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I joined about 2 weeks ago and posted a few notes on different forums, but just now officially introducing myself. I (at least my wife did) purchased a 2017 RAV4 Hybrid Limited.

Likes: lane change warning, cruise control distance sensing, back up warning of unseen approaching vehicles and people, driver seat memory; Added on: Window rain shields. My wife loves this as it allows us to leave windows cracked without being noticed, alleviates build up of heat.

So so: Since my wife traded in a 2010 Prius, the current 31-32 mpg of the RAV4 is considerably less, but not a big deal as little as she drives - 10,000 miles a year.

We also like the fact that it is higher up. LOML can see better now that she is higher up, and it is not so hard to get out after 200 - 300 mile trips to family, as it was in the Prius.

Our Background: We moved to Japan from MS in early 1986 and lived there (with regular trips back home) for 26 years. Learned to speak read and write Japanese. WE spent our last 7 years in Toyota City, in the neighborhood of Itsutsugaoka, just about 3 miles from THE Toyota Headquarter building, aka Ichibancho.

Our RAV4 was made in Aichi Prefecture (Nagoya/Toyota City.) We knew quite a few people who worked for TMC, including some who worked in Ichibancho. We had a friend who was a programmer for the electronics. If I remember correctly, she programmed in C++.

Having lived in Toyota City and having friends there, we were greatly influenced in buying Toyotas when we returned. I have a 2009 Camry Hybrid with 270,000 miles and it has plenty of power, rides great and have not done one thing to it other than change oil and filters and head light bulbs.
 

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Your Humble Administrator
2008 RAV4 Limited V6
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Welcome to RAV4World! I've often wondered what it would be like to live and work in Japan. Is it as crowded as we've been led to believe? As an electronics tech I love new gadgets and technology, and it always seems Japan gets that stuff first. And a lot of tech that isn't available anywhere else. My son was just showing me a Youtube video of a Gundam arcade game where you pilot the giant robot from inside what looks like a flight simulator. He says the arcades there are incredible.
 

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Welcome to RAV4World! I've often wondered what it would be like to live and work in Japan. Is it as crowded as we've been led to believe? As an electronics tech I love new gadgets and technology, and it always seems Japan gets that stuff first. And a lot of tech that isn't available anywhere else. My son was just showing me a Youtube video of a Gundam arcade game where you pilot the giant robot from inside what looks like a flight simulator. He says the arcades there are incredible.
We often saw technology available there in electronic stores 2 to 3 years ahead of what was available in the US. And they had many more varieties to choose from; some technologies morphed some ideas died and never made it overseas. They had the mobile phone "swipe for payment system" in convenience stores back in 2004 and 2005. When I lived in west Tokyo from 1986 - 1991, I made almost weekly visits to Akihabara, but it was easy as I was working only about 1/2 a mile from there.

That arcade game - my first flight simulator was back in 1993 or 94. Paid the equivalent of $5.00 to ride. Sit in it, look at the screen, push the throttle with one hand and with the other hand control the joy stick. The simulator would roll 360° in any direction. The first time I pulled back on the joy stick, I did a 360° loop before I knew to back off. That was amazing. 2 minutes of ride. Exciting!

CROWDED:
It depends on where you are. It was normal for 40 - 60 kilometers backup on holidays in Tokyo, and through Nagoya, and between Osaka and Kobe. Hours to get through; and sometimes within the cities on streets - 2 - 3 hours to go 5 or 6 kilometers in some areas. I grew up on a small farm in NW Mississippi, and for me, it was crowded. However, if one is adaptive - one gets used to it. The crowds have their advantage: with more people in a given location - there are more stores and more technology within a mile or two of where one lives! Always something to see, something to do, somewhere to go, something new to experience.

While I had my southern drawl, I learned to speak Japanese without it for the most part (kinda difficult for most) and could startle Japanese with my language. If I approached a Japanese from beside or slightly behind with a direction question, they would start to answer and then see my foreign face and do a double take. I will never forget the first time I said something without my southern accent, a young lady laughed out loud and said "You sounded just lake a Japanese!". Made me feel good!
 
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