramp located below the floor helps to load/unload the wheelchair. I wish the ramp was electrically operated by the flick of a switch from the driver's panel as the manual operation (unlock the ramp from the floorboard, pull out the ramp, push the ramp and lock) was time consuming.

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-_dsc0397.jpg

    The Relief variant builds on the Basic variant but reserves half of the second and third row of seats for a stretcher and the adjacent space for the relief staff workers. This variant will also be equipped with a spot cooler on the ceiling. Transparent curtain flaps are neatly secured within both the pillars and can be used during rains.

    Basic specs - Overall length of 3,940 mm, overall width of 1,620 mm, maximum speed of 19 km/h and a claimed cruising range of 100 km.

  • The SORA FC Bus:

    The SORA uses Toyota Fuel Cell System (TFCS) developed for the Mirai FCV with zero emissions while in operation. Toyota began the sale of the SORA FC bus during 2018 and expects to introduce over 200 units within the Tokyo metropolitan area ahead of the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games:
    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191022_152707.jpg

    SORA is an acronym for Sky, Ocean, River and Air which represents earth's water cycle.

    Here are the basic specs of the FC bus:
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    And the location of the main components within the bus:
    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-sora-_1.png

    The SORA can also work as a mobile generator with an external power supply that can supply 9 kW of power or 235 kWh. Some of these units were deployed in the aftermath of the Hagibis cyclone during October 2019:
    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-sora-_2.png

    During our visit, Toyota was essentially demonstrating the Platform Arrival Control System wherein the sensors onboard the bus, detect guidance lines on the road surface and automatically steer and decelerate the bus, causing the bus to stop at the designated boarding/alighting location, and minimizing the gap to the bus stop. This assists boarding and alighting for passengers using strollers or wheelchairs.

    During repeated tests, the gap between the bus stop's platform and the door was 45 +/- 15 mm:
    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191022_153324.jpg

    Check out the clip below wherein the driver has raised his hands in the air:



  • Cutaway Sections and Internal Components Exhibition:

    Under one of the tents, Toyota had the cutaway sections of different cars and the internal components displayed:
    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191022_155119.jpg

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191022_155131.jpg

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191022_155235.jpg

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    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191022_155631.jpg

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191022_155653.jpg

  • The Toyota Supra and 86:

    And while we were wrapping up this tent, we heard some car going nuts around a closed parking lot! A few of us and we hurried to the spot! Lo and behold, the Toyota Supra:
    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191022_154818.jpg



    Oh wait, there's an 86 too! I had the Tokyo Drift track running in my mind!
    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-_dsc0519.jpg



    The journos could ride shotgun in one of these babies but they were limited to just 1 per group! By the time I was done enjoying the smell of the burnt rubber, someone from our group had already hitched a ride and the rest of them had moved past. Disappointed, I moved on, but all hope wasn't lost! From afar, I spot a stately black limo gently doing rounds of the whole lot and it looked like something I had recently read about in the forum.

  • The Toyota Century:

    Sweet mother of Lord! That's the iconic Toyota Century!
    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-_dsc0562.jpg

    The hand-crafted car used by the Emperor of Japan and the royal family and by some of the top executives of Japanese corporations, Toyota's flagship car within Japan is the most expensive car from Toyota's stable. Only three generations have come out in its 50 years of production. The name is derived from Toyota's founder - Sakichi Toyoda's birthday centenary year (1967) when the car was first launched. The mythological phoenix bird logo hand-carved by a master craftsman from billet alloy which takes about 6 weeks, this car was quite literally art-in-motion. I was damn excited!

    Our team was about to board the bus back to the Hilton for the concluding event scheduled for the day, but there was still some time. The hotel was just a stone's throw away and I wasn't giving up! I approached one of the volunteers asking if I could get a ride (or was there a limit here too?). She relayed it over to another dude over the walkie-talkie and accompanied me to the waiting area! I requested her to relay to our group to proceed in the bus and I would walk back. Roger, comes the response! Yay! I was so happy and cheering inside like a kid who's finally got the toy he was longing for!

    And then, the limo arrives in style and before I realise, the Team-BHP mode goes ON and I go click-crazy with my phone!
    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191022_153733.jpg

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191022_153845.jpg

    The chauffeur (who surely looked the part for a car of this stature!) smiled and opened the co-driver door:
    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191022_161833.jpg

    I opened the rear door and man, that was one heavy vault-like door!
    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191022_161909.jpg

    As I sank silently into the first-class comfort of the plush, wool-fabric finished seat and pulled the seatbelt clip, I noticed the backlit holster:
    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191022_162044.jpg

    There was an eerie silence inside the car with the active-noise cancelling system coming into play:
    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191022_162107.jpg

    No fancy tints on the double-glazed windows. Lace curtains adorn them and the rear windshield. They are perceived in Japan as less ostentatious than tinted glass;
    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191022_162142.jpg

    The fit and finish of nearly every component is mind-blowing! The analogue clock at the rear adds a touch of elegance to the cabin:
    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191022_162017.jpg

    Vanity mirror with backlight for the boss for that last-minute check before getting out of the car for the meeting. Note the warm incandescent throw instead of the modern bright white LED light:
    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191022_162209.jpg

    On the same day i.e. 22 October 2019, Emperor Naruhito's enthronement ceremony had just concluded and a custom-built, open-top Century was used by the Emperor and his Queen Consort for the ceremony:
    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-nparadea20191008.jpg

    (Image courtesy - Japan Times)

    For specs' sake, the third-generation Century comes with a hybrid powertrain comprising of a 5L V8 petrol engine with an output of 375 HP and electric motors with an output of 221 HP; the combined power output is 425 HP. The car comes with an eCVT transmission. The Century is assembled at the Higashi-Fuji Plant, Toyota Motor East Japan Inc.

    I'm sorry guys, but I wouldn't even compare it with Rolls Royce as the Century can hold its own against the British marque. As I got down from the Century after two rounds of the parking lot, I was a happy man! The volunteer opened the door and I got down with a big grin plastered on my face! I was about to walk to the Hilton when the volunteer said he had a Mirai which would drop me at the hotel. So, I got a drop back to the Hilton wherein the next generation of this car was awaiting its unveil.

  • The 2021 Toyota Mirai Concept:

    The second-generation Toyota Mirai Concept was unveiled as the concluding event of the first day. Mirai in Japanese translates to Future:
    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-5d3_0521.jpg

    The car being displayed was a final-stage development model and had undergone a radical change in the exterior design compared to its predecessor. The second-generation Mirai looks sleeker and sportier, much like a Lexus (save for that front grill!) with a coupe-like rear:
    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_7840.jpg

    Compared to the first-generation Mirai, the overall length has increased by 85 mm, the wheelbase has increased by a whopping 140 mm (liberating more legroom at the rear), the width has increased by 70 mm, while the height has dropped by 65 mm and the tyres are larger with wider treads:
    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_7844.jpg

    The rear has been completely reworked from scratch compared to the previous-generation, the design of which had received stark criticism. The rear looks much sleeker with the tail-lights extending to the boot lid and terminating at the logo:
    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_7854.jpg

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_7860.jpg

    The interiors have been revamped and the dash is equipped with a large digital instrument cluster, as is the norm today:
    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_7850.jpg

    Massive 20", 20-spoke satin finished rims shod with 245/45 V-rated rubber look killer:
    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191022_164326.jpg

    Since the launch in 2014, approximately 10,000 Mirai have been sold globally. The new Mirai is built on Toyota's RWD TNGA (Toyota New Global Architecture) platform. Toyota claims improvements in the fuel cell system performance and increased hydrogen storage capacity would translate to a 30% increase in the driving range. The next-generation Mirai is scheduled for launch in late 2020, initially in Japan, North America and Europe.

And that concluded a super-hectic first day of the trip!

Last edited by Aditya : 27th November 2019 at 10:14.
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Old 27th November 2019, 09:47   #5
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Day 2

  • The Tokyo Motor Show 2019:

    On the second day of the event, we would be visiting the Tokyo Big Sight situated at Ariake, the largest convention and exhibition center in the country, for the biennial 46th Tokyo Motor Show 2019.

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191023_083018.jpg

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_7891.jpg

    The theme of the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show is 'Open Future' and exhibitors intend to showcase what mobility of the future would look like and how it would be integrated into our day-to-day lives.

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191023_152613.jpg

    • Lexus' booth:

      Lexus unveiled their LF-30 Electrified Concept during the press conference.



      With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-lf30_1.jpg

      With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-lf30_2.jpg

      The LF-30 Electrified concept car is a BEV incorporating technologies of connectivity and automated driving. Lexus has showcased a new technology in the LF-30 termed "Lexus Advanced Posture Control". Lexus claims that the control of the motors mounted on each wheel and the low positioning of the battery results in better handling and driving performance. Lexus intends to apply this technology throughout its lineup of electrified vehicles.



      Other features include artificial muscle technology in the rear seats to mold into the shape of the occupant, and can support various modes such as reclining, relaxation and alert functions. A Mark Levinson audio system with speakers built into the headrests and noise cancelling technology creates a great listening environment for the users within a quiet cabin. A glass roof located above the rear seats features voice control and gesture controlled 'SkyGate' display window that uses AR to display various types of information.

      The Lexus booth also featured the 'Lexus Senses theatre', a space where users could experience the 'stimulation of the five senses'. There were two experience theatres - audio and visual. In Theater 1, the sound of the Lexus LFA engine is played with a 360 degree, 3D sound for stimulating hearing. Theater 2 offers visual stimulation with the Lexus LC model by projection mapping - which changes its appearance according to time of the day and viewing angles.

      With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-20191023_01_38.jpg

    • Toyota's booth:

      Toyota's booth was situated at a different location - the Mega Web, Odaiba. Its theme for this year was 'Play the Future' and the booth was reminiscent of a Utopian era with H-U-G-E displays and sci-fi vehicles.

      With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-20191023_02_01_en.png

      There were several interactive stalls setup inside the booth and users could become a resident of the future and get a 'Future Residence Card' issued, scan the card at various stalls such as a Future Health Checker stall or AR Spot to collect points on the card (by scanning the QR code) and redeem them at the 'Toyota Convenience Store' at the exit for novelty stuff. This was a different setup unlike a typical booth which has a bunch of concept cars and production-ready cars for display and users would simply click the snaps of the cars, interact with the officials and move forth.

      Check out my Future Residence Card (looks like I am a Japanese resident already ):

      With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191110_170337.jpg

    • The Toyota e-Care:

      The e-Care a.k.a. the Future Health Checker unit is a mobility service that allows a passenger to talk to a virtual doctor and undergo a diagnosis while en route to the hospital.

      With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191023_142556.jpg

      As you can see, there were quite a few media folks apprehensive of their health and wanted to get it checked. I decided to skip this since I am reasonably healthy and fit!

    • The Toyota e-4me:

      The Toyota e-4me is a single-seat mobility platform which allows users to productively do things while commuting. Like a futuristic Uber cab maybe?

      With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191023_141132.jpg

      It can be used as a dressing room, music studio, gym, to play VR games, for animal therapy (!) etc. Check out this clip:



    • The Toyota e-Racer:

      Akio Toyoda, President of Toyota Motor Corporation, unveiled the e-Racer concept - a two-seater EV, claiming it would bring back the 'fun-to-drive' element despite being an electric car.

      With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191023_134543.jpg

      With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191023_134544.jpg

      Akio says, "The birth of the automobile led to 15 million horses being replaced by cars in the United States. But still, we have racehorses. The joy of riding a horse can hold its own against or even outdo what cars have to offer. For people who ride them, horses are irreplaceable. Through the evolution of AI, I think that cars, too, can also become able to communicate with people and their hearts." Details of the car weren't revealed.

    • The Toyota e-Trans:

      The Toyota e-Trans is a ride-share service concept vehicle meant to be used for transporting people as well as goods. That's like an Uber and Lynk clubbed into one!

      With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191023_144953.jpg

      With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191023_145031.jpg

    • The Toyota e-Chargeair:

      The Toyota e-Chargeair is an on-the-go charging station. Equipped with a wireless battery charging system, this ride-share based mobility service is meant to provide charging service to other BEVs.

      With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191023_142632.jpg

      It can supply power not just to cars, but to other consumers as well and is equipped with various functions, including an air purifier and Wi-Fi.

    • The Toyota Micro Palette:

      The Toyota Micro Palette is the younger sibling of the larger e-Palette and is essentially a small delivery robot that delivers physical goods.

      With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191023_144856.jpg

      With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191023_144855.jpg



      This last-mile mobility solution is meant to be deployed in various sectors such as hospitals, couriers, large corporate buildings etc.

    • The Toyota PMCV:

      This is the Toyota PMCV concept:

      With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191023_145126.jpg

      With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191023_145141.jpg

      The PMCV stands for Personal Multi-Compact Vehicle (!) and is a SAE Level 4 autonomous electric minivan concept with seating configuration for up to seven occupants. Two seats can be folded up into the sides and the front seat can fold flat beneath the dashboard. Essentially, the PMCV can switch from a fully loaded people mover to a transporter of goods.

    • The Toyota Granace:

      Toyota had also unveiled the Granace minivan at the Toyota Auto Body booth:

      With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191023_140924.jpg

      With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191023_140943.jpg

      The Granace would be launched globally in a three-row six-seater and a four-row eight-seater configuration with a 1GD 2.8L diesel engine and a six-speed automatic transmission.

      Adjacent to Toyota's booth was a small basketball court with a giant robot and some volunteers next to it. Meet the Guinness World Record holder - Toyota Cue3, a 6'10" robot built by Toyota engineers to shoot basketballs. Nope, it can't dribble, jump or run but it can execute a perfect shot without missing one, in succession. Check out this clip:



      Who knows, maybe the NBA 2109 would be played by humanoid robots with robots being judges and the audience. Wait what?!

      And that, concludes the Toyota booth.

  • The Promo Models:

    What's a motor show thread without 'em promotional models?! There were several promotional models stationed at each booth and they'd happily smile and pose for you, if you wish to click the ride displayed at the booth.

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_7962.jpg

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_7965.jpg

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_7967.jpg

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_7972.jpg

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_7974.jpg

  • The Ferris Wheel at Odaiba:

    Since we had some spare time, two of us decided to check out the giant Ferris wheel situated at Odaiba right next to the Mega Web. When it was opened to the public back in the year 1999, it was the world's tallest Ferris wheel at 115 m, but not anymore.

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_7937.jpg

    A ride costs about 1,000 Yen and takes 16 minutes. The slow ride gives you a breathtaking view of central Tokyo and even Mount Fuji on a clear bright day! One can hop into a coloured cabin (with glass only at the center for viewing) or a complete clear-glass cabin. However, the clear glass one has a waiting time of about 20 minutes. We opted for a coloured unit.

    Some snaps from atop:

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_7945.jpg

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_7947.jpg

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_7951.jpg

    The Ferris wheel lights up at dusk with some 1,20,000 neon tubes and displays several 3D patterns. I managed to click a short blurry clip:



    1,000 Yen well spent I'd say! Do not miss this ride if you visit Tokyo.

And that concludes a chock-a-block second day of the trip!

Last edited by Aditya : 27th November 2019 at 10:16.
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Old 27th November 2019, 09:47   #6
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Day 3

  • Visit to the New National Stadium, Tokyo:

    The New National Stadium at Shinjuku, Tokyo will host the opening and closing ceremonies, as well as serve as the venue for track and field events at the upcoming 2020 Summer Olympics and Paralympics.

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-nns_jt.jpg
    (Image courtesy - Japan Times)

    The new stadium is being built at the same location where the old National Stadium was once situated which had hosted the 1964 Summer Olympics. The stadium is under construction and work is expected to be wrapped up before the end of this year. The stadium has a seating capacity of 68,000 which can be expanded to 80,000 with temporary seating.

    On the second last day of our trip, Toyota had organised a visit to the outskirts of the New National Stadium.

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191024_094138.jpg

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191024_093913.jpg

    After having caught a glimpse of the New National Stadium, we moved on and were dropped at a wharf where a couple of Yakatabune boats were waiting for us!

  • The Yakatabune Ride:

    A Yakatabune is a traditional Japanese houseboat. During the Edo period, they were popular among aristocrats, rich merchants and high-ranked samurai and these luxury boats used to be decorated with gold, silver, and lacquer while sailing on the Sumida River. Today, several of these privately owned houseboats ply through the waterways of the Tokyo bay and give guests a feel of traditional Japanese culture.

    We boarded one which would take us through a 90-minute cruise through the Tokyo bay waterways. There were two of these moored at the wharf.

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191024_105335.jpg

    On the main deck, Tatami mats were laid on the floor and, tables and chairs were neatly laid out for an early Japanese lunch (which I'll cover later on ):

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191024_110554.jpg

    The crew onboard cooked lunch in the small galley (galley of a ship/aircraft/train = kitchen) and served it to the guests. After lunch, we moved on to the top deck which gave us some amazing views of the Tokyo bay.

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191024_115315.jpg

    The Ariake Arena, which will host the volleyball tournament and wheelchair basketball tournament events during the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympic games respectively:

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191024_115914.jpg

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191024_120130.jpg

    Once the Tokyo 2020 Games wrap up, the place will become a sporting and cultural centre with a seating capacity for up to 15,000 spectators.

    The Tokyo waterfront:

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191024_120827.jpg

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191024_120842.jpg

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191024_121049.jpg

    A hydrographic survey vessel of the Japan Coast Guard, HL03 MEIYO:

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191024_121106.jpg

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-pano_20191024_120846.jpg

    The ferry ride gave us some incredible views of the capital town from the top deck of the boat. Although the sky was overcast (and fortunately it didn't rain), everybody onboard loved the short cruise. We wrapped up and were en route the final location for the day. Views like these were commonplace while commuting on the bus:

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191024_124936.jpg

  • Visit to Toyota Research Institute - Advanced Development (TRI-AD):

    The Toyota Research Institute - Advanced Development (abbreviated as TRI-AD) is Toyota's R&D wing which focuses on developing technologies for autonomous driving and related architecture, safety, mapping and driver and passenger monitoring systems mobility and robotics. Established in March 2018, TRI-AD is a partnership between Toyota, Aisin, Denso and the US-based Toyota Research Institute (TRI). Their mission statement reads, 'Create world-class technology and build the safest car in the world'.

    As we walked into the 39-storeyed high-rise Nihonbashi Mitsui Tower...:

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191024_130957.jpg

    ...I noticed a tiny little robot at the reception desk.

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191024_131753.jpg

    Meet the Kirobo Mini, the younger sibling of the Guiness World Record holder Kirobo who had spent 18 months onboard the International Space Station. This handheld robot can engage in a casual conversation and can move its head and hands while doing so. This cutesy little thing will adapt and respond to the conversations over time. Think Amazon Alexa or a Google Home with moveable parts. That's the Kirobo Mini. Except, it can only converse in Japanese language!



    The Kirobo Mini is priced at 42,984 Yen (~ Rs. 28,000) and a monthly subscription fee of 350 Yen is required to be paid for use of the dedicated app.

    Moving on, we were given a brief presentation on the various robots which will be deployed at the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games to ease the burden on the officials and shorten the lead time between the events. That's right, Japan is going to show its robotics prowess to the whole world!

    • Field Support Robot:

      The Field Support Robot or the FSR, would be deployed at the venues during field events such as Discus Throw, Javelin Throw, Hammer Throw and the Club Throw.

      With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191024_155912.jpg

      The operation principle of the FSR is pretty straight-forward:

      1. The athlete throws the object (javelin/discus/hammer/club).

      2. The FSR follows the official staff from the standby point to the landing point while avoiding other people or any obstacles on the field and through a route which doesn't harm the grass on the field.

      3. The staff would then pick up the object from the ground, place it in the FSR's bucket and press the switch.

      4. The FSR would automatically travel back to the standby point with the object.

      Usually, the staff would have to manually pick up the object (sometimes heavy such as the discus, hammer or the club) and run back to the base.

      Here's a demonstration video:



      The FSR would keep track of only the appointed staff on the field who's on duty, using the sensors and a predetermined algorithm built into its system which scans the shape of the staff.

      For instance, while doing the demonstration of the FSR, it was only tracking this volunteer:



      Here's another demonstration of an FSR built into a model of Toyota's new JPN Taxi taxicab:



    • Human Support Robot:

      Next up, is the Human Support Robot or the HSR.

      With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-hsr.jpg

      For a part of the available accessible seating at the Olympic Stadium (I'm guessing this will be for the VIP/VVIP section), the HSR will guide guests to their seats and deliver light refreshments to them.



      However, Toyota would later be retailing these HSRs to the general public to assist elderly persons or people with disabilities at home, to do basic tasks such as picking up small objects from the ground, placing dishes in a rack, drawing the curtains etc. Operations can be remotely controlled using a tablet. It weighs about 37 kg.

      Check out this demonstration clip:



      The robot is a wee bit slow for my liking, but I guess Toyota will eventually get there where humans need everything in the blink of an eye. As everyone was leaving the room after the demo of the HSR, I couldn't help but click a snap with it:

      With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191024_145254.jpg

      Another floor on the same building had a VR-based vehicle simulator for the UX (User Experience) and UI (User Interface) design. Developers here work on creating the user interface that communicates with various devices in the car such as the audio system, navigation, climate control, mobile phone connectivity, interior lighting, seat functions etc. The responses to the driver are provided through visual and haptic feedback. Over the years, we've seen how in-car entertainment systems have evolved from being mere music players to multi-functional infotainment systems. It all happens because of the research work that goes at places like these and we see these features trickling down from the expensive sedans to the entry level hatchbacks.

      With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-uxui_demonstration_8.jpg

And that, essentially sums up Day 3. I was going to be spending my last night here in Tokyo! As I folded all my clothes and packed all my stuff, I was recollecting all the good memories of the last few days that I had spent here.

Last edited by Aditya : 27th November 2019 at 10:18.
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Old 27th November 2019, 09:47   #7
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Day 4

The last day of the trip! We had two more things on our agenda before we wrapped up the trip.
  • Visit to Iwatani's Hydrogen refueling station with an attached Toyota Mirai showroom:

    Toyota led us to a hydrogen refueling station which has an attached FCV showroom, the first in the country.

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-20150413_01_01.jpg
    (Image courtest - Iwatani)

    But before that, let me give you a primer. As many of you may be aware, Japan is one of the largest drivers of the hydrogen economy. In the process of gradually phasing out fossil fuels and limiting global warming by curtailing the emissions of CO2, hydrogen is being considered as a low-carbon fuel. Today, hydrogen is mass-produced using steam reforming of natural gas or as a by-product from chemical industries. Therefore, this is not a CO2-free hydrogen and thus, not a clean hydrogen in its truest sense. Producing hydrogen this way to run a Toyota Mirai is akin to charging a Mahindra E2O with the power generated from a coal-fired thermal power station! CO2-free hydrogen can be generated from water using electrolysis with a renewable source of electricity, but this system has not evolved on a large scale yet.

    Iwatani Corporation is Japan's largest producer of hydrogen, supplies hydrogen for industrial uses (semiconductor, optical fiber, iron and steel, petrochemical/petroleum, ammonia, metallurgy, rocket propellants etc) and for commercial uses (residential fuel cells, FCVs). Iwatani intends to address environmental concerns by promoting the use of hydrogen to achieve a carbon-free society. Their vision statement reads, 'Our aim is to make the Earth a better place to live'.

    Hydrogen is transported as a liquid medium (just like LPG). So, a larger volume can be transported for a given space, compared to compressed gas. Liquid hydrogen from the trucks is unloaded into underground storage tanks which is then fed to a Linde high-pressure ionic compressor which boosts the pressure of the hydrogen from 0.6 MPa to 82 MPa. This high-pressure hydrogen is then stored in accumulator tanks and dispensed through a hydrogen dispenser.

    The dispensers (notice the ventilated grills on the ground for venting the hydrogen in the event of a leak):
    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191025_103250.jpg

    The nozzle which is used to dispense hydrogen into the vehicle:
    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191025_103231.jpg
    It takes about 3 minutes to fill a 5 kg tank on the Mirai.

    Hydrogen pricing:
    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191025_103327.jpg
    1100 Yen/kg translates to Rs. 3,850 for a Mirai tankful. Not bad eh?

    The Mirai parked inside the showroom:
    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-20150413_01_03.jpg

  • Visit to teamLab Borderless:

    The trip would conclude with a visit to teamLab Borderless, a digital art museum. A digital museum you’d wonder? So did I, when I had no clue about such a setup. But this one turned out to be too good to be missed when we were essentially roaming in and around Tokyo for all these days. And yet we couldn’t visit all the attractions inside due to the paucity of time.

    TeamLab Borderless is the world’s first digital art exhibition located at Aomi, Tokyo. The museum which has been setup by the TeamLab’s group of architects, animators, mathematicians and programmers offers a very unique and immersive experience to the viewers, by projecting colourful imagery and motion pictures on all the six sides of the room, augmented with sound and lighting inside a pitch-dark interior. This is achieved by using over 450 high-lumen Epson 3LCD projectors connected to 500 PCs for about 60 individual artworks spread over a 10,000 sq m space. As viewers walk into each space, the artwork responds to the person’s presence and the movement. If there are multiple people in the room, the lighting changes based on their movements.

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191025_140949.jpg

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191025_140751.jpg

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191025_140638.jpg

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191025_140626.jpg

    Let me share a clip comprising of four segments (please excuse the terrible quality!), but this doesn’t capture the essence of what we felt there:



    This experience was totally worth it. If you are in Tokyo, you must visit this place. It will take about 3 hours tops and is located right next to the giant Ferris wheel.

And thus, that brings an end to this amazing trip! Sayōnara! But, before I conclude this thread, I thought I must share something about Japan, and about some of the unique experiences I had in this incredible country.

Disclaimer: Toyota invited Team-BHP to Japan. They covered all the travel expenses for this event.

Last edited by Aditya : 27th November 2019 at 10:19.
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The awesomeness about Japan!

When you hear Japan, what do you possibly think of?

Land of the Rising Sun, renowned brands such as Sony, Casio, Seiko, Nintendo, Toyota, Honda, Yamaha, Canon, Pioneer etc., the iconic bullet train Shinkansen, sumo wrestling, karate and judo, instant noodles, the sensu folding fan, video game titles such as Super Mario, Silent Hill, Metal Gear Solid, the Soul series, the Resident Evil series etc., Mount Fuji, ninjas, samurais and geishas, anime and manga, sushi and sashimi, the infamous Yakuza - the list goes on and on. We've all read or heard about Japan from several sources and how this country is fascinating (and weird) in so many aspects.

So, when GTO dropped me a mail back in September 2018 (yep you read that right; the invite was sent a year back!), asking me if I was interested in attending the Tokyo Motor Show 2019, I was taken aback for a moment! A few moments later, I sent him a response in the affirmative. It certainly took some time for the feeling to sink in. But we had a good long year to go!

From the moment I landed in Japan and the really short time I had spent there (4 days and 4 nights to be precise), I was in awe of the country, its culture and its people and their traditions. I just thought I'd share something about the experience and the things I had learnt in no particular order.

  1. Japanese people are some of the most respectful and courteous people I've encountered anywhere. They will go out of their way to help you, greet and welcome you with an informal bow and a warm smile (Kon'nichiwa! translated, Hello) and bid bye with a bow and smile (Arigato gozaimasu translated, thank you). With all this constant bowing, I'm sure they must have built great vertebrae over the years!

  2. Japan enjoys a very high standard of living. The Japanese people live the longest with a life expectancy at 84 years. The quality of its educational system is world class (a good friend and an old timer BHPian had his daughter shifted to a Japanese school from an Indian school!). The country has the highest population of adults who've completed senior secondary education and the infant mortality rate is the second lowest globally.

  3. Japan is obsessed with PUNCTUALITY! All our presentations during the Tokyo Motor Show started on the dot, not a minute early, nor late. Our bus picked us up from the respective locations on time (as indicated in the schedule). When my phone alarm rang, I woke up at 5:30 AM on all the 4 days! When in Rome...

  4. Japan has an extremely high conviction rate at 99.9%! Simply put, nearly all the criminal cases that go to trial in Japan end in a guilty verdict.

  5. 1 Japanese Yen = 0.7 INR (taking into account the INR to USD and USD to JPY conversion charges). Cost of living is very high in Tokyo and some of the things are priced astronomically high! For instance, a daily morning newspaper is priced at 400 Yen!

  6. Japanese railways are privatised. Rail transport services in the country are provided by over 100 private companies. Their rail transportation system enjoys an unrivalled safety record and level of punctuality. And yes, the operators do issue an official apology if the trains are delayed or even if it departs early! You might have read about an incident when a train rolled out of the station 25 seconds early and the operator issued a formal apology.

  7. Japan leads the world's industrial robot production. There are so many types of these robots and not just the mechanical robots in an assembly line of a car assembly - humanoid robots (like the ASIMO from Honda), androids, animal robots, rescue robots, guard robots, astronaut robots, social robots and so on.

  8. Escalator etiquette #1 - Always keep to the left of the escalator. Those who are in a hurry will quickly pass through the right.

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-20100620escalator.jpg

  9. Japan has a unique umbrella culture! The rains were in full swing and I noticed too many people walking with clear plastic umbrellas in Japan. Ever wonder why?

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191025_090455.jpg

    Because they are cheap, widely available and saves the Japanese folks time to hunt around for a colour/pattern of their choice when they've forgotten one and are caught in the rain. Just pick one from a convenience store for 300 Yen. If it breaks, throw it away and buy another one.

    There are dedicated lockers for these umbrellas in public spaces such as a museums, malls, hotels etc. to prevent petty thieves from stealing them.

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-umbrella-locker.jpg
    (Image courtesy - Reddit)

    Wet umbrellas while entering a mall? No problem. Have a sleeve for the umbrella to prevent the water from dripping on to the floor. Use the sleeve dispenser at the entrance.



  10. If there ever was a metric such as the nation with the highest density of vending machines in the world, Japan would walk away with the honours. Turns out, there are 5.5 million vending machines in Japan - one for every 25 people! I spotted so many vending machines located in every nook and cranny of Tokyo! And these vending machines retail anything from cigarettes, soft drinks, instant noodles, vegetables, fruits, umbrellas, tea/coffee, cheap phones, SIM cards, disposable masks, sanitary napkins, undergarments, NSFW stuff and so forth. There are several reasons for this vending machine culture - convenience (who would want to go to a convenience store to get a bottle of water or a cola?), safety (zero vandalism or theft), reliability (most machines work well after they're setup and the owners maintain them too) and low prices of the goods sold (compared to a convenience store).

  11. We've all enjoyed the Kit Kat wafer chocolate no? Check out some of the versions of the Kit Kat available only in Japan - strawberry cheesecake, sake, shinshu apple, purple sweet potato, amaou strawberry, rum raisin, momiji manju, itohkyuemon uji hojicha (!), matcha green tea and roughly about 300 more limited-edition seasonal and regional flavors.

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191022_210616.jpg

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191022_210619.jpg

  12. How about ice creams? Japan has some of the weirdest ice cream flavours - seaweed, soy sauce, purple sweet potato, cherry blossom/sakura, chicken wing, lavender, Indian curry (!) and wait-for-it, octopus!

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191022_210830.jpg

  13. When was the last time you noticed a sweet gesture from a currency exchange counter like this:

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191021_175002.jpg

    Complimentary origami figures at the Narita Arrivals. I wanted to take all of 'em but refrained!

  14. Tokyo has an underground bicycle vault to safely park and store the bikes without occupying the pavement space. A monthly membership costs about 2500 Yen. Check this out:



  15. Planning to pick up some cheap stuff like souvenirs or tools or stationery? Check out Daiso outlets. At any Daiso outlet, if the price of an item is unmarked, it retails for 100 yen. I picked up several sensu folding fans, cute fridge magnets, cellphone strap with bells, maneki-neko figurines for friends and relatives from one. I picked up this Goot branded soldering helper from a shop:

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191024_211249.jpg

  16. A Team-BHP micro-meet in Tokyo? Why not?

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_7875a.jpg

    BHPian Viju and his family drove down from Yokohama to meet me at Odaiba, Tokyo. Viju also happens to be my former classmate-friend's sister's husband. And I was meeting Divya after 15 years! This was quite an emotional meet - we spoke endlessly for hours together. This world's a small place!

  17. We were walking from the Olympic stadium to our bus boarding point, when I noticed these cute construction barricades:

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191024_095939.jpg

    There's even more including the Hello Kitty ones!

  18. Another peculiar thing I had noticed during my brief stay there was that everyone seemed to have an iPhone! Being curious, I checked up on the internet. These stats are self-explanatory.

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-mobile-phone-share.png

    Name:  Mobile phone share_2.PNG
Views: 8730
Size:  20.8 KB

  19. I stayed in a hotel at Shinjuku, the alleys and streets of which are popular hangouts of the Yakuza - the organised crime syndicate of Japan.

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191024_205920.jpg

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191024_205926.jpg

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191024_205953.jpg

  20. Tactile pavings or Tenji Blocks on the footpaths to assist visually impaired pedestrians, was invented in Japan in the late '60s and are a common sight on footpaths, stairways and railway station platforms:

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191024_095912.jpg

  21. So I check into my hotel room, go to the washroom and notice this high-tech water closet!

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191021_202923.jpg

    That seat warmer was a life saver in the cold mornings!

  22. Check out these snaps of food displayed outside street food outlets and restaurants:

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191022_210105.jpg

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191022_210108.jpg

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191022_210111.jpg

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191022_210114.jpg

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191022_210121.jpg

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191025_154229.jpg

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191025_154235.jpg

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191025_154236.jpg

    Looks cool no? This is Sampuru - fake food or food replicas made out of PVC or resin and bears uncanny resemblance to the real deal! These models are displayed so that the customer knows what he's getting when he pays for some dish.

  23. Cameras, lenses, watches, audio equipment such as bookshelf speakers, amplifiers, DACs, AVRs, headphones, watches etc. retail cheaper in Japan compared to India. There are two popular consumer electronics outlets that retail this equipment - Yodobashi Camera and BIC Camera. Just like our Croma, Reliance Digital and the likes. If the total purchase of goods from an outlet exceeds 5,000 Yen, a 10% tax exemption can be availed at the billing counter by producing the passport. They will staple the bill on a passport page and apply a small seal. Further bills can be taped to the existing one. Additionally, a 5% discount can be availed over and above the 10% discount if one pays by a VISA card.

    Japan is a paradise for watch aficionados. In addition to the home-grown brands such as Casio, Seiko, Citizen and Orient, there are several local JDM brands which do not retail out of the country and they proudly display the 'Made in Japan' tag to assure the Jap quality and workmanship to the buyer. Check out these images of Yodobashi Camera's watch outlet:

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-yodobashi-watch.jpg

  24. Japan is currently facing a unique problem - its population has been on a rapid decline since 2011. The birth-rate has dropped over the years and a large chunk of the population is ageing. About 26% of the Japanese population comprises of the elderly who are aged 65 or above! By 2060, it is estimated that this figure would shoot up to 40%!

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-population-decline.jpg

    Then there’s the issue of hikkomori wherein the Japanese youths have become social recluses and stay in isolation and confinement. However, there is good news. The Japanese employers are offering bonuses to their workforce for having babies! Fancy migrating to Japan?

  25. Japanese cuisine - I may be entirely wrong here, but I felt some of the Japanese foods are an acquired taste and one begins to like and appreciate their dishes over time. For the love of my life, I couldn’t get myself to eat the sushi and sashimi properly thanks to the weird taste it left in the mouth. I realised that it is not just seafood which is served raw, even vegetables and meat can be served as a sashimi! Here are some of the Japanese dishes that were served:

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191021_214930.jpg

    Sashimi:
    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191021_214934.jpg

    Simmered pork pieces with miso:
    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191021_215536.jpg

    Deep fried flatfish with mushrooms:
    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191021_220723.jpg

    Grilled fish:
    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191021_220812.jpg

    Grilled rice ball with soup:
    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191021_223151.jpg

    Thanks, but I'd prefer our butter chicken, dal tadka and butter naan. On the last day of our trip, we were treated to some amazing ghar ka khaana.

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191023_210351.jpg

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191025_114349.jpg

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191025_114345.jpg

  26. I thought I wouldn't write about cars at least in this part, but couldn't help sharing this. This is the JPN Taxi, the Japanese variant of the iconic London Taxi:

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191023_073119.jpg

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191023_073149.jpg

    This car replaced the Toyota Crown Comfort, an old school model, which was on sale until 2017. The taxicab drivers are always well dressed - most likely in a suit, tie and white gloves. They are very, very polite! Oh and did I say, the left-rear door (through which the customer is likely to board the cab) is electronically controlled by the driver?


  27. In the public car parking lots, there are these flap-type locks beneath the cars, which essentially lock the cars and preventing them from being driven away. This system lowers the flap plate when the vehicle space number is entered and the parking fee is paid.

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-img_20191024_212800.jpg

  28. Japan is one of those countries which is frequently affected by natural disasters – floods, typhoons, tsunamis, earthquakes, cyclones and volcanic eruptions! Reason? Primarily, because Japan is located in the Ring of Fire or the Circum-Pacific belt in the Pacific Ocean. About 90% of the world's earthquakes and about 81% of the world's largest earthquakes occur along this belt.

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-1000pxpacific_ring_of_fire.png
    (Image courtesy - Wiki)

    Heck, earthquakes happen almost daily although of low magnitudes and are not always disaster-prone. Check out these stats from Earthquake Track:

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Earthquake Track
    Japan has had: (M1.5 or greater)

    2 earthquakes in the past 24 hours

    6 earthquakes in the past 7 days

    34 earthquakes in the past 30 days

    457 earthquakes in the past 365 days

    Yet, this country is damn resilient and we’ve all read about the stories of how Japan bounces back from disasters in no time. Over time, people have been honed to help each other with robotic efficiency during such disasters and, the government have put adequate measures in place to mitigate disasters. For instance, Japan has the most advanced earthquake and tsunami warning system in the world.

    And you would have probably seen this image of the world’s largest underground flood water diversion facility, built to prevent overflowing from the city’s rivers during incessant rains and typhoons. Called the Metropolitan Area Outer Underground Discharge Channel, this facility which looks like some ancient underground temple is an engineering marvel!

    With Toyota in Japan - Tokyo Motor Show 2019 & more!-kasukabe2006_06_07.jpg
    (Image courtesy – Wiki)

    About a week before our trip, typhoon Hagibis wreaked havoc in Japan. I was apprehensive that the trip would be called off but after a few days, life was back to normal. This country truly has its ways!

So that’s a bit about Japan as I read from various sources and experienced first-hand. Cheers to them for the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games!

Concluding this write-up, I hope you guys liked reading it as much as I loved experiencing Japan during my short stay. Thank you for reading!

As I sat on my seat in the flight, buckled up and ready to take off, I vowed to come back to this incredible country for more! Sayonara until then…
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Old 27th November 2019, 10:27   #9
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Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 27th November 2019, 14:19   #10
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Wonderful report! Thanks for sharing

The last post on the awesomeness about Japan was just awesome! It is indeed a fascinating country to visit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gannu_1 View Post
Check out some of the versions of the Kit Kat available only in Japan
And not to forget the Wasabi Kitkat
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Old 27th November 2019, 14:48   #11
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What an epic write-up!!. Japan is such a fascinating country. Can't believe you were able to cover so much in just four days - reads like you were there much longer!. My colleagues and I were there last year for a four day official trip in Tokyo, but all I remember is the airport and hotel, and some dinner, and Karaoke
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Old 27th November 2019, 15:06   #12
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Sexy thread, as always Gannu! I greatly respect your attention-to-detail. Comprehensive coverage, nice pics and an awesome writing style . Informative & fun - both. For those of us who haven't been to Japan, this thread was quite something. Especially loved post #8 too.

I am well familiar with North America & Europe. Japan & China are two great countries I want to spend at least a week in, admiring & understanding their car culture.

Thanks for sharing!
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Old 27th November 2019, 15:36   #13
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Awesome write up! It was like experiencing Tokyo through your eyes. The 'awesomeness about Japan' was truly fascinating.
Thank you for this!!
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Old 27th November 2019, 15:53   #14
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I'd love to go there just to experience the discipline in public spaces! That escalator picture is simple but mind-blowing.
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Old 27th November 2019, 20:11   #15
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Gannu, great writeup with some amazing information and pictures to back it all up. Yeah I am not a big fan of Asian food either - I love our Indian-Chinese food but cannot get to like authentic Japanese food. Or maybe I haven't tried at the right places.

Love the discipline that Japan always maintains. And it is one of the countries with the best healthcare on the planet.
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