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Tokyo Car Spotting - Add some spice to your Japan holiday!

We all know it, Japan is a petrolhead’s dream come true.

Date Published: 02 Aug 2018
Tokyo Car Spotting - Add some spice to your Japan holiday!

Tokyo, Japan - Be it a solo trip, family trip, a trip with friends or a business trip to Tokyo - whether you fit into any of the mentioned categories, we are pretty sure that your head will turn every few minutes just to gawk at the cars while walking on the streets.

Over the last 5 years, I have put together a small collection of photos from my four holidays in Tokyo and mind you, I am an all-rounder type of tourist. My Japanese holidays comprises of eating ramen, visiting automotive museums, hanging around airports or airbases, visiting the usual touristy stuff like the Tokyo Sky Tree and more ramen. Personally, I will always plan a detailed schedule prior to a trip that I would follow closely to ensure that I cover as many places that I have planned to - and that means I am not quite an intentional car spotter. Confusing enough?

Tokyo Car Spotting - Add some random spice to your Japan holiday

Tokyo Car Spotting - Add some random spice to your Japan holiday

Tokyo Car Spotting - Add some random spice to your Japan holiday

Tokyo Car Spotting - Add some random spice to your Japan holiday

On the occasions that I do take a photo, my weapon of choice while walking around Japan is actually my trusty portable iPhone 6 and iPhone 8 Plus, instead of my Canon DSLR which is often left behind at my place of accommodations or in my Timbuk2 backpack (read: lazy).

Here is a short guide to a few places that you can check out:

1. Akihabara
Akihabara or Akiba is a place well known for being an ‘otaku’ central and a shopping haven for video games, toys, manga and animes. If Yodobashi is not your thing, the AKB48 Theatre or employees in maid costumes promoting the cafes they work for might be something to check out.

If all of that isn't to your preference, there are the 'painful' cars - the ‘Itashas’. It is debatable if the theme of ‘Itashas’ would translate to the pain of wallet or the painstaking effort to do up the car, but you would have to admit that some of the cars are done up with a whole of planning.

Tokyo Car Spotting - Add some random spice to your Japan holiday


Suzuki Alto Itasha featuring Rayla from a video game called 'Lamunation!'.

Tokyo Car Spotting - Add some random spice to your Japan holiday

Not sure if this is a genuine Mitsuoka Orochi Kabuto as there were just five made. The Kabutos came with a bodykit, spoiler and a heap of carbon fibre panels.

2. UDX Building
It took me three trips over three years to realise that I should pop a visit into the garage of this nondescript building. Other than the occasional flea market that I have seen, therein lies a pot luck of vehicles that you might drool over.

In fact, someone who works in the building knows this and has a twitter account that frequently tweets on spots and shoots that occur there (https://twitter.com/akb_udx_pstaff).

I probably spent an hour in the car park trawling through rows after rows of cars with my iPhone 6S (You can probably walk around with your camera openly, but I had left my camera in my hostel).

Tokyo Car Spotting - Add some random spice to your Japan holiday

A Mitsubishi Jeep J3 - Built between 1953 to 1998 under license from Willy’s.

Tokyo Car Spotting - Add some random spice to your Japan holiday

A pristine Nissan Skyline R34 GT-R was among one of a number of Godzillas parked in the building.

Tokyo Car Spotting - Add some random spice to your Japan holiday

Might have passed off as a Mazda MX-5 at first glance, the Fiat 124 Spider Abarth has also been ‘itasha'ed.

Tokyo Car Spotting - Add some random spice to your Japan holiday

A Toyota 86 Levin with flared fenders.

Tokyo Car Spotting - Add some random spice to your Japan holiday

Nismo R35 GT-R anyone?

Tokyo Car Spotting - Add some random spice to your Japan holiday

Rolling in the deep with this murdered-out Rolls Royce
.

Away from Akihabra, lies many treasure troves of interesting spots you may come across. As I would remind readers again, I prefer trotting around Tokyo with my iPhone more than the DSLR.

3. Ueno
Call it sheer luck but I have encountered more Honda NSXs around the Ueno area than other parts of Tokyo.

Tokyo Car Spotting - Add some random spice to your Japan holiday

Seems to be luck, or not. I have encountered more Honda NSXs around the Ueno area than other parts of Tokyo.

4. Ginza
Shopping, shopping, and more shopping. Whilst your significant other drains out her (or your) bank account, walk down the street of Ginza-yonchōme on weekends and you will be amazed with what you can find. Say, this Konigsegg CCX that caught me by surprise.

Tokyo Car Spotting - Add some random spice to your Japan holiday

If you are into something more local, the Nissan Crossing at Ginza Place is where you can check out one of their concept cars and other current models on display. On the upper floor, there is a cafe with a latte art printer which you can select from their smart device a number of Nissan or Datsun cars to be printed on your cuppa latte. Shame I was too excited to slurp up my R34 GT-R before taking a photo of it.

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  • Writer / Photographer
    Wei Jie Sng
  • Additional credits:

  • Tony Seow
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