TomFum In The Rising Sun

- May 27, 2013 - 3
[Words by Tom Bradstock] A trip that had been on the cards for a long time finally came true for me this year, I managed to get out to Japan for a 2 week holiday. My mother wanted to spend her 60th birthday there and I wanted to go and find out for myself what this country was like, being a fan of anime, video games and especially its car culture.

So we headed off and I wasn’t disappointed in any way shape or form. It’s the most amazing place I have ever been to, with amazing sites and sounds, wonderful and truly kind people.

So down to the car culture. From what I saw, the Japanese are so lucky to have such a clean, smooth and well kept road system. Obviously I can only speak from the aspect of Tokyo, Yokohama, Fuji and Kamakura (these are the places I visited). Unlike here in the UK where your suspension is hammered daily by the awful road surfaces and potholes we have everywhere, their roads were so lovely.

I was kind of shocked by the amount of European cars I saw in Tokyo, I understand that businessmen would be driving round in expensive Mercs, Bimmers and Audi’s.

Or standing on a road bridge and have a Jaguar, BMW, Audi, Merc and Porsche all appear in the same shot.

But when you see the likes of an old Porsche 911 and a Mk2 VW Golf drive past you do have to wonder where you are, as these are the sort of cars I really didn’t expect to see in Japan.

Or even an original Mini photographed in Kamakura.

It kind of hit home to me that the Japanese really like there Euro cars as well as their own. This may have been slightly naive of me as I’ve seen a few Video Option videos that have featured Euro cars, but I still found it strange.

Normal service was resumed though as there was plenty of JDM cars to look at to. A great shot I got was of these two coming round one of the corners on the Gran Turismo track Tokyo 246 which I was walking around, made me stop in my tracks.

I managed to go to the Toyota Megaweb On Odaiba Island. There they have their show room which houses there whole range of cars, Such a this SuperGT Supra.

But I was only interested in one area.

The FT86 Area, They had 4 models on display.

First was this basic model which housed steel wheels, roll cage, Takata belts and a very basic interior. I’m not a sure as to why but it was nice none the less.

A red model which looked really nice under the bright lights.

A Race spec version.

And a TRD kitted out version which was just beautiful. Had a nice styling differences on it and an interior that was so comfy and lovely to look at.

In the building across the way Toyota also had their History Garage.

Which housed a whole host of original cars from all over the world as well as some of Japans finest.

As well as I think pretty much every Toyota ever made in die-cast format housed in cabinets and also pictures, artwork, memorabilia, just a real petrol heads dream.

Then out the back they also had a bunch of engine’s laying around as well as a workshop (I wasn’t sure if this was just for show, I think it was, but not a bad way to spend you’re day I guess. I mean how often does a flux capacitor need changing on a Delorean).

Highly recommend spending an afternoon walking around there if you ever get the chance. You’re free to walk around and take as many pictures as you like and look around. Also free admission is always a bonus.

Seeing many of my favorite JDM cars out in japan was such a treat, seeing the Toyota FT86/GT86 and Subaru BRZ a lot as there obviously a new and popular car in Japan now as this one passed me on the streets of Ginza.

Saw this rather styled out R34 Skyline in a car park in Akihabara, wasn’t sure if it was actually a GTR34 as it more looked like a GTS-T to me but none the less it looked kinda nice

This RX7 in Akihabara had a lovely sounding engine, and was so loud underneath the bridge.

A Toyota crown (I think) chilling in the car park by the Diver City building in Odaiba. This thing was well V.I.P’ed out.

Heading towards Tokyo Tower I stumbled across this Euro shop, obviously the 911 is a luxury in Japan.

A lonely Ford Focus in Akihabara made me think of my Focus ST at home, but was nice to see out there, I really wasn’t expecting to see one of these.

We went on a day trip to mount Fuji and in the car park of the hotel we were being picked up from were these two Italian Monsters sat outside.

I wasn’t too keen on the chrome wrap as that’s far too loud for me but I think that’s where the Japanese come into there own, the red one was just right I think, as it was so vibrant and mixed with the black trim it stood out for me.

So I think if this trip taught me anything it would be that Japan seems one of the best places to own a car, a real mix up of styles and models. They love there car culture just as much as us here in the UK, and I can also see why importing cars from Japan is such big business. If you ever get the chance to go out there you will not be disappointed in what you find and see, and if you’ve already been, then you will know exactly what I’m on about.

Thank You Japan.

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  • Paul McCaw November 23, 2013 - 10:50 am Reply

    Really enjoyed that read fella, good effort 🙂 Pics were great quality too.

  • […] in the last couple of years they have started popping up now and then.  Last time I saw one was in Japan, so it was lovely to see another in person, such a beautiful car, but as JDM fans we know this […]

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