Days of Future Fast: The 43rd Tokyo Motor Show

It’s been a long time since I’ve done a picture post! In November 2013, I had the pleasure of squeezing my way into Tokyo Big Sight for the 43rd annual Tokyo Motor Show. As expected, many of the major car brands were out in full effect: Mazda, Honda, Nissan, Mitsubishi, MINI, Renualt, Porsche, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Kawasaki, Lexus, Subaru, Jaguar, Volvo, and a whole host of others. I can’t claim to be much a car buff, if you ask me about car engines, you’ll most like get a blank stare as a reply. Heck I’ve probably only done about 2-3 weeks’ worth of driving in the last six years (thanks Japanese public transportation!). Nevertheless, I do find the motor show quite interesting because you get an idea of direction car companies are headed. Going to the show is literally having the chance to see the future.

Before we look at some of the cool/weird pictures of stuff I saw at this year’s show, let’s take a brief moment to take a look at the Good and Bad of the 2013, 43rd Annual Tokyo Motor Show.

Tokyo Motor Show 2013, The Good

You know what I REALLY liked About this year’s Show
? It had to be the new new motorcycle and cruiser concepts. There were some really next-level looking, Back To The Future 2-ish type designs there. When you take a look at Kawasaki’s B-Cru 3-Wheeler and the Toyota FV2, a little later, you’ll see what exactly what I mean.

I really like the shiny, new paint jobs on all the cars. The cooler the paint job, the more you want to look. It’s almost like hypnosis in a way. “Donnaaald…stare into my shiny paint job. Now do as I say. Kill everyone.”

Yes, this is a motor show and all, but gosh darn it I want my own personal ASIMO!! Every time I go to the Honda exhibition area, I am always amazed by what ASIMO can do. He was actually freakin’ jumping that this year’s show! I hang onto every word that robot says. Asimo could be teaching the nuances of astro physics and I would be 100% tuned in. If he’s jumping, if he’s able to learn? I wonder what’s next for the cute, little guy?

Another very interesting thing about this show is how many of the companies are starting to put a VERY cool spin on electronic vehicles (EVs), the Japanese companies in particular. Creating EV designs that turn heads in a good way will only make more people want to drive them. More and more companies going electric will eventually strike a major blow in the efforts to wean people off of the gasoline teat. I know that a long ways away, though, but you gotta start somewhere, right? There is no better place to test the widespread viability of electric cars than right here in Japan. The company is small enough to make changes happen quickly and modern enough to make it a possibility. ROCK ON!

Tokyo Motor Show 2013, The Bad

The People. This place was jam-packed, so much so in fact that there were certain exhibits where I was squished in so tight that I had trouble breathing. While this shows that people still have huge love for the Tokyo Motor Show, I’d rather go on a day where I don’t have to stiff-arm my way through an impenetrable defensive line of sharp-toothed, rabid, camera-toting car enthusiasts. Just to give you an idea of how many people were there. On its busiest day, November 30th, 2013, there were 131,600 visitors in attendance. How do I know? The official Tokyo Motor Show website actually posted it.

What else didn’t I Like About the Show? The truly sad thing about the show (for me) had nothing at all to do with the show. My wonderful Canon camera of nearly six years just decided to break down on me. Every shot I tried to take gave me an error message. While I couldn’t get as many shots as I would have liked, with the help of my trusty iPhone I was still able to capture some of the coolest concepts I saw at the show:


Yessir! I was back at Tokyo Big Sight for another helping of 2013 Tokyo Motor Show Madness. For any people who are interested in this event, here’s a tip: Don’t go on the first day the event opens! It’s beyond crowded.


I’m going to start with this guy. This was hands down my favorite vehicle at this year’s show. This Kawasaki’s three-wheeled B Cru motorcycle.


The front view of the Kawasaki B-Cru 3-Wheeler. I really wanted to see this in action. From the promotional videos, it seems as though the front wheels have dual suspension which make this thing look like it would handle like champ!


I promise this is the last one of the B-Cru. Does this bike make anybody else’s no-no place tingle?

Tokyo-Motor-Show-2013-Audi-R8-V10-Front View

I tried my best not to physically lick this car. What? It looks like a candy apple! But no candy apple is worth being bludgeoned in the head for tasting. I’ll pass.


The rear view of the Audi R8V10. Sigh…maybe someday.


This racer is Audi’s P1 HY. What else do I know about it? Umm, it goes really fast??


See? This is the kind of stuff I’m interested in. That’s why I usually go to motor shows by myself. My buddies aren’t going to be like “Hey guys, let’s go look at that cute, Cub cycle from Honda again.” But that sounds like something I’d say.


The side view of the Honda Cub. I think I like it because it looks a bit like the bike from “Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure” just blue instead of red. I don’t know of any of you know that movie, but it was a staple in the Ash family household when we were kids.


Check out the Uni-Cub Beta. It’s like an electric unicycle that won’t make you fall on your own face.


Something about vintage vehicles is rather cool to me. This old Japanese racing beauty is Honda’s RA271


As much as I like vintage cars, I don’t know if I necessarily be interested in driving one at high speeds. I don’t see any place for airbags or any of that stuff. Yeah, I’ll just watch from here.
Here’s a little fun fact for you. DId you know Honda’s 1964 RA271 was Japan’s first F1 racer? So you’re looking at a real piece of Japanese car history here. I kinda feel like this belongs in a museum instead of here at the motor show.


Here’s another view of the RA271. My oh my how cars have changed.


I’ve never heard of Ken Okuyama before, but he had some really noteworthy concepts at this year’s show.


If you want to check out more of his stuff, you can visit his website at


A tractor concept? Really?! I would ride this thing on the highway without giving it a second thought.


Why would a tractor need to be this stylish? Beats me. I guess farmers want to look cool, too.


Another very cool Ken Okuyama sports concept car. I told you this guy brought his A game.


This is the front view of the Volkswagen XL1. I always get the names of my doors mixed up. Maybe one of you car buffs can help me. Are these butterfly doors or canopy doors? (Donald shrugs his shoulders)


This may be the coolest Volkswagen vehicle I have ever laid eyes on. When someone says Volkswagen I think of a bug, cute and functional, but definitely nothing this sporty.


The rear view looks kinda freaky, huh? I was waiting for E.T. to pop up with shades on, but unfortunately that never happened :(


I stood in front of this black and yellow Beetle racer with my eyes squinting extra tightly.
I was trying exercise every wish muscle in my brain to make this transform into everybody’s favorite autobot, Bumblebee!


Transform, dammit!


What I like to think of as the Mercedes with a twist. Mercedes makes me think classy and refined. This SLS AMG GT Final Edition just makes me think “bad ass.” Gullwing Doors?

Tokyo-Motor-Show-2013-Nissan-Blad-Glider-Side View

This is Nissan’s new Blade Glider. I like it because is an innovative new way to look at EVs (electronic vehicles).


Wait, maybe these are butterfly doors. Ahhh, I give up!


The rear view of Nissan’s Blade Glider. This concept is a 3-seater that put the driver front and center, making the car more agile and more efficient.


I’m not exactly sure what the name of this Porsche racer was. It looked quite cool. After thinking for a bit, though all I can see in my head is the aftermath of that Porsche Paul Walker was riding in and my stomach just drops.


I remember Renault having one of my favorite car concepts at last years show. Renault’s “Dezir” concept was another truly hot concept this year.


Dezir’s interior was also really strange, in a cool “I’m really a smaller version of the Starship Enterprise” kind of way.


The Dezir sideview. Does every car end up looking ten times cooler with scissor doors? The red lighting on the seats was also pretty hot.


Dezir side view number two. Sleek!


A look at the back of one of my favorite concepts in the show. Bom Chika Wow Wow.


This was my 2nd favorite concept of the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show. This is the Toyota FV2. While I think it’s more geared towards a younger group, it looks like it’d be a lot of fun to ride.


This was an actual demonstration of the FV2 technology. I didn’t realize that you actually stand this contraption. I didn’t realize that what I thought was a lid is actually more like a windshield. I also didn’t realize that a hot, Japanese woman in a full-body leather suit could make me salivate more than Pavlov’s Dog.
I was wait desperately waiting for the “Touch Me” sign that appeared on the FV2′s wheel (in the picture above) to magically show up on the rear end of this girl’s suit. I probably would have clawed my way to be the first one on stage.


Okay, now you’re just showing off.

My Final Take

Not being a car fanatic you have to take what I’m saying with a grain of salt, okay? The 43rd Annual Car Show was good, but it couldn’t top the 42nd annual show. This may be because the 42nd show was my very first time actually going, or it could be because I’m speaking the truth. The reason I thought so is because some of most popular car companies just didn’t seem to bring their “A” game this time around. While there were some creative car concepts, I didn’t see as many standouts as I did last time; I didn’t have as many “Oooh moments.”
**Wait a minute. Didn’t the 42nd Annual Show happen in 2011? This is 2013 isn’t it? Hmm…**

But hey, there’s going to be another one next year. I’m sure there will be no shortage of cars and definitely no shortage of people.

Japan Guy Car Trivia Question: What is Japan’s largest car company in terms of gross sales? (I honestly don’t know myself, that’s why I’m asking)

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Donald Ash is an ATLien expat who has been living in a Japanese time warp for the last six years. While in aforesaid time warp, he discovered that he absolutely loves writing, blogging, and sharing. Donald is the creator, writer, designer, editor, programmer, and occasional bad artist of blog (that's just way too many hats, dude). Wanna know more about this guy? Check out his "What's Your Story" page.
  • Fran Ferran

    I’m not a car fanatic, don’t care for women in skin-tight suits and absolutely hate crowds, so I don’t have a motive to go to car expos, except out of curiosity. Speaking of women, car companies need to stop catering for men only because women buy cars too. They should have some guy candy with washboard abs and nutcracker/finger-breaking rears….lol. Maybe they would increase attendance to 200,000. Don’t think that would sway me one way or the other but most women do like looking at sexy men.
    Cool concepts though but I would me more interested in solar cars and water-fuelled cars.

    I think the answer is Nissan but don’t quote me on that.

    • thejapanguy

      That makes sense. Many of the car exhibits are designed with the average male in mind. I think car companies do that because the vast majority of people who go to car shows are guys. At both this motor show and the last one they held, there were HUGE numbers of people there. But the ratio of men to women was extremely skewed towards the men.

      Yes there was lots of women eye candy, but not every exhibit was like that. Much of what the car companies were showing was pretty neutral or family-related. In cases where the companies wanted to convey a sexy a new image, or for a lot of the motorcycle exhibits, they used a sexy woman to promote it.

      Maybe someone is hearing you, though, because this was the first year I saw a J-Pop-like group in white suits out there dancing and singing promote one of the car lines (Mazda maybe?). While it’s not quite your washboard abs & nutcracker/finger-breaking rears, I’m sure it’s only a matter of time. ;)

      • Fran Ferran

        I’d actually take the singing and dancing over the sexy dude model. That might sound weird but that’s just how I am. Some women would definitely enjoy it though and the way I see it is that if you’re going to have eye-candy for the men you should have eye-candy for the women.

  • DL

    Hah! You went again!!! I was going to remind you to go this year (like last year) but because you didn’t post very much I thought maybe you skipped town! Glad you enjoyed it and yes I’m envious…

    • thejapanguy

      DL!!! Good to hear from ya, buddy! I definitely had to go again. I remember you reminding me last time and now it’s an ingrained habit. So thank you VERY much :)
      Admittedly I thought last year’s show was slightly better, but this one was good, too!

      • DL

        The first one is always the best! Same goes for movies, girlfriends, etc… :D

  • Nanami

    How did I miss this post…? And.. I.. I think I’m in love with that nice black and blue number. +_+!

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