On the seventh day of our trip to Japan, after a hectic schedule and a wild day before, my friends and I decided to take it easy and enjoy a lazy morning. We then headed to some shops in Shinjuku, one of the busiest districts in Tokyo, to do some shopping.
After that, we headed to Akihabara UDX, an area known for its abundance of electronics and otaku culture. To our surprise, we found an impressive collection of rare and cool Japanese cars hiding in the parking structure. We spent some time car spotting, admiring the unique and stylish vehicles that lined the streets.
We wandered around the Akihabara area, taking in the sights and sounds of the area. Paul spent all his money on film camera gear, and we explored arcades and anime shops, taking in the vibrant culture of the city.
For dinner, we enjoyed a hearty curry meal and finished the night with some delicious ice cream. We then heard through Instagram that there was going to be a big underground JDM car meet happening by Tokyo Bay, so we headed in that direction to check it out.
The underground car meet was a source of conflicting emotions and ideas for me. On one hand, it was a great display of exciting and high-quality Japanese cars, showcasing the passion and dedication of the owners. The cars were immaculately maintained and presented, with an attention to detail that was truly impressive.
However, on the other hand, the event felt very curated and even synthetic, as if it was created specifically for the benefit of foreigners visiting Japan for the Tokyo Auto Salon. It felt as though the authenticity of the event had been lost, replaced by a desire to put on a show for the cameras and Instagram posts.
This left me feeling torn, as I appreciated the level of skill and dedication that went into the cars on display, but at the same time, I couldn’t shake the feeling that the event was more for show than for the love of the cars and the community. It was a reminder of the commercialization that can come with niche hobbies when they begin to enter the mainstream.
Despite these conflicting emotions, I left the car meet with a deeper appreciation for the Japanese car culture and the passion and dedication that drives it. The sheer number of impressive cars on display was a testament to the strength of the community, and overall I’m glad that I went.
On the next day, we woke up early and headed to the Tokyo Auto Salon in Chiba, one of the largest car shows in the world. The event was massive, with an insane volume of both cars and people in attendance.
The show was packed shoulder to shoulder in some areas. The cars on display were truly impressive, with a wide range of high-performance and show-stopping vehicles on display. The level of detail and craftsmanship was truly remarkable, and it was clear that the builders and shops had put a great deal of time and effort into their creations.
However, navigating around the show and filming was difficult because of the sheer number of people in attendance. The crowds were overwhelming at times, and it was a challenge to get a clear shot of the cars on display. Despite this, the Tokyo Auto Salon was an exciting experience, and it was great to be a part of such a massive and impressive event.
Over these last few videos, you may have noticed that I am wearing an all-new sweater, shirt and hoodie from our store.
We just released a new drop of branded merchandise and slap stickers! Everything is live on the store, in stock, and ready to be shipped. Shop the new drop alongside our remaining Japanese imported apparel and automotive accessories!
View the drop here: https://bit.ly/3GV3ShJ
Episode five next week.