We had high hopes of getting something completely unlike anything available in the US as a rental car today, but our hearts sank as we saw the Toyota Vitz (Yaris) waiting for us at the parking lot. They sank further when we saw it was bright purple.
Nippon Rent-A-Car employee #1 to Nippon Rent-A-Car employee #2: Let’s give these gaijin the fruitiest car we have!
Despite an engine that rattled like a 20-year-old diesel at idle, we managed to get to Twin Ring Motegi without incident. If you don’t count getting lost a half dozen times, that is. Apparently, the locals pronounce Tochigi “TOACH-iggy” and not “toe-CHEE-geey”. Who knew.
Honda’s race track Twin Ring Motegi is in the middle of nowhere. These narrow streets made even a Vitz seem like the Titanic.
If it weren’t for the occasional futuristic-looking kei car, some of these villages would look right at home in a Kurosawa samurai film.
Finally, after three hours, a sign!
There’s the hall. Hondas lie within!
There’s hundreds on Hondas in the museum. Most are bikes, since they take up less space, but there’s a great assortment of cars as well. We took hundreds of photos, but here’s just a few from Ben’s lame point-and-shoot camera. Dan’s the real photographer, and the ones he took with the SLR will be downloaded and edited after we get back.
After another long drive back to Tokyo, we’re exhausted and glad to be rid of the magenta Vitz. We’ve gotten only about 4 hours of sleep in past 48 hours, but tomorrow’s the New Year Meeting!