New School Security Guard

Hi everyone. This is Jamie from sales department. How are you guys doing lately?
Are you ready for Halloween??
My best experience at Halloween is my first year in the US, which is back in 1997….. wow such a long time ago.

Anyway, today’s topic is this : Security guard in fancy machine.
Please check out this pictures.
Honestly, I could not recognize him until he got closer to me like this distance.
He is a security man at Nagoya International Airport.
Isn’t it fancy? Japanese security peopel are getting lazy or what?

Toyota i-Real Kei

Toyota i-Real Kei

Toyota i-Real Kei

Toyota i-Real Kei

It’s already a robot, isn’t it?

Since I got so curious about this ride, I had a small chat with him.
He said he can lean back a little bit when it’s not moving. I was like “is this a sofa”??
He said it can go as fast as people’s normal running speed, so that they can catch bad people.

mmm…if I were him, I could easily fall in sleep in there.
I give him a gold medal for “the cutest secury man of the year”. What do you think?

Narita Airport

Nagoya Airport

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The Smallest Car in the World?

Hi everyone, it’s Maki here again. This is my first post on this blog in a few weeks, so let’s hope I can make this at least a little interesting to read.

These days, with fuel price and the prices of so many other things on the rise, many people are turning their attention to cost-efficient small cars. In fact, there are so many small hatchbacks in Japan today that it’s practically impossible to keep track of all their names.

And actually, these cars actually make a lot of sense: most of them can seat up to 5 people, carry luggage in the back (albeit not very large ones), require a refill only once in a blue moon, can effortlessly conquer narrow roads, and most importantly, will get you where you want to go. So, unless you need to drive on muddy hills, carry tons of luggage or have a large family, there is no need to own a big car; for many people, a small hatch can be just the kind of car they need.

Let me show you a few examples of popular small Japanese cars that are commonly found in stock at Autocom Japan. (To see the entire stock list click here)

Toyota Vitz

Toyota Vitz

KSP90

Honda Fit

Honda Fit

GD1

Nissan March

Nissan March

AK12

Toyota Ist

Toyota Ist

NCP61

Suzuki Swift

Suzuki Swift

ZC11S

They are all good, reliable machines.
My intent today, however, is not to show you every little detail of these cars to show you how good they are; I don’t know well enough about them to do that. Instead, I’d like to show you how small cars can possibly get and still be functional as… well, a car.

So which of the cars above is the smallest? To be honest, none of them are.They are, in fact, giants compared to what is known today as “the smallest car ever to go into production”: the Peel P50.

And here’s a photo of it. Isn’t it the cutest thing?

Peel-P50

It looks like a cyclops with its single headlamp. Ok, so I have to tell you first that this is NOT a Japanese car, it is 100% British, manufactured by Peel in the Isle of Man during the early 1960’s. (People often say that we Japanese are the best at making small things, but it looks like the Brits have beaten us to it this time)
The car seats only one adult, weighs less than 60kg, and its engine capacity is no more than 49cc.
Instead of writing about this as if I know everything, I should just refer you to its wikipedia article here, from where I got all the info.
I did not know of this vehicle’s existence until I happened upon a video of famed British TV show Top Gear, in which presenter Jeremy Clarkson, who is 6ft5in tall, crammed himself into this tiny little car and drove himself around London. In my honest opinion, it’s one of the best Top Gear features ever, and a timeless classic.

Here is that famous Top Gear video clip for everyone to see:

According to Wikipedia, the Peel P50 can do 100MPG(!!). I’d say that’s more than economical enough for me! Of course, a car of this size is way too small to drive around safely in these days, and I’m sure everyone wants cars that seat more than a single person. Still, it’s interesting to see the kinds of small cars that people have been making decades ago, and how they have changed over the years.

By the way, this little Peel is now a vintage car and costs many, many times more than any of the Japanese cars pictured above. Amazing!

Autocom Japan’s City “YOKOHAMA”

Hi, this is Jamie. How are you guys doing?
As many of you know, Japan had fall version of “Golden Week” this year called “Silver Week” last week.
It was a 5-day-weekend, I’m sure everybody enjoyed the long weekend.

What did I do? I had a little family reunion.

My parents came over to Yokohama using $10 freeway plan from Nagoya.
It seems to be about less than 4 hour driving without any traffic from Nagoya to my place, so it’s not so bad, right?

We visited some Harbor area in Yokohama, where our beautiful office is located at.
This is one of the signature places in Yokohama and there were many people walking around indeed that time.

Yokohama, home to Autocom Japan

Do you see the Ferris Wheel in the picture?
That Ferris Wheel is lighten up at night and it’s pretty romantic when you see it from the bridge like this one below.

Yokohama Port

There is a big ship in this harbor.
I don’t remember the name of the ship, but it’s a real historical ship.

Yokohama, home to Autocom Japan

That’s our city, Yokohama.
I’m not a local here, but I’m glad I moved to this area.

Am I a number-plate freak?

Hello, this is Jamie. I’m sorry I could not upload any of my blogs lately….. I was just….lazy.
What have you been up to?

Today, I would like to share with you one of my favorite stuff.
I got pretty good reaction on my “Spiderman idog” last time, so here you go again.

My favorite stuff I would like to share today is something related to vehicle number plate.
I don’t know what exactly I like about it…. somebody tell me.

Since I was living in California, I had access to get some California number plates for free.
I kept 3 plates for myself and these are displayed in my apartment right now. Don’t they look cute?
California license plates

If you don’t think so, then how about Nevada State plate “WINNER”??
Nevada state WINNER plate

I got it in Las Vegas !

I didn’t see any “LOSER” plate there, but I’m always a loser in Vegas. A big “L” on my forehead.

OK, how about this? Elvis Presley Blvd plate??
Don’t you love it?
Elvis Presley Blvd plate
My friends gave it to me for my birthday a few years ago and since then, it’s been on my wall all the time.

So, when you get a chance to visit my apartment, please take “Elvis Presley Blvd.” after you get into my room 🙂

I used to have a CD case which is made by a number plate.
Used to?? Why not anymore?
That was because it wasn’t so useful and couldn’t handle many CDs….CD case is supposed to be functional, right?

With all due respect, I like Hawaiian plate, Maki! It’s cute, too.

Tokyo Motor Show 2009… how will it turn out?

So, summer has ended and a new season has begun.. hope everyone’s doing well! Here in Yokohama, weather has suddenly turned chilly and rainy (we’ve even had a typhoon earlier this week). Like so many others, I find myself wishing that this summer had lasted a wee bit longer (actually, more like a LOT longer!).

Now on to topic… as car enthusiasts all over the world know, this is the year of the 41st Tokyo Motor Show. Set to take place from near the end of October to early in November, this biennial event always attracts millions of car lovers from worldwide wanting to see the many innovative concepts and exotic supercars. Only this year, it appears that things are looking rather bleak for this international event. Take a look at the current list of exhibitors at the official site:

http://www.tokyo-motorshow.com/en/booth/index.html

As you can see on that page, most non-Japanese car manufacturers have pulled out of the show, leaving mostly Japanese car makers such as Toyota and Honda. That means no Ferrari, Chrysler, Maserati, Lamborghini, Audi, or Volvo? not even Volks Wagen?? Ok, so of course their quality cannot be compared to Japanese cars, but it’s really sad because in the 3 previous motor shows I have been to, those European and American cars always added a flavor to the show.

The last Tokyo Motor Show we had (TMS2007) was not as great as the previous ones, but still much bigger than this year’s is set to be. I’d like to share with you today some photos of that 2007 show. I know they’re 2 years old now, but we will not be seeing the likes of most of these in this year’s event (And everyone likes to see pics of exotic cars, right?). They are all fascinating cars to look at, and their brands will be sorely missed this year.

Maserati Gran Turismo
Maserati Gran Turismo

Honda CR-Z
Honda CR-Z concept (hybrid)

Mazda Taiki
Mazda Taiki

Mitsuoka Orochi
Mitsuoka Orochi, design inspired by a serpent

Alpha Romeo 8C Competizione
Alpha Romeo 8C Competizione

Audi R8
Audi R8, one of my all-time favorites

Ferrari 599 GTB
Ferrari 599 GTB


Subaru Imprexa WRX. Too bad Subaru pulled out of WRC soon after this was released.

I don’t know if I’ll go to this year’s motor show after seeing this exhibitor list, but if I do I will be sure to post pictures.

The Kind of Japan You don’t often See or Hear About

Hello people! Hope you’re all enjoying your summer (or winter, depending on where you are) because I sure am! 8) Too bad it’s almost over…

This month I went on a trip to Kamikouchi, which is an inland area of Japan surrounded by beautiful mountains.
Now, when most foreigners think of Japan, I’m sure that the things that come to their minds first are stuff like the glittering cityscape, advanced technology, anime, … and of course our high quality cars (right?). Not many would think of mountains and valleys covered in lush forests or of rivers that flow through them. Which is why I’d like to share with you today some of the photos I took in Kamikouchi.

A little info about this place: it is a piece of land about 1500m above sea level, surrounded by a mountain range. One has to travel many miles through winding mountain roads and narrow tunnels to reach it. What makes the trip even harder is the fact that regular cars are not allowed into the destination; you have to park at a certain point, and take a bus or taxicab the rest of the way. I don’t really recommend taking the bus (which I did) because the rough ride will make you carsick.
But let me say this: it is definitely worth the trouble! The scenery is so utterlessly gorgeous that you forget all about the bumps and discomforts of the journey on the bus… that is, until it’s time to go home, and you are forced to endure the ride all over again.
But, enough about this.. I will shut up now and post the photos. Enjoy!

River in KamikouchiRiver among trees.

Kamikouchi mountains

Yakidake, a dormant volcano, behind Taisho Pond

kamikouchi06

kamikouchi07River again…

kamikouchi02Stumps of trees destroyed by a volcano eruption protrude from a pond.

kamikouchi03I suppose you’ve got it by now that there’s a LOT of water in this area. 🙂

…and that’s it for now folks! Hope you liked the pics.
Mahalo for reading!

Maki

My Little Buddy….. “i-dog”

This is Jamie. What’s up everybody?
Today, I want to introduce my little buddy, a spider man “i dog”.
This is actually my second doggy dog, and my first buddy was just a plain and white version. (see pictures)

IMG00029-20090802-2033IMG00031-20090802-2033IMG00030-20090802-2033

As you know, “i dog” is just an iPod player which you can carry anywhere you want.
The sound quality is not as good as other real speakers, but isn’t it just cute???

I’ve been using this white body for about 3 years, and I must say that HE IS NOT WHITE ANYMORE.
He was getting dirty and dirty as time goes, which is totally okay, but……

Anyway, what do you think about the spiderman version??

It’s been in my junk box for a while, but I just made him debut a few days ago on my little book shelf.
Welcome, Buddy!!