At 10:00 am on April 20, 1967, a procession of Shinto priests followed by a brass band opened a pedestrian footbridge over a five-way intersection in Tokyo. This type of blessing ceremony is typical of grand openings in Japan, even if the thing that’s opening isn’t super grand. What’s notable about this photo is that in a month’s time both the Toyota 2000GT and Mazda Cosmo Sport would debut, but the traffic on the streets below was still largely comprised of commercial or utility vehicles.
There’s a Toyota ToyoAce truck, Subaru Sambar kei pickup, and Isuzu bus. The big sedans are the ubiquitous Toyota Crown and Nissan Cedric taxis. The smaller cars in the foreground include Nissan Sunny, Toyota Publica, and Mitsubishi Colt and Minica vans. Fewer than a third of the cars appear to be privately owned, and consist of the Crown wagon, Crown sedan, Prince Gloria, and Nissan Bluebird. Cars like the 2000GT and Cosmo Sport were wildly beyond what the average Japanese could afford.
Above is a Google satellite view of the intersection, and here’s what it looks like from street level today.
Image: Kimoken Blog