**Thanks to everyone for being so patient! If you didn’t already know, I’ve been fighting an illness that was supposed to kill me exactly one week ago, but i’m here, better than ever! Thanks for the warm wishes, and your comments, but i’m not going anywhere! –DD–**

I know, I know. It’s been over two weeks and we haven’t put up anything from our travels in Japan. Relax! Don’t forget we do this in our spare time! I hope everyone out there got a chance to capture some glimpses of the Tokyo Auto Salon from our favorite blogs out there! No doubt, this year’s TAS was not to be missed, but we want to show you our coverage of the event our way. So with myself and Danh, we managed to capture hundreds upon hundreds of images just to share with our followers. Over the next few days, we will show you exactly what we did in the seven days we occupied the great country of Japan, so sit back, wait for the images to load (there’s going to be a LOT), and take your time.

Man I don't even

Mr. Akagi loved to slap Danny's face for some reason. I have no idea why

Heaven is always above

JDM Jerry Springer?

RUF woof woof

The Man.

D1 Demo outside of Makuhari Messe

You should see rush hour

There we go

This was us 90% of the time we were on the train or subway

Some months ago, while drinking cocktails at one of favorite bars in Houston, Anvil Bar and Refuge, myself, John, Danny, Danh and Fabio somehow brought up the idea of attending next year’s Tokyo Auto Salon. It’s a no brainer that everyone and their JDM mom wanted to go to what car people refer the event to as the Holy Grail of car shows. I’ve been to Japan before, but never for TAS, so I was extremely anxious to get back. Having just come back from SEMA show in November, we were itching to see the Japanese counterpart on the other side of the planet because every year I look through the photos online hoping to catch a few glimpses of what is trending in Japan and what fresh cars and styles they were bringing to the table. Much like you, I so desperately wanted to see my favorite cars and even newer cars outfitted with the wildest turbo and aero kits you could imagine. But typically, when I searched for these photos, I would only see that- just car photos. I always wondered what it’d be like to attend a Tokyo Auto Salon, but never quite got the gist of it by looking at what was available online. So this time around, we wanted to make sure we got it all.

We made the announcement on our Facebook Fan page that we would be going to Japan and if anyone wanted to join us, it was an open call to join in our festivities. One person did manage to be able to go, Evan Davis from Houston, TX. Evan has been around the car industry for some time and is currently building one sick ass SC300 that would not be considered “typical”. So with Evan, Danh and Danny taking a plane from Houston to Los Angeles together on a Wednesday morning, I grabbed my bags here in Baltimore, MD, hitched a ride with Joy and spent the night at the airport because my flight left the next morning at six freaking AM. From Baltimore I flew to Cleveland and then to LAX where we would all meet up and take one huge ass plane for the next ten and a half hours to the motherland.

Houston, TX. Balls early.

Nothing like reading a good book right before your flight!

Probably shouldn't have watched Final Destination before boarding.

Empty airport means we can fart pretty much anytime without consequence

Evan Davis: Millionaire playboy (minus the millionaire part)

Danny Barber: International ambassador of rice.

Helloooooo LAX

My LAX meal of choice: Baja Fresh tacos. Thankfully I didn't pay for them later.

If I watch another movie with Anna Faris in it, i'm going to gouge out my own eyes.

In Japan, you can drift anything. Planes included.

As I tried to make the most of my time on that flight by beating my high scores on Bejeweled and solving all the cases on Phoenix Wright, I just kept thinking about all the people we were about to meet, all the cool cars we were going to see in person and all of the crazy food we were going to try while staying in Japan. It’s enough to make you not sleep on a ten hour flight, that’s for sure. We left that Wednesday morning, and finally touched down the afternoon after, as in Thursday. WTF you say? Remember that Japan is a day ahead of us, and since we were flying west, we crossed the international date line and we would travel through time, Marty McFly style without the DeLorean, to the next day. Interesting to note that we were on the same flight as Jonathan Wong and Sean Klingelhoefer from Super Street Magazine. I got the chance to talk to Jonathan while standing around customs and baggage claim in Narita. It seems they had a whole slew of shoots lined up for the mag, much more organized than our two bit organization. We never did run into each other after that chance encounter, but I’m sure we’ll cross paths once more in the future. After grabbing our bags, it was time to find our way to Funabashi, just east of Tokyo, to check into the hotel that Nakai-San from Rauh Welt Begriff Japan had recommended to us.

i don't know why, but I took a photo of a banana on a conveyor belt.

Oh that's right, Danny has a thing for carrying around random bananas

Japanese railways and subways are funny. Supposedly they’re the most efficient trains in the world, which I have no doubt in my mind they are- except you had better know which ones to get on. The nice thing is that there are so many to choose from, you can pretty much get to any destination by train, especially in Tokyo. If the sign says it’ll show up in four minutes, it WILL show up in exactly four minutes, no joke. But with the mixture of weekend schedules, local lines, rapid lines, JR lines, Tokyo Metro lines, women only cars, and cars packed like sardine cans, it can be extremely confusing to any gaijins visiting for the first time.

Danny and I trying to make sense of the train to get to our Hotel from Narita Airport

WTF was I shooting?

Oh yeah. I don't know how many times it was discussed about someone taking one of these.

Danny and Danh

I told Evan that strip clubs weren't on THAT map

Having arrived in Tokyo on Thursday, we all knew that the next day would be our most important day to capture as many photos of the cars as we can. You see, Friday isn’t open to the public, and it was our best bet to get the majority of our photos. The only problem was as soon as we checked in to our hotel in Funabashi, we were asked to come to a bar/lounge in Roppongi Hills, a very affluent part of Tokyo, by Nakai san. We all figured fuck it, it’s Japan, what could happen?

The small town of Funabashi

Japanese cabs are EXTREMELY clean, the polar opposite of the ones here. I've seen dirtier showroom cars.

part of the reason why? Plastic wrap everything. Asian secret

Here's something cool about Japanese hotels, once you open your door, you can slide your card into this slot, and all of your lights turn on. This also lets the maid know someone is inside so she doesn't try to wake you.

Pretty typical hotel room

Well duh.

As me and Danh were looking at the robes...

...In comes in supermodel Danny

Danh was rather fascinated by the JDM crappers

I SO want to be the kid on the bottom picture

We took to the streets after properly enjoying ourselves on the bidets

One of the first pimped out taxicabs we saw in Funabashi, this one outfitted with Work VS-KF's

Trying to find our way to Roppongi Hills

Well of course when we get there, we were a little lost trying to find the place. But when Toshi of RWB showed up, we were all a little relieved that we finally saw a familiar face some thousands of miles away from home. Nakai was waiting for us outside of what normally is a gay bar (long story), and after exchanging handshakes and hugs, we made our way inside where the entire place was rented out by Rauh-Welt Japan. Basically, from what I was told, every year the RWB crew has a gathering at this particular bar and the owners of past and current RWB cars are all invited to this all-you-can-eat, all-you-can-drink shindig. It was here we met up with our online pals, Luke Huxham and Aaron Mai of Maiham Media, the guys responsible for all of the awesome RWB videos you see online and now Liberty Walk. We also got to meet other RWB car owners such as Shinji and Mr. Akagi of T-Style Japan. Even Mark Arcenal and his Fatlace crew were here drinking Asahi and eating the little bits of food off of the various dishes throughout the bar. No doubt, we were living it up as we met even more people that were just friends of the RWB crew. Even our guy Evan found himself a girl to get hitched to, lol.

party time!

Toshi of RWB

Some of the Fatlace crew

The illest guy in the room, Mark Arcenal

Danny and Mark talk Porsche

Luke Huxham in creeper mode

Name these two RWB icons and win a prize!

Luke getting Aaron Mai and Nakai San

Kodak moment

I think this is the owner of the bar. Not kidding

That poster is hilarious

Afterwards we went to what Nakai referred to as “next party”, a Japanese diner hidden in some back alleys somewhere deep in Roppongi Hills. It was here where everyone let loose and drank the night away with beer and Nakai giving us heavy doses of Yakisoba noodles (my favorite!), or “Barbecue Soba Noodles”. As the time got later, we realized that the subway lines stop service after midnight and it was already 3am, so Nakai offered to take us back to our hotel. We all packed into his rental Van and off we went, with Nakai swerving around like a BOSS all up and down the roads of Japan. The man can drive. Two hours later we arrive back in the hotel at the nice hour of 5am.

Of course, we all took a brief nap and headed out to the next train to Makuhari Messe, a convention center not too far away from our hotel. As we wiped the morning’s eye crust from our bloodshot eyes, we were treated with a short walk to Tokyo Auto Salon. Once we grabbed our media credentials, me and Danh quickly went into what I like to call “gametime” mode, that is, work mode, while Danny and Evan took in the show one crazy car at a time.

Zombie mode

First stop: Seven Eleven, home of the Japanese energy drinks that actually put companies like Red Bull to shame

I shit you not, I don't think there was one day where we didn't eat onigiri and coffee

We quickly found our line at the Funabashi station before the trains got packed.

Then we ended up transferring to a different line thanks to a random old man. It turns out he was going to TAS as well.

We finally arrive at Makuhari Messe (幕張メッセ).

Not sure if this was a typo or if they really need to see you....

Our press pass for the day. There is a different pass for each day so we would need to check back in for the next two days.

The plan pretty much was for us to shoot the show on the first day as much as possible since it wasn’t open to the public yet. We didn’t have any forms of electronic communication between us so we had to set up a meeting time at a certain spot to meet back up for lunch. After eating some more yakisoba, we headed back out there to do more work.

A lot of things were blinged out....

Emphasis on "a lot"

Their style of crazy hella camber.

I hope this is a woman's car....

It looks like it...

That guy stood in front of the car throughout the whole show... TStyle

This is art.

I guess they like blossoms.

KC-Style

Vorsteiner Bimmer

Prob one of the most cleanest looking 458's at the show.

A view from the rear.

Also in the Auto-Veloce booth

He's really shooting her cameltoe.

Looks like Spiegel was inspired by Porsche

It was our first time seeing a Ben Sopra GT-R...

Not to mention there were three at the show.

Why so much power?? Bc... nvm.

Wish we could tag this car with our sticker...

One of my favorites from the show.

This is what you would see if you tried shooting a model at 24mm.

From far, it looks like a normal JEEP.

But then you notice that intercooler...

...and headlights

And the Endless brakes!

JP showing what VIP is all about

You don't expect anything less from JP.

A view from the side.

JP Slippers? Awesome.

JP swag was out of control.

Like this track suit.

Right across from JP was Work Wheels.

If you could choose one which would you want?

<3 Meisters

Just to show you how deep the lip is...

Work Emos.

Beautiful.

I really wanted a picture of this 86 at the Up Garage booth but telling that girl to move out of the way would endanger my life...

There was a lot of noise coming from the rear corner of the hall... of course there was pole dancing.

Moving on to the Gran Turismo booth, they displayed their Red Bull X2010.

I guess Red Bull really does give you wings.

You can actually see how the new x2010 drives on this simulator game.

And the next booth was Subaru...

BRZ STi Concept.

Odd looking rear spoiler.

D-4S Boxer Engine.

The BRZs' keeper for the day.

I guess they're Proud of Boxer.

Why's it gotta be black??

This photo would be more awesome if that guy wasn't in the back.

Before

After

Each car had their own set of body guards.

Check out Liberty Walks' FB page!

Have you ever seen a shiny gold car on the street before?

Yesss, Danh caught one of the models picking her nose!

Air.

That's a lot of BBS'

One of my favorite tire manufacturers.

Matte black Aventador?? Want.

Interesting designs on this RX-8.

The same style was on the other side as well but on 350Z instead.

; D

Parts for the FT-86 were on display at the Gazoo Racing booth.

A bunch of concepts were shown at there.

German breeds displayed for Nitto.

Of course there were models.

Dat ass... wait.. there isn't any.

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Now we move onto the Honda co. area.

Designs of the CR-Z

Now for a life-size CRZ.

Mint Honda S600

The Honda area had their own vending machine as well...

The Honda CB1100 from the movie 'Wild 7'

Badass makeshift studio setup for this concept car.

Raybrig Honda HSV-010

Checking out those vents!

Now moving onto the Mugen side...

Honda CR-Z Mugen RR Concepts

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While I was inside shooting, Danh was outside checking out the action...

We didn't know Bob Barker was a drifter.

Ready to take out the LFA Convertible for a spin.

I'm glad that LFA didn't end up like the IS-F here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-9KRTx0M0k

The D1GP demonstration lasted for 3 days...

He likes BeeR. We do too.

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Japanese drifters always have style.

Kumbaya circle.

Nomuken!

Ken's ER34 was first to give ride-a-longs after the competition.

Danh walked around the gallery after the drift demo.

Taniguchis' HKS FT-86

Beautiful.

Meanwhile, we go back inside....

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Subaru???

Tuckin'

Chop top too??

Oh yea, Valentine's day is coming..

So... much... pink.

meat

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I wish I could've brought one back =/

He noticed me.

This was the lowrider / genie fetish booth.

Nakais' Spearmint Rhino RWB at the Fatlace booth.

I don't think he wants his photo taken... oh well.

The WALD booth was always packed... luckily Danh was there with his wide angle 24L to capture this.

We had seen this car at SEMA and now makes its way to TAS.

My favorite Fit there, the Takero's Honda Fit.

Painting- day one

It started getting packed with the special VIP people attending so we started wrapping up.

We had the opportunity to finally meet Park Baker, a local that runs a blog called High Top Fade, in the Press room

Working hard for you guys

Think we’re done? No sir. That same night right after the show, we were invited by Toshi and Nakai to meet them up at Rauh Welt Japan. But that will have to wait until the next post where we will continue our coverage of our epic trip to the land of the rising sun!

– David –
david@maydaygarage.com

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