After a long period of self-isolation, Japan is finally reopening for business. Get your passports ready, this year is going to be great.
Looking at Dino’s massive gallery at the recent 2023 New Year’s Eve in big black Pennsylvania, you might think that all the fanfare of supercars and lowriders is to welcome visitors back to the state. But if you remember Dino’s post from 2022, eclectic car madness is the norm in Japan, even during a global pandemic.
If you’ve never been to Daikoku PA, let me tell you up front, it’s huge. The iconic car park is nestled between towering elevated expressway loops and is surrounded by one of the largest spiral ramps in Japan.
Because of this – and the large number of cars passing on January 3rd – Dino and I were able to get away quickly without stepping on each other’s toes. You may spot some of the same cars in my coverage, but there are many others you won’t.
Being a photographer can be a very lonely profession, so it was nice to catch up with Dino and have a chat. Until, of course, we’re all distracted by something loud and shiny.
But it’s not just loud and shiny things that distract; the small, weird, and ridiculous grab our attention too. This was my first time attending a Daikoku PA New Year’s party and I think it will become my favorite way to start the new year in Japan.
There are some very special cars, it’s like bathing in Japan spa, Brands from all levels of prestige basked together in the warm winter sun, no ego, no class, no questions.
Ferrari, Nissan and Bentley came together to celebrate the start of 2023 and a return to some kind of normalcy.
Nothing says “Japan” like a Fiat Abarth 595 parked next to a Supra. or i think…
Because, nothing says “Japan” like a wild-looking drag Corvette next to a scissor-door Honda Beat.
This pair makes me happy and makes me hope that 2023 will be a good year. It would be nice to get some raised white lettering printed on the Corvette’s rubber, but we can’t expect miracles early this year.
What a pleasant surprise this Chevrolet Chevelle station wagon casts its long shadow on the tarmac. I love a good wagon, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen one in person. If you’ve ever been to Australia, you might recall the Chevelle van’s distant relative at General Motors, the Holden Kingswood.
One car that impressed both Dino and me was the Ultima. What a machine.
With the exception of a few cars from Lotus, Bentley, Rolls-Royce and McLaren, it’s nice to see the best of Britain represented – even if they do have their steering wheel on the wrong side.
With so many cars and punters pouring into Daikoku PA, the truck park at the back of the parking lot fills up quickly. It’s early when Dino and I make our way through the line of cars, but the more cars pull in, the more the place starts to feel like a pressure cooker full of expensive stew.
Fortunately, the Japanese public generally knows how to be civilized. That means the stew of cars and people can simmer a little longer.
Breaking up the mild chatter of the locals is the abundance of foreign languages. Chinese, American, Australian and European accents sounded after a long absence.
It’s nice to see tourists enjoying Japan again, but sadly I can’t help but notice the lack of masks and the garbage that pops up.Considering how particular the Japanese are about their customs and the social graces that come with them, the phrase ‘While in Rome’ Probably more so here than anywhere else in the world.
If you are visiting Japan, it is best to follow the local norms. Locals will appreciate it more than you know.
Speaking of people, they congregate on the entry and exit ramps, filming supercars revving their engines and dazzled by flashing LED lights. Next time I have to remember to bring PPE to the hearing.
As things started to heat up and the public started pouring in for coffee and toilets, the police started making announcements:’Pull off the freeway if you are not stopping or using the facility.
Well, that’s the basic gist of it.
Cars poured out, but the police were especially interested in chasing obscenely loud supercars. Passively, they pulled up next to a group of exotic Juans and sounded their sirens.
Time to call it a day.
I went to pick up the Project GC8 from my cheeky off-street parking spot, where I was greeted by a truck driver who was calling for the owner’s whereabouts. I felt lucky when I got home, a little deaf in one ear.
Let us work together, be kind and considerate, and make 2023 safe, beautiful and peaceful.