Category Archives: japan

Inside a Japanese Used Car Auction

8000 cars on a slow day, 20 seconds to jab buttons like lab pigeon on cocaine, thousands of yen, and one new ride to take home. Follow the Australian series Mad Mods on a quest to buy a JDM car … Continue reading

9 Comments

Start 2011 Off with a Traffic Safety Omamori

In Japanese tradition, one should visit your local temple for New Year’s. There, for a small donation, you can get a wide assortment of omamori, amulets of silk, wood or metal that will bring you good luck in their respective … Continue reading

9 Comments

A Gaijin Looks at Japanese Modding Culture

We get so used to concepts like takeyari and tsurikawa it’s easy to forget that for some, it’s a mind-blowing world. Here’s a look at AOL Translogic’s tour of Japanese modding culture.

7 Comments

Recycling Old Cars in Japan — With Fire

So you want to recycle the metal from an old Bluebird to satisfy the demand for new 510s. But you don’t want all that pesky rubber and plastic to contaminate your molten steel. What to do? Burn it off on … Continue reading

3 Comments

Meet Your New Koreisha Mark

The votes are in and Japan’s National Police Agency has just announced its new Koreisha Mark. The four-color clover, created by a 31-year-old graphic designer from Osaka, was selected as the winner among four proposed symbols. It will replace the … Continue reading

9 Comments

The New and Improved(?) Elderly Driver's Mark

As we reported last October, the Japanese government is changing the time-honored Koreisha Mark. Problem was, senior citizens deemed the current design — a teardrop shaped leaf in fall colors (center) — rather insulting and complained to the National Police … Continue reading

17 Comments

The Abandoned Cars of Ageo Bedroom Town

Thirty-five kilometers north of Tokyo is Ageo. A once semi-rural area, its main inhabitants are now mostly daily commuters to Tokyo — the famous Japanese salaryman and the odd OL — trudging off via their packed trains to slave away … Continue reading

8 Comments

The Shuto: Tokyo’s Elevated Expressways

Tokyo’s Metropolitan Expressway — Shuto Kōsoku Dōro (or just the Shuto) — is Tokyo’s answer to handling large volumes of traffic traversing the megalopolis.

10 Comments

RT40 Toyota Corona Will Survive in Miyagi-ken

Unlike some rural areas of Japan, the blue-skied Miyagi-ken, in the northern areas of Honshu, seem to be retaining their prosperity. The cows live indoors, the residents drive new cars and build new houses — even some in Meiji-era castle style, … Continue reading

8 Comments

Shoto Incongruities

One of the curious aspects of Tokyo living is the often cliched perspective of the new vs. the old. The fall-back standard for no-need-to-think international correspondents who like to show keitai girls in yukata, shinkansen and rice-fields, cosplay and temples, … Continue reading

11 Comments