Classic cars to roll through Tokyo

Close to 100 classic automobiles from around the world are scheduled to take part in a car festival in Tokyo's Meiji Jingu Gaien district on November 28.

The event will showcase vehicles from American and European manufacturers -- as well as a number of classic domestic designs -- and include an 11 km-rally through Tokyo's up-market Ginza district.

Among the cars on display will be former Prime Minister Shigeru Yoshida's Rolls Royce.

Toyota Motor Corp. has hosted similar events similar events in the past, but this year's festival also marks the 20th anniversary of the opening of the Toyota Automobile Museum. The museum is located in Aichi Prefecture, central Japan, which is the manufacturing hub of the company.

Japan's auto industry has been hit hard by the global economic downturn, although there are hopes that the worst of the crisis is now over.

"We are not using this as a direct way to try to reinvigorate the market, but we would very much like a lot of people to experience the enjoyment and charm of cars and automobile culture," Yoshie Matsuura, a spokeswoman for Toyota, told Relaxnews.

"Toyota believes that continuing to hold events that appeal to a large number of people from across the age groups is part of our mission as an auto maker," she added.

The main venue will be the Meiji Memorial Picture Gallery, with the event also including displays of automobile paraphernalia, rides on a classic bus and attractions for children.

But the highlight of the festival will undoubtedly be the classic cars. And while most of the vehicles taking part in the event are more than 30 years old and a number are drawn from the Aichi museum, Toyota is also adding some of their more modern creations.

The Prius plug-in hybrid -- which is rapidly earning classic status for its cutting-edge engine technology -- will be represented, as will the i-REAL personal mobility vehicle, which was first unveiled at the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show.

Tokyo Classic Car festival

November 28, 2009
10 am to 4 pm
Location: Meiji Memorial Picture Gallery, Meiji Jingue Gaien, 1-1 Kasumigaoka-cho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo

Admission: Free

http://www.meijijingugaien.jp/english/

JR

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