Can’t Take My Eyes Off the City Lights

Taking the i-ROAD on a nifty spin around Tokyo's winter illuminations

Test Drive Pilots

With the arrival of winter, Christmas songs can be heard all over Tokyo.
Such musical joy is accompanied by decorative lighting to richly illuminate the night skies, easing the city streets into a buoyant and festive mood.
This is certainly the brightest and most flashy season of the year, unconsciously spurring the heart to soar.
Indeed, Tokyo's winter illumination has emerged as a joyful attraction now famed worldwide.
In this session, we report on use of the i-ROAD, a vehicle fueled by the same electric power source as these lights,
to check out the Tokyo Christmas illumination.
Climb aboard – the city lights are calling out!
With the arrival of winter, Christmas songs can be heard all over Tokyo. Such musical joy is accompanied by decorative lighting to richly illuminate the night skies, easing the city streets into a buoyant and festive mood. This is certainly the brightest and most flashy season of the year, unconsciously spurring the heart to soar. Indeed, Tokyo's winter illumination has emerged as a joyful attraction now famed worldwide. In this session, we report on use of the i-ROAD, a vehicle fueled by the same electric power source as these lights, to check out the Tokyo Christmas illumination. Climb aboard – the city lights are calling out!

Illumination paradise of Tokyo!

Illumination paradise of Tokyo!

The advances made in illumination in recent years are nothing less than stunning. Powered by the proliferation of LED light bulbs, eco-friendly for their low electricity consumption and generation of no heat, the scope for engineering decorations, exhibits and other attractions has dramatically expanded. Every year, this inspires a steady stream of new illumination concepts and platforms designed to truly mesmerize our senses.

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In Tokyo as well, every year brings captivating updates of this illumination story, with a growing number of spots arranged for our viewing pleasure.
Venturing out into the city, increasingly visionary lightshows greet us most everywhere we go – as if a magical spell has been cast over the entire bustling metropolis.

Basking in the crisp clear air of winter, simply gazing at the glistening lights is more than sufficient to ignite a happy glow in the heart as well.

The i-ROAD is an ultra-compact three-wheeled electric vehicle developed to bring greater freedom to urban mobility. The unit maneuvers tightly around corners, offers an impressively wide field of vision and peaceful, quiet ride, making it an ideal means of getting around the illuminated quarters.

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Roppongi – lit up in otherworldly beauty

Roppongi – lit up in otherworldly beauty

Within Tokyo, the upscale Roppongi district has risen to reign as a top spot for illuminated majesty. A particular standout is the decorative lighting on the Japanese zelkova trees along Keyakizaka Street. Here, cold and warm colors illuminate alternatively in surreal images, with stately Tokyo Tower in the background. This sloping route renders the illumination even easier to see, while the stylish affinity with the surrounding facilities further enhances this extraordinary urban lighting experience.

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Omotesando – boulevard of brilliant lighting

Omotesando – boulevard of brilliant lighting

Omotesando is one of Tokyo’s most celebrated thoroughfares. The rows of zelkova trees here extend on for around 500 meters, and this time of year are vividly adorned in champagne gold illumination. Omotesando is a true pioneer district in the saga of Tokyo illumination, and ranks as truly exceptional for the lovely harmony between the local streetscape and the fantastic lighting techniques.
Bathed in these sparkling lights, the faces of passersby instinctively break into equally radiant smiles.

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Tokyo continues to evolve in fashionable grandeur

Tokyo continues to evolve in fashionable grandeur

Besides the examples above, Tokyo also overflows with other locations to take in dazzling scenes of illumination. The steady evolution of this tradition continues, with updates raising the caliber of this year’s experience over last year’s, while drumming up expectations for even further fascination next year. The city literally brims in energy, powering the ongoing transformation to greater heights and paving the way to the increasing illuminated charisma that Tokyo has to offer.

Taking to the streets of Tokyo as its staging area, The OPEN ROAD PROJECT was conceived to probe the vast potential of the i-ROAD as an innovative new-era transport medium.
Closely examining the contours of the city, sensing the stimulation of the city, while all the time pursuing new benchmarks and possibilities for greater urban mobility. Just as the illumination and the big city continue to evolve, the OPEN ROAD PROJECT also steadily moves forward in the quest for new motoring breakthroughs. The sight of the i-ROAD, bathed in brilliant colors as it zips along, is a no-nonsense statement of how this illuminating scenario is being played out.

Another year is winding down, with 2016 coming to a close.
On behalf of everyone onboard the OPEN ROAD PROJECT, we extend our heartfelt gratitude for another year of precious support and interest.
On this occasion, we also wish you a very Merry Christmas, and the greatest of happiness and prosperity in the coming year.

TEXT BY Tomoyuki Kato (contributor)
PHOTOGRAPHS BY Yuta Nishida

ISSUED : 20 December 2016

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