Konichiwa Japan

January 27, 2018

When I was ten, I had a bicycle I named Furious Fire that I’d ride beyond neighbourhood borders pretending it was my trusty steed leading me into adventures. You’d think now that I’m all grown up, my relationship to transport vehicles should change to something more subdued, yet when I bought my Prius seven years ago, I fell in love with adventuring all over again.

Everything about my new hybrid car was thrilling; the way it slinks silently running on an electric motor, watching the fascinating interplay of the petrol and electric engine on the screen, how it cruises smoothly on a highway or the economic way I only need to visit a petrol station every two and a half weeks - it just felt like the future. Unsurprisingly, when Toyota recently asked me to visit Japan to test drive their newly redesigned Camry Hybrid on a twin circuit whilst taking in the sights and tastes of the country, I was thrilled and said yes immediately.

Japan is an incredible country, one I’ve had experience with in the past when I used to model in Tokyo as a teenager and absolutely adore. People are kind and courteous and the food is, as we all know, amazing.  But unlike Tokyo, which is a hive of activity,  this time the itinerary also included Nagoya, the countryside and temples, giving me a bigger mouthful and appreciation of the rich Japanese culture.

Adding to the fun was having Adam Goodes,Tyson Mayr of Naked Traveler,Richie Strahan, Jennifer Nini from Eco Warrior Princess and  Travis Lunardi to gang up and eat way too much with.  From a day in Tokyo that started off with a raw fish breakfast at the iconic fish markets straight off the plane to the granddaddy Toyota experience of racing the sporty new Camry Hybrid on the Suzuka Twin Circuit track with ex Formula 1 drivers, this trip had everything.

I loved the sporty and stylish Camry for it's aerodynamic design and luxe features, but it was the pure excitement of driving it that had me hooked - the acceleration is seamless with 3 transmissions and the speed sensitive steering keeps it tight around corners - all the while using a fraction of petrol of a conventional car. How little? The Camry Hybrid uses just 4.2 litres per 100km - one could drive from Sydney to Melbourne on just one tank; making this car an incredibly ecological way of commuting. It's high performance, luxury and ecology blended seamlessly. I have partnered with Toyota for another post in which I learn additional specks and the science behind how these cars work -( something my inner nerd is quite excited about! )- but till then, here is a little montage of my trip...

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