The Tokyo Auto Salon is one of the biggest events in the car modification and tune-up world. Held annually in January, over 1,000 cars and 4,000 booths showcasing accessories and add-ons attract about 300,000 visitors, including press members and celebrities from the auto world.
How big is it?
Massive. The 4,000 booths are spread over 4 exhibition halls each of which look like they’d be capable of holding 1-2 jumbo jets. In addition there is an indoor arena and an outside event area which holds drift shows and other demo runs. Even if you plan on casually strolling around just to look at all the glitz, you’ll need about 3 hours. And that’s before you’ve looked at the scheduling for the special indoor and outdoor events.
What can I see?
While the event is famous in the tune-up world, that doesn’t mean that every vehicle looks like it is bound for the set of Fast & Furious. Among the booths you can also see souped-up sound systems, people carriers renovated for 5-star dining, off-road rally cars, tool-kit manufacturers, and the like. You can also purchase merchandise and sign-up for more information if you’re interested in getting a new body gloss job for your car (for example). Moreover, the big car manufacturers also want a slice of the “cool” and so there are booths displaying the latest models from Honda and so on.
But it’s not necessarily the cars that get all the attention: the most popular booth when I visited consisted of three scantily-clad Japanese girls dancing on the back of a pick-up truck to promote… either a sound system or a pick-up truck (I’m not sure anyone cared). Not even the crystal-encrusted pink Lamborghini nearby could compete.
How much is it?
Tickets are ¥3,000 on the day. Tickets are valid for only one day and cannot be refunded.