06 June 2011

The Perfect Saturday

Near the end of May the weather wasn't that good as typhoon was looming near southern Japan, bringing  a lot of sky tears with it. It'll be very stupid to continue usual cycling routine under harsh rain and wind, unless I'm asking for trouble.

The most recent Saturday was definitely one of the better ones that is memorable enough to earn a post in this blog, which I'm writing now.

The day started slightly later around 12pm as I had slept for almost 12 hours, quite unusual for me but the exhaustion was accumulated from the weekdays. I'm glad that I still can enjoy lazy weekends to rest the mind a little.

Decided not going down to Tokyo but to spend a few hours sipping chilled Frappuccino at local Starbucks. Since I still have a few free drink coupons so why not? Besides while enjoying the beverage I can revise some notes for the next mid-term test on Tuesday. I've seen friends did revision quite often at Starbucks and personally haven't tried it before until that day.

First serving was the current seasonal menu, Soy Strawberry Cream Frappuccino. While preparing the beverage the staff noticed the tumbler and asked me "Kuala Lumpur, is it in Singapore?"

Well not to be bothered by the question, but as a Malaysian I think we ought to explain to them that Malaysia is located in between Thailand and Singapore, and no we do not live on tree tops lol.

Second serving, Dark Mocha Chip Frappuccino Blended Coffee.
Heard some of my friends love this and tasted not too shabby. It's very thick though.

Although atmosphere-wise it's quite good for studying/reading, perhaps it's weekend so it's noisier than usual with parents bringing kids into the cafe. Glad that brought the noise-cancelling earphone over so reduce the unwanted noises.

When I'm done at Starbucks it's only 430pm, still very early to head back to my room. Decided to cycle randomly at nearby neighbourhoods before decided to head to the main highway.
One good thing I like about Saitama is that at certain areas there're dedicated pedestrian road cum cycling track along the highway for those who joggers and cyclists. And because it's in Japan, one need not to worry bout air pollution eventhough beside the pedestrian track is a highway with many cars and lorries pass by.

Spotted these Modern, Classic and Vintage Mercedes Benz before hitting the main road.

Great weather at a neighbourhood just beside the highway.

Little did I realised but I've managed to cycled all the way to Kawagoe. Then my memory struck as I remembered there's a Lexus showroom nearby, so decided to check it out.

Stepping into the showroom, I actually wasn't expecting anything much, riding a battered bicycle, wearing very casual knee-length shortpants and T-shirt. No matter from what angle I do not look like a potential customer at all lol.
First I asked whether is it OK to take photos inside, and the staff prompted the general manager for permission.

Then, Mr Suzuki shows up, greeted me and explained that it's not encouraged to take photograph inside the showroom for discreet purpose and not to disturb other customers. However he agreed to let me to take a few shots on a single model.

Presenting, Lexus CT 200h.

I've been keeping an eye on this model since it's concept car (then LF-Ch) and up until today's production car. You can see the significant difference between the concept and production car.


Out of respect for Mr Suzuki's permission, I only took the pic of CT 200h. Other models shown in the showroom including HS, IS, GS (soon-to-be-replaced), RX and LS, almost every models available in Japan (except for IS-F and LFA).

We then proceeded to talk about Lexus cars. It's always nice to learn some facts from the car maker's representative eh. Mr Suzuki is passionate about the future of hybrid cars. He then cleverly and clearly explained on why Lexus only officially launched itself in Japan 6 years ago, and why certain models like GX and LX still being sold as a Toyota model (Prado and Land Cruiser) instead of a Lexus equivalent (eventhough there're customers requested for it). 

I was then briefly shown the car service facility where some of the cars are undergoing maintenance. Notable discovery would be a white CT 200h F Sports and surprisingly a Toyota Land Cruiser. I was being told that car owners can send their cars (even non-Lexus/Toyota) for basic car servicing at the Lexus facility and they do handle imported cars too (notably left-hand drive European cars).

And besides, I've heard that the new Lexus GS (currently previewed as LF-Gh concept) might be launched by end of this year, and Mr Suzuki asked me to come over again when the launch is near heh. Nifty info!

There you go, first-class Japanese service!!
I've spent like an hour inside the showroom and left as a very happy lad. Though I may not be getting a Lexus anytime soon, but it's quite certain that one day I'm gonna own one heh. To get to know a few pieces of info is certainly encouraging enough to ask for more..... a more convincing reason for me to apply international driving license, to test-drive a Lexus even before getting it lol.

The part of Kawagoe is densely concentrated with a few car showrooms, with BMW's just less than 200m away from Lexus'. Nothing much to shout at the BMW showroom as they only have up until 5 series shown, not as exciting as the one I visited at Aoyama, Tokyo.

Another gem of the day happened when passing-by the Mercedes Benz showroom. While in the main showroom only a puny B class is shown, there's a new beast parked just outside the showroom.

Mercedes Benz CLS 350 with AMG sports kit.

First encounter with the 2nd generation CLS, absolutely love it's AMG kit! Another fine example of a car that looks much better in real life than in image.

I like to tell others that I'm keen on owning a Mercedes Benz in the future, but before that I'd love to have a Lexus first!

Sunset over Kawagoe reminds me that I better get back quickly before darkness falls.

Ending the day's trip with a glass of Kirin beer. Perfect!

It's rare to have such a perfect day, a timely boost for myself to keep on with the momentum, as there are still things to look forward to; things that makes me strive to work harder to achieve it.  :)

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