The main event of our trip was visiting the Toyota Sera Club of Japan at their meet in the parking lot of the Motorcar Museum of Japan. 15 cars were slated to show up, which is about 5 times the amount of Seras that James and I have ever seen, including the two that we own ourselves! The club members said this was a small turnout for them, but we couldn't be happier. We got to see many different phases/model years and lots of accessories and upgrades that we have never seen before.
All of the owners and their families were extremely kind and welcoming, and even had gifts for us of a Sera model, a 25th anniversary program, and a Japanese license/registration holder. We brought some Twinkies and M&M's with us from home to hand out as well. The Twinkies were a big hit with the kids and we were excited to be able to share a piece of where we're from with them. They were excited to get some pictures with us and we also had fun taking Nintendo 3DS photos with them. It was easily the high point of the trip and the biggest interaction we have had with anyone since we've been here.
The meet ended with a game that is similar to a White Elephant game back in the states. Each member brought some items as gifts representing their local foods or places of interest. All of the items were sitting together on the ground and everyone was allowed to walk through and decide on what they would like to win. We were invited to participate, so we gave the last of our Twinkies and M&M's to the pile for the club members to enjoy.
Once the game started, the announcer held up each item and the members who were interested in winning it raised their hands. The announcer then counted off a group paper-rock-scissors game between them all until everyone was eliminated except for one person. The one person that was left was the winner of the item. It was hilarious and exciting to watch, as we were all playing a bit vigorously. Some items were multiple boxes of the same thing, so the people who raised their hands wanting them would agree to split them out evenly between them so everyone got to enjoy one instead of playing a winner-takes-all approach. James ended up winning a couple of car model kits and I won a T-shirt. James' car models also jokingly had someone's parking ticket taped to them, meaning that the winner of the models would also pay that person's ticket. It was the gift that gives back!
James and I let the club know that they are welcome in Texas at any time, and that we would love to come back for future club events. To the Sera Club- Thank you so much for your hospitality and generosity! You made the whole trip worthwhile. Arigatou gozaimashita!
Check out our prep for this trip here!
James and I landed in Tokyo without a hitch and have been enjoying many sights ever since. We landed around 10:30 pm local time Wednesday and by the time we made it off the plane, through customs and to our hotel, it was nearly midnight. Tokyo is also 14 hours ahead of Houston, so we essentially lost a day during the transition, considering we took off from Houston at 4:35 pm the evening before. All of our hotels have been clean, quiet and convenient, if a bit small by Western standards. Although we've been out and about so much, all we've really done is crash in the bed and then wake up bright and early to do it all over again. Don't need much space for that! The people and food have been great and the city streets have been bustling and very photogenic. The JR Rail passes that we purchased have been invaluable - I couldn't imagine getting around without them.
As far as jet lag goes, we were asleep by 1 or 2 am the first night and the woke up around 8 am the next morning. That night, however, we settled down for an hour nap around 4 pm and didn't wake up until 8 am the next morning! The sun goes down around 5:30 pm and rises almost exactly 12 hours later at this time of year, so that is also throwing us off, as it has been staying light outside for another hour or two after that in Texas. I think we are finally at the point where we are going to sleep at a semi-normal time and waking up early enough to get ready and be out the door after rush hour is over.
Hi, I'm Sarah and I'm a car nut, bird lover, and musician. I have recently transitioned from music teacher to automotive service manager, and there have been lots of cool stories and crazy characters along the way!