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01/15/2007: "Tokyo Auto Salon 07'" mood: holy crap~!

In 2005 I had my first taste of the Tokyo Auto Salon (TAS). Nothing before had ever caused me to express such elated feelings as did this particular show. First, imagine a car show you might've frequented once in the past (HIN for example). Then, take the level of cars inside that show, and double it. Once you have that, take the size of the show, and quadruple it several times over. Now you have an idea what TAS is like. This last saturday, I once again had the chance to visit the show.

Initially I had planned on going by my lonesome, but thanks to the helpful efforts of one Mr.Kearny, I was introduced to a naval feller by the name of Travis. Travis has been living in Japan for the past six years and had signifigantly worked his way into the car culture and scene down in Yokohama. His love of Japanese cars find it's place in the form of a Z32(300ZX). Tragically though, Travis and his Z32 met a horrible accident on the freeway and he was forced to buy a "old/boring" R32 Skyline for around $2500. His description and opinion of his Skyline would easily be considered borderline insane back in the states, but here, may be normal (I don't know, skylines still excite the poo out of me and I own one).

So my saturday started pretty dern early. I woke up at 6am to rush downstairs,shower and eat, then continue as quick as I could out the door and to the train station. A brisk hour and a half later I met Travis and his party of two others at Tokyo station at the entrance to the Keiyo line (way out to Chiba prefacture where the show was held). We exchanged pleasantries and continued out to the show. The show itself is held in a massive building which by my estimates was a total of 4 or more football fields with an additional stadium on the side not counting the outdoor exhibits.

As you can see, it's a tid bit large. A hefty walk from the station brought us to that mecca of a building you see above. Upon entrance, a quick line, and a ticket check, you were on your way to enough JDM goodness to last you a lifetime. To give you an idea, below was an overview map of the three main display rooms.

Holy crap? crazy That's exactly what I said. Every possible car you've seen in DVDs, magazines, or heard about from overseas, was here at the show. Every famous manufacturer, was at the show. Car celebrities seemed to be every few steps and the displays of each booth or region were enough to cause a grown man to soil himself.

It's hard to really do it justice by showing you a few pictures here and there of my choice cars. There was enough to see that I was walking taking pictures pretty much nonstop. I went through two cameras, and 4 sets of batteries before I was done. To get the real feel of the stuff I bore witness to, check out it's very own section in the Gallery where I have well over 500 pictures of the event.

Aside from the gallery though, there are tidbits here and there I really must comment on. For example, this man above is one of my hereos. If you don't know who he is, that's alright, just know that he's a god among Mazda RX-7 fans and has a company which pushes out some of the most beautiful forms of metal known to man.

Next up is Top Secret's latest beast. Yea, it's a Supra all right, but with a fresh new front end design that would keep you guessing as to what exotic manufacturer it belonged to. I have no idea if they intend to sell it, but it's beautiful nonetheless.

Now this was amazing. It was a motorized cut-away of the Mazda Rotary Engine. While I don't have a video of it, and I'm sorry, try to imagine this display moving just as it would in an actual rotary motor. The rotor spun, the pulleys turned, it was about as zesty as they come.

What's Endless really doing with their lives? First they were coming out with the 6-pot upgraded brake calipers, and that was already overkill for street applications. Now, apparently that wasn't hardcore enough, since 12-pot seems to be the new hot thing on the block.

I'm not quite sure if I'm a fan yet or not, but Greddy is coming out with color options for their intercooler cores this year (so it seems). So if you want to color coordinate your intercooler with your kicks, but never could before, now you have that option. Who knows, I might sport the blue core on my future car.

This is an overview of a 1/3 of one of the main 3 rooms. Notice the large baloons above each manufacturers' booth. This is to help navigate through the see of automotive bliss to the specific maker of your choosing (there happend to be a random pig ballon in one of the rooms).

This is an image of the stadium where the famous heads from D1 such as Tsuchiya and Nomuken were explaining the upcoming 07' season of the grand prix. I guess if you continued on past this large room there was actual drifting taking place outside which I missed. plain

Ebisu circuit had a booth where they were handing out schedules and answering questions about their coming year's services. They had the bird's eye shot of their different courses which I took a smaller picture of. The Japanese label says "Driftland" which is where I intend to take my future car to later on this year. They offer a half day or whole day pass for under $100USD along with a slue of other services from driving lessons, to normal track days.

ARC (a company famous for their titanium parts) had this full on motor with weird as hell exhaust on dislay. It was a little strange but still quite amazing to see close up.

This girl totally wanted my number... yea.

This picture probably deserved more of a comment then any of the others. For some reason, unbeknownst to me (because I fail at reading Japanese), there was a normal Bicycle on display just hanging out next to cars. It had a stand with info in front of it just like every car in the place. It's probably fast...it's gotta be. Do you see that backpack installed in the front compartment? 1,000 yen says it's got naws hidden in there.

Nihon Auotmotive College or NATS for short was a new discovery for me. I talked to one of the representatives who explained a bit more about the school. It's a 4 year program where the first two years licenses you and teaches you the ins and outs of mechanics, much like our tech schools in America do. The 3rd year is then devoted completely to how to tune, modify, and customize cars properly and with good taste. The 4th year is then introducing you to the motorsports where you actually get driving lessons from famous drivers such as Orido and acclemate yourself to the racing world. If you're feeling a bit adventurous, try checking out their site and wander around a bit.

mmmmmmmmmmmm....R34's = hot man-on-machine love.

Here I am checking out the new line of bride seats. While they are expensive, they feel oh so nice an snug.

We arrived at the show around 10am and Didn't finish checking out everything till at least 5pm. And with those 6 full hours, we just lightly browsed what was to be seen, not even really check anything out indepthly. The show runs for three days (fri, sat, and sun) and is also held 2 more times this year in different cities throughout Japan. If you ever get the chance to be in Japan in early January, don't miss the opportunity to check out the Auto Salon (it's also only a measily 1,500yen).

After we collected our thoughts and finished developing a gang of blisters on our feet, we headed on our way home for a night of even more exciting adventure (which I'll touch on in my next post). Thanks for checking this out, and please take a look at the Auto Salon gallery for more pictures of the show.

Replies: 3 Comments

Local Street Hero [e-mail] [homepage]
Tuesday, January 16th
Wow, 100 bux to get on "drift land" track is amazing. Its no wonder they are so far ahead of us in skill. Keep them pix coming man. good job so far.

Monday, January 15th
looks gooood!!

did you get a new camera?

the pix look better than your old camera? maybe its the lighting? haha cool

Tomasz [e-mail]
Monday, January 15th
So is thi friend of yours more into wangan or drifting with his r32? by the price i assume its a gts-t correct?