This weekend Honda Japan is hosting a summer festival all devoted to... well... itself. And while you could do all the normal stuff you would do at a show, like visit all the cool cars, or hang out with Honda’s adorable robot Asimo, there are also... stranger things you can do. These are five of the strangest...
5) Japanese Street Food
Okay, this isn’t strange to me, nor to anyone who regularly attends any kind of major public events in Japan (religious festivals, of course, but also school cultural festivals, sports day activities, open houses, etc), but it probably will seem strange to many readers. This isn’t a car show precisely... it really is more like a festival or carnival that is a celebration of everything Honda. Or maybe it’s like a Honda theme park. Honda-Land! Every park has to have a concession stand...
4) Kei Car Tetris
Honda Japan is in love with the foldability and therefore storage capacity of its N family of kei cars and Japan in general is in love with Tetris. So, of course, some clever person at Honda decided, “Hey, everyone, let’s play Tetris in our N cars!” And so that’s exactly what you can do this weekend. Taking soft versions of various Tetris shape blocks, you and your family (or your students, if like me, you prefer to take care of other people’s teenagers rather than have your own) will either have loads of fun or perhaps tens of minutes of frustration before you hand the blocks back to the poor Honda attendant.
3) Riding Motorised Unicycles
Okay, so this is the Honda UNI-CUB. Conceivably it could be used for all sorts of purposes, especially medical/disability purposes... but there is some wider cultural context here. You see, as a veteran of the Japanese public school system, I can attest that almost every Japanese child has the opportunity to learn how to ride a uni-cycle. It’s symbolic of youth and is inherently seen as cute. Honda, like many Japanese companies, has a tendency to produce promotional items which are cute or recall youth. Asimo is just probably the most well known outside of Japan.
2) Small Child Racing
I know what you’re thinking. McLaren-Honda? BORING. VTEC just kicked in? YAWN. Moto GP? *eye roll* Forget those. They’re all driven by adults. And take it from someone who willingly works with children and teenagers all day because she loves what she does: adults are boring and kinda suck. (Sorry, folks, but you do. Just ask my eighth graders, it’s why I don’t admit to being over 30 when asked about my age, I just say I’ve turned 15 fifteen times). No worries adult-racing-haters, Honda has you covered:
We will have a “Strider Test Ride” event. Let’s challenge ourselves to try a new kind of running by push-kicking the “Strider Bike.”
Sorry Jason, sorry Raph, you must be below this line to “push-kick.” I know you’re heart broken. Here’s some tissue. You’ll get through this disappointment, I promise.
Potato Fit Head
I may like pretending I’m an eternal teenager, but I’m definitely not a small child... and I’m pretty sure that if I was a small child this would terrify me. Wait, scratch that, this terrifies me now. This is an actual event called Honda Smile Mission where you can rearrange body parts/facial parts on the ass-end of a Honda Fit. And then there is some kind of synchronised dancing with the Fit. And then everybody gets original stickers.
Children Honda fans love stickers.
Coverage from the actual event to come! Stay tuned!
Images via Honda Motor Co.
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