Day 3 – Tokyo Auto Salon
Everyone couldn’t wait to walk inside the walls of the Tokyo Auto Salon show. Attendees and staff had the opportunity to get in the show a few hours before the general public. This gave everyone the chance to walk around and see all the crazy builds before the floors got crowded with people. Upon arrival, we got a perfect top view of the floors, and the diverse sparkling colors were candy for the eyes.
If you’ve never been to the Tokyo Auto Salon show, you can think of it as the SEMA of import cars, of course in Japan they’re just domestic cars. The show highlighted the true JDM culture with hundreds of different styles and colors, from drift cars, race cars, to drag cars and VIP-style cars. If you’re a fan of Japanese cars, this place will simply blow your mind.
Craig, Carrie and Zach Lumsden
Our trip to Tokyo with DSPORT was everything we had anticipated! It was our first trip to Japan and we looked forward to learning about all aspects of the culture, from cars, the sights, to our interactions with the populous. Though we went with the primary focus of engulfing ourselves within the Japanese car-culture, we came home with a new appreciation for Japan and its cleanliness, hospitality, food, and social aspects. Granted the Robot Restaurant was weird, but the same could be said about Venice Beach.
Our goal was to take what we learned within the Japanese car-culture and apply it to our builds. But we can also say that by experiencing all we did, we will take the aspects of what influenced us on this trip so we can emulate the kindness and hospitality we received. We look forward to another trip to Japan in the future.
Driving Mari Cars on Tokyo’s Rainbow Bridge became a memorable experience to all tour attendees and staff. It was a unique way to explore Tokyo, Japan.
Day 4 – Mari Car, Robot Restaurant and Stops in Between
As if the Tokyo Auto Salon wasn’t fun enough, we kept the madness going on the fourth day with Mari Cars. All attendees got to tour the streets of Tokyo in small Mario Cars while dressed in Mario characters. You don’t know the definition of fun until you are driving a Mario Car over the Rainbow Bridge. The drive went on, and on, and on for over two hours, going through traffic and numerous well-known places. The Mari Cars quickly became the highlight of the trip for all, but that was before they knew what the tour had in stock for them.
Super Autobacs, Joypolis, and Odaiba were a quick stop in the middle of the sea of fun. The tour split in two groups to visit the huge auto parts store, Super Autobacs, to explore the JDM parts and make some purchases, while the other group dove into the world of Japanese arcade at Joypolis, where they experienced games America hasn’t heard of. Everyone met back at Odaiba to see the famous Gundam statue, take some photographs, eat, and get ready for one of the strangest nights of their lives.
After what felt like a full day, we headed to the Robot Restaurant. Everybody gathered to watch the robot show, which I personally describe as “the weirdest night of my life.” The show activates all five of your senses with its intense strobbing lights, the unqiue tribal music, the smell of delicious food, and the crazy motions happening just 10 feet away – so close that you can feel the movements of the giant machines. The amount of random things performed were more entertaining than most things I’ve done in my life. There were robots fighting dinasours with the help of Ninja Turtles and the Karate Panda under laser lights, and of course girls battling each other with swords. The hour and a half show continued to blow our minds, and just when we thought it couldn’t get any more intense, giant robots started dancing in a way that makes you realize that Japan is one of the most advanced countries in the world. This part of the tour was the perfect way to experience a creative part of the Japanese culture that you are definitely not going to see anywhere else in the world.
Flashing lights as my eyes focus along a winding path, exotic smells fill my nostrils and making my mouth water, sounds of laughter and cheerful clanks of cold glass mugs filled with Asahi beer – this wonderful feeling of excitement runs down my spine as I glance across the streets of Akihabara. This is one of the experiences that the DSPORT Tokyo Auto Salon Tour will give you, but let’s talk about Tokyo Auto Salon itself. TAS is an amazing experience if you love JDM builds, from the cars to the exhibit booths. I can only describe this experience as “out of this world!” Thank you, DSPORT for a memory that I will never forget!
Day 5 – Free Day
The free day certainly didn’t mean to sit in the hotel-room and relax. Attendees ventured off first thing in the morning to explore places they had on their personal lists, like the huge Gundam statue in Odaiba for the ones that missed it, Electronic city, various street car meets, shopping, and some adventure-seeking attendees even went as far as Osaka to explore a different side of Japan. Tokyo was nothing but a fascinating and safe place for everyone. Simply walking around the streets and looking at the colorful advertisements on the tall buildings was an experience of its own. Everyone quickly became familiar with the train system, and going to far places was not an issue. As the sun set on our free day, we split up into bigger groups for food and drinks as we created friendships and memories to bring back home with us.
Having been on the tour a couple of times, it’s a pleasure meeting up with some old friends I’ve met on past tours and new friends I’ve met this year. It’s never a repetitive tour, since the DSPORT staff seem to make sure it gets better every year with new events, like Mari Cars or even the Robot Restaurant, as well as new shop visits. I can’t wait to see what they have in store for the 2019 DSPORT TAS.