Osaka Motor Show 2012

I went to the Osaka Motor Show! (I was in Japan last week, back in Shanghai already though.)

This was my first motor show, but it was basically what I expected. A geeks paradise. Cars, girls, lots of guys with cameras, and an excuse to point your camera at anything and take 100,000 photos in one afternoon. I even saw this one Japanese guy with one of those dual holster side strap sling things so he could have his two DSLR cameras ready at a moments notice. Hardcore.

I put my photos on the usual social photo sharing locations. Check out my Picasa Album here. You can also get to my Flickr via the thumbnails at the bottom of this blog.

Here are some of my favorite shots.

U-POHS had the most popular booth... and no cars.

There was one hilarious booth in particular that wasn’t even promoting a vehicle, but they had three girls. Two of the girls were wearing bikini tops and cutoff jean shorts and they came out every few hours to sing and dance and pose for all the cameras. This show attracted a bigger crowd than any of the other booths. The company was U-PohS and the girls are called the U-PohS LipGirls. Apparently the company provides a service where they will give you a quote free of charge for the used car you are considering selling to them.

This is the LipGirls dance I never saw because the crowd was so thick. Luckily it seems that one of the lucky guys up front made this video and put it on YouTube! Enjoy LipGirls! When they start to sing the harmony part you might want to turn down the volume… ouch.

How about a bit of language fun to try to keep this a bit intellectual?

The girls who work at these car shows are called “companions” コンパニオン and “campaign girls” キャンギャル (shortened to kyan-girl). I believe that the “companions” are down on the show floor passing out pamphlets and answering questions, while the “campaign girls” are usually the more elaborately dressed models who are up on stage posing with the cars.

There is a Chinese expression: 香車美人 (xiāng chē měi nǚ in Chinese, or I guess きょうしゃびじん : kyoushabijin in Japanese) which basically means beautiful cars and beautiful girls. 香車美人 is a real phrase, though it seems to be more common in China and not so much (if at all) in Japan. (My wife didn’t know it.) It’s real though. See?

If you search Google and YouTube for “大阪モーターショー2012” you can find a lot of other photos and videos from the event.

Car Research article Page 1
Car Research article Page 2

A Japanese blogger on the scene.

Here a YouTube video that is a collection of the Campaign Girls at the event:

Here is a slide show of what must be every single girl at the show… This guy really made the rounds.

That’s all! Remember just Google “大阪モーターショー2012” if you want to see more of the show.

Royal Milk Maid Cafe in Akihabara

I have a friend who is about to head to Japan for the first time, and he wants the Maid Cafe experience. I have been to maid cafe’s before, but not anytime in the past 5+ years or so… so I’m way out of the loop.

This youtube introduction of Royal Milk is pretty good, and the host actually speaks Japanese which is a plus.

Have any of you been to maid cafes? Any recommendations?

Also while we’re on the subject, if you are going to go to Akihabara as a tourist I strongly recommend also visiting NAKANO BROADWAY Shopping Arcade. It’s like Akihabara but with more focus on the anime/maid/figure side of otaku culture rather than the electronics. I haven’t been there forever… and I can’t believe I didn’t blog about it when I did go… but it was great, and my tweeps assure me that it does indeed still exist. Danny Choo has a great piece on Nakano Broadway here you can check out.

Back to the subject of maid cafes, I went to e-maid cafe in Osaka back in 2006 with a quite otaku Japanese buddy and had a fun time. You can read that old school JapanNewbie e-maid cafe blog post here, and you can check out e-maid cafe official site here.

e-maid cafe in Osaka circa 2006

Let me know if you have any maid cafe recommendations!