Photo/IllutrationA student at the Toyota Technical College Tokyo points to the flower pattern that she painted on the body of the "Japan Car" displayed at the Tokyo Auto Salon 2018 show. (Kazuki Nobuhara)

  • Photo/Illustraion
  • Photo/Illustraion
  • Photo/Illustraion
  • Photo/Illustraion

Japan boasts a famed "castle in the sky" in Hyogo Prefecture and now has another turning heads atop the roof of a dressed-up Japanese sports car at the Tokyo Auto Salon 2018 show.

The roof of the "Japan Car" based on a Toyota Celica is home to a pink model of a traditional Japanese castle that stands about 70 centimeters tall.

The castle is made from fiber-reinforced plastic. A gold Toyota car emblem decorates the very top of the castle keep.

The creators of the car went to extreme lengths to stress the vehicle's deep ties with Japanese culture.

Nine students at the Toyota Technical College Tokyo spent four months adding various touches to the car body and interior to bring out a special Japanese look.

The exterior has been painted in a checkerboard pattern using various colors such as red, blue and pink.

The car seats are upholstered with actual material used for making kimono and the area behind the front seats has been covered with tatami straw mats. The stick shift next to the driver's seat has been replaced by a "kendama," a Japanese-style ball-and-cup toy.

Above the checkerboard pattern on the car exterior has been painted traditional motifs used in Japanese art, such as Mount Fuji, pine trees, flower petals and cranes.

The front hood also was completed through a tedious process using sandpaper to change the reflection of light on a metal sheet to bring out the checkerboard pattern under a thin layer of red paint. One student who participated in that section said it took about 10 hours of sandpapering to produce the right design.

The Tokyo Auto Salon 2018 show concluded on Jan. 14.