The annual RAUH-Welt Begriff New Year’s Party is quite possibly the best way to start exploring Japanese car culture during Tokyo Auto Salon Week.I say this because it’s an event anyone can join.

I’ve been looking forward to coming back since I last attended the RWB New Year’s Party in 2020. So when I heard that the 2023 event would be held at the shrine, I couldn’t contain my excitement. Flights and accommodation are booked; New Years has come too soon for me.


In Japanese culture, early January is a time when many families come together to visit shrines, wishing prosperity, happiness and health for the coming year. I’m surprised Nakai-san managed to secure such a venue for this year’s RWB party, but it turns out he’s a good friend of the custodian of the Kashiwa Shrine in Chiba Prefecture, just a 15-minute drive from the RWB headquarters.


Before the event, a 20 car limit was announced, but after seeing the location, I’m not too sure if they will be able to accommodate that number. My suspicions were confirmed that night as only 13 cars were allowed in despite the sheer number of people in attendance. I got there early and saw the cars drive in, which is always an amazing sight.

When I went to the 2020 RWB New Years party, Nakai-san’s 997 conversion was still a prototype, so it was great to see a few customer cars together. They look great, especially the convertible version. This is definitely a new era of RWB moving forward, although it would be great to see the 930, 964 and 993 RWB classics too.


I met Mr. Nakai early, but he went to pick up a special guest. Nobody expected Cody Walker to come on stage, and it really got the crowd going.


Once everyone in the RWB family was present, a speech was delivered, which included a few words from the Guardian of the Holy Land, followed by miko dance, A traditional Japanese Shinto ritual dance that I’ve always wanted to see for myself.


The RAUH-Welt Begriff New Year’s Party 2023 was, as I hoped, a great way to kick off Tokyo Auto Salon week. Being able to visit Japan again means an uplifting atmosphere, so I know the year ahead will be exciting.

rick muda
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