This time, the Formula One tour takes us to Japan, prior to the Suzuka Circuit, and finds us in the ultra-cool metropolitan surroundings of Tokyo. And to bring the city alive, Lewis Hamilton joins Japanese actress and model, Hikari Mori, to explore some of the city’s most hip and happening locations, during which Formula One’s double World Champion is introduced to some of Japan’s revered traditions. After a day of exploring all that Tokyo has to offer, the day is fittingly brought to a close with a race….
1. Traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony at Shuhally
The Japanese have practiced the art of tea preparation, called Sado or Chanoyu, for centuries. At the avant-garde tea room, Shuhally, Lewis Hamilton and Hikari Mori take part in this ceremony with tea master, Souryou Matsumura. Of course, no tea ceremony is complete without the right clothing or accompanying snacks, so both Lewis and Hikari sample a selection of Japanese sweets called wagashi.
"The Japanese Tea Ceremony is such a great way to relax," says Lewis. "It's almost a form of meditation, it’s very restful, but it is also beautiful, a form of art in itself. Immersing myself in some of these time-honored traditions is a great way to get under the skin of the Japanese culture."
2. City Boat Tour with Hotaluna
Everyone loves a scenic boat ride, and what better way to experience the breathtaking beauty of Tokyo than by changing perspectives, from the streets to the bay, and look back at the bustling city from the water. Hotaluna’s sleek, futuristic boats look more like waterborne spaceships. With both a glass-enclosed main cabin and an open roof deck, Lewis and Hikari can take in the city in its full glory against the backdrop of a stunning sunset.
To add a touch of tradition to the proceedings, Lewis learns how to paint the Japanese symbol for "victory."
"This ultra-modern boat provides a great perspective of the city," says Lewis.
3. Party at the German Embassy
The day ends, as all good days should: with a great party. Lewis and Hikari arrive at the German Embassy at dusk, where a drum serenade greets them, before sharing some of their thoughts from the day. To draw this day of discovering Tokyo to a close, it's time for Lewis to show off his racing talent – but he will have to contend with the challenge from his companion, Hikari.
Of course, there's no full-size racetrack here, but the two look quite focused for the race in their Mercedes mini racecars, with Lewis carrying his Formula One race number “44.” The signal sounds, and the race starts! Who will win? Although Lewis has all the experience of a multiple Formula One World Champion, Hikari does enjoy the home advantage. We'll just have to wait and see....
"I can't help but be competitive, even if this isn't Formula One – but I reckon Hikari will put up a tough fight," says Lewis.