Japanese car show hits Singapore shores20 April, 2013 by Mus
Last weekend, Tokyo Auto Salon made its way to Singapore bringing along with it race queens, a bunch of cars and AKB48. Not ones to give an event which gets three out of three right a miss, we visited the show which was held at Marina Bay Sands. Posters were on every other bus-stop, and television advertisements were running ad nauseam. So did the Tokyo Auto Salon manage to live up to the hype?
We hit up TAS on the first day, which was a Friday. Given that it was a weekday, response was understandably muted. Many of the people present were AKB48 fans queuing to get tickets to see their idols; evidently, this was not the ideal audience demographic for a car show. It did however, provide much needed space to explore the show before the crowds swarmed in.
Overall, there was a good amount of space being utilized. Unlike the usual conventions most of us were used to, there was sufficient space to walk around, most probably due to them having to move the cars around. Besides cars, the rest of the booths were showing car accessories. Of course, the ones selling the products were the women.
More technically-inclined geeks would have nevertheless enjoyed the various products on display; it ranged from racing rims to sport suspension systems to audio rigs. It was also pretty funny trying to see some of the more ridiculous body-kits people managed to fit on their cars. Many jokes were made at the expense of the car with eyelashes on the headlights.
Besides the expected Japanese cars, there were also cars from other makers, such as BMW and Ferarri. There were a few interesting designs, but it was a little disappointing to see that much of what was on the show floor were cars made up to look as outlandish as possible. Those of us who appreciated more sleek and simple designs were mostly left unsatisfied, although some gems did leave a good impression.
As expected, the women of TAS were great. Made up of women from Singapore, Japan and even Thailand, many patrons could be seen taking photos of the booth-babes, who were more than willing to pose. Some of them even obliged to taking photos with some of their fans, although cunningly this was usually done with a logo available in the background. Owing to this, it was a good choice to visit on Friday. Getting shots of cars was a lot easier on this day, since many of the booth babes were not even there yet.
Despite the misgivings, it was a pleasant enough show. The price tag of $25 dollars was a little steep and left a little to be desired. Nonetheless, it was a great experience visiting a car show; it’s definitely a different experience from the usual Japanese-related events.
Writer who also doubles as the photographer during event coverage. Mus' interests in Japan lie in the language, literature, popular culture and underground rock bands. Having an academic background in Japan, Mus is also particularly interested in the study of Nihonjinron.