New ride!

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So… This happened!

I’ve managed to not own a car for 14 years, since I’ve never needed it in Tokyo. (The few times I wanted to use one, renting was a financially viable option.)

However, with our plan to leave the city for a town in the countryside where public transportation is almost inexistent, and with the imminent arrival of a baby in our family, we felt like we had to acquire a car.

We could have waited closer to the move, but a few reasons (excuses?) incited us to make an early move.

A lot of thinking, some research and paper work, then a few weeks later, here we are! We headed this morning to Tesla’s Delivery Center in Ariake, to take possession of our new car, a Tesla Model Y.

Can you park your car?

I was fairly surprised at the amount of preparation we had to go through before even ordering any car.

Turns out, in Tokyo, one needs to prove they own a parking space able to receive the car they intend to buy! You’re not going to park on the curb!

I learned that a Tesla Model Y is a big car, compared to Japanese standards. The only free parking spots in our residence that we could rent were elevator-style machines that allow 3 cars to be stacked, and unfortunately need at least 10 more centimeters to accomodate the car we picked.

So we searched for a parking space in the area. Criteria:

  • I wanted it to be covered (I was raised in a house where the “good car” was a prized possession and parked in the garage), but eventually gave up since we realized we would not easily find such a space that’s big enough for the car
  • has to be big enough for the car to completely fit inside (the police might come and measure the space before granting you the authorization to park!)
  • within 2km from home. Not only that’s more convenient, it is also a requirement to get the paper that’ll allow you to buy the car.
  • total cost as cheap as possible (so ability to rent for 6 months, avoid key money and other initial costs…)

It took a couple weeks, and we were told a few times “many people are looking for parking spots, there are very few available in Tokyo”, but we finally found a great one! Clean, 500m away from home, and cheap! Just need to navigate a couple narrow streets to get there.


The car itself

I’m a bit embarrassed to admit this very materialistic thought, but I’ve dreamt of owning a Tesla since I’ve learned about them years ago. Electric cars are not the novelty that they used to be, and there is plenty of criticism against Tesla and its CEO (my admiration for Elon Musk vanished years ago…), but a Tesla still feels to me like a car that I’ll enjoy owning and driving.

After having rented one last year in Canada when traveling, we opted for the Model Y over the Model 3. We picked the Long Range variation, since it’s already way more power than one needs (making the Performance variation pointless), and has a 20% longer range than the base RWD model.

We figured we could pick an inventory car instead of a fully customized one for a nice discount, so we picked the color we could agree on from the available vehicles.



Browsing the Internet, I’ve read some horror stories about delivery day from disgruntled Tesla owners. I didn’t know whether that was the norm or a fringe of unlucky owners, so I decided to go prepared. We watched a couple videos explaining what to look out for, also printed this very useful Tesla Model Y Delivery Checklist, and brought a small flashlight!

We took our time around the vehicle, found a few minor details (chipped paint here, small misalignment there) which we reported and hope to get fixed soon, but overall were satisfied with the quality and happy not to report any big surprise.

Drive home

Let's go! Snow

Finally, the drive home was an opportunity to enjoy the car a little bit. Although this is not the first time I drive a Tesla, I am still mindblown by the acceleration it can provide. I haven’t tried pushing it to the max and it already feels more than enough!

We also were surprised by a bit of thunder, rain and snow on the way home…

The car only comes with the basics, and a few things are missing that we plan on adding soon.

  • Charging. I knew Tesla cars do not come with a charger anymore (like smartphones!), but I was surprised to hear that it does not even include the J1772 adapter it used to! We left the delivery center without the ability to charge anywhere except for the very few Superchargers in Japan. So obviously an adapter is on the list, and soon we’ll add a wall charger to the house in construction.
  • Floormats. Tesla’s stock floormats are rather thin and flimsy. Since we’re moving to a snowy region, we’ll have to get something more sturdy.
  • Speaking of snow, I’ll probably go check the house construction next month, and I will need to go prepared! Planning to exchange the tires for a winter set and also bring snow chains.

If you’re ever interested in buying a Tesla and don’t have a referral code yet (there’s plenty around and I would be surprised anyone buys a Tesla without one), here is ours: Yuko699547.