Ai Nihon 愛日本: Kyoto

- February 17, 2013 - 1

When we think of Japan we usually think of Tokyo and to the JDM community it is home to many of our favorite and legendary companies, tracks and movies, but what about the rest of Japan and how does the culture differ in more traditional parts of the country. After a brief stop at TAS in Chiba I hopped on the Shinkansen at the Tokyo train station headed for the city of Kyoto. Armed only with a point and shoot camera I was on a mission to learn more about the culture and the automotive enthusiasm of this traditional location. Going to a car show and seeing vehicles that where build for a profit is nowhere near as exciting as seeing the vehicles of the private owners that are being driven.

Kyoto, for anyone that enjoys the Japanese culture it is a city of temples and shrines. Unlike cities like Tokyo and Hiroshima, Kyoto does not have hundreds of tourists and being on the train as the only westerner was usually the case.

Streets of Kyoto are narrow and are composed of many small alleys just like this one, giving the city a cozy feeling.

Most of the vehicles in Kyoto are not tuned and are average K-car vehicles. Even performance cars have only mild tuning done. This makes finding a hidden treasure that much more exciting. Hiding in a parking lot next to the Nanzenji temple was this red FD. Looking at it as if it was in black and white, it stood out from the typical light colors of the surrounding area, sitting in a spot waiting for its owner.

This owner having to kindly fold the mirror, I’m guessing so not to damage the neighbor’s plants, even though he clearly needs to climb out the other side to get out.

Tucked neatly into this small spot next to an udon shop was this great looking Mugen Fit.

Part of the Nanzenji temple.

This truly was a treat. Located in the southern part of Kyoto is Carland, an AE86 Special Shop. Seeing it from a far it is a Hachiroku heaven.

Each Hachiroku as any other car has its own personality and you could truly feel it here. At the back of the pack is a yellow FD and somehow it belongs. I am sure many of you know why.

Glowing like the sun, the character here was very inspiring. The force is strong with this one.

Kyoto is a city rich with Japanese culture and history on every corner. The food could not be more perfect and the people are the friendliest that you could ever meet. There is always something to do and if you get a chance to move to this city and have a JDM ride of your own you could always just take the train to work and drive on the weekends. Kyoto is an inspiration and I recommend to anyone and everyone to visit this historic land.

To finish off, here are some TAS photos. Thank you for reading and sweet JDM dreams, Cheers.

Words by Stanislav V Kochil.

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