Believe it or not, this is one of ’em places that I look forward to be at during the Tokyo Auto Salon 2013. Ever since we stumbled upon the parking lots of Makuhari Messe back in 2006, I’d say it’s another unofficial side event there during Tokyo Auto Salon. The massive space provides a huge gathering grounds for ’em Nihon modders to catch up with their friends as well as having their very own not-so-little Tokyo Auto Salon.
It’s a place where you connect with ’em locals and if you approach the right group and they like you, you’d get to hang out with ’em lots having barbecue in the cold winter just right by their rides. Usually the ones that did the barbecue gathering came in groups or even family members. Since parking is quite pricey in Japan, they make it a point to make every yen worth by being there through the night as well instead of heading home or checking in the hotel.
The bosozoku with their eccentric modification of ol’skool rides with their fancy exhaust pipes that might get ’em tangled up going in and out of their rides were quite a sight. The same can be said with the MPVs and vans of utterly out-of-norm bodykits with front and rear bumpers can also be used as small stages for their girlfriends to show ’em their precious during their own private party at night.
These are the things that I look forward to… but they were nowhere to be found. A few weeks later, I found out that they were barred from entering not just the parking lots but city altogether. It’s a pity as these guys and gals have always been part of the attraction for one to go for Tokyo Auto Salon. They are unique and full of character and will never be outdated.
Nevertheless, the parking lots still features a number of modded rides expect for the bosozoku people. Quite a number of the rides can only be described as battle cars showing off their battle scars they’ve earned from touge, drift or even a high-speed run of Wangan. Drift and wangan machines came in full force while the van lovers on air suspensions were lacking in numbers.
VIP styling were still in favour though not in the masses anymore. All stanced-out on huge wheels wrapped in stretched tyres, it surely was eye-pleasing. But the lack of Escalades and other luxury monstrous SUVs on at least a set of 26″ wheels baffled me as well. There were also a few of old American muscles on teeny-weeny wheels being parked with its front-end raised high showing off its ability to hop to the music.
When it comes to motorsport, the crowd in Japan comes in big numbers. Some can be spotted with their children and wives, while the singles would have their tired and bored girlfriends waiting in the car while they shop around the halls or even hang out with their friends beside their rides.
All throughout three days, the parking lots were never at any times even half-empty. But without the bosozoku brothers and sisters having fun in their very own unique way, all clad in leather with hair style of the legendary Elvis and Marilyn Monroe and others in their era, it’s just not the same.
words: hage’ pix: Hazwan Najims, Faiz Zakariah & Jeo