Big in Japan: Scenes from the Tokyo Motor Show

What’s better than beautiful women and exotic cars?

How about beautiful women standing next to exotic cars!

For the past few weeks, the biennial Tokyo Motor Show (???????????????????????) was in full effect at Makuhari Messe in Chiba City, which is a quick one-hour train ride from central Tokyo.

Hosted by the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA), and recognized by the International Organization of Automobile Constructors (IOAC), the Tokyo Motor Show is regarded as one of the world’s big five auto shows along with Detroit, Geneva, Frankfurt and Paris.

Since one of my earliest father-son bonding memories was a trip to the New York Auto Show (thanks Dad!), I’ve always had a love for cars – and the women standing next to them!

With that said, this week and next, Big in Japan will be bringing you exclusive coverage of the latest, greatest and craziest automobiles (and the most beautiful models) from the land of the Rising Sun.

For starters, let’s talk a little bit about the history of one’s of the world’s greatest automobile exhibitions.


In 1954, the first ever ‘All Japan Motor Show’ was held in an outdoor venue in Tokyo’s Hibiya Park, and attracted over half a million visitors in ten days. Owing to its commercial success, the event was held in successive years, though it changed locations to the larger Harumi Showplace venue following the construction of Tokyo’s subway system.

Following the fuel shortage in 1973, the event was postponed, which marked the start of the motor show as a biennial event. Due to increasing public demand, in 1989 the event moved to its current location at Makuhari Messe, which hosts one of Japan’s largest exhibition centers.

For the past two decades, the Tokyo Motor Show has emphasized concept cars, which is the main reason behind its incredible mass appeal. Although the vast majority of concept cars never reach the public market, their design elements tend to appear in commercially-released products a few years after being unveiled.

This year, the theme of the Tokyo Motor Show was environmental conservation, with an emphasis on hybrids, plug-in hybrids, electric vehicles, mopeds, hydrogen cars and personal transport devices (think Segway on steroids). In response to rising oil prices and changing attitudes about the role of an automobile, this year’s concept cars are proof that you don’t have to sacrifice performance for the sake of efficiency.

For the next several days, I will be blogging about the coolest concept cars and the most innovative automotive designs. Whether you’re a raging gear head or just interested in seeing some beautiful Japanese models, tune in to Big in Japan for the coverage of the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show.

** This post is dedicated to my Dad, who was the architect behind our annual pilgrimage to the New York Auto Show. Although he has yet to get on a plane and come visit me here in Japan, perhaps the 2009 Auto Show will be the incentive he needs to take the trip! **

For photos of the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show, check out the gallery below: