VIDEO: Behind the scenes at Toyota’s Calty design studio

Toyota Calty Tour

We all know that cars are designed, but what is “design,” exactly? A new video released by Toyota aims to answer that question via a history and tour of their Calty design studio. Toyota was the first Japanese automaker to open a US design studio back in 1973. From there sprang everything from the 1978 Celica to the first Lexus SC to what could be the next SupraContinue reading


COLLECTIONS: Mazda restores historic 767B Le Mans racer

767B 1

Mazda has something good in store at this year’s Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion. In what’s becoming a bit of a tradition for Mazda North American Operations, it’s adding a restored race car to its Heritage Collection: the #202 767B that raced at the 1989 24 Hours of Le Mans. Continue reading


Happy Mountain Day from JNC


Happy Mountain Day from JNC! If you’ve never heard of Mountain Day, a national holiday in Japan, don’t feel bad. Over a third of actual Japanese people have no idea it exists either. To be fair, it’s a new holiday — so new, in fact, that this year is its first passing. As many JNCers know, Japan is 70 percent mountainous, which creates an abundance of incredible touge roads. We’ve visited a few, and these are some of our favorites.  Continue reading


Happy 810 Day from JNC!


Happy 810 Day from JNC! Here’s Jorge Ramirez’s old goon for your viewing pleasure.

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PIXELATED: A Datsun Cherry stars in the most realistic car simulator ever created

My Summer Car Datsun Cherry

Forget Sega GT. Forget Forza. Forget Gran Turismo. Though we haven’t even played it yet, we’re beyond certain that the most realistic car simulator ever created is My Summer Car, a Finnish game where you restore an E10 Datsun Cherry one frustrating part at a time.  Continue reading


VIDEO: Corolla Matsuri 2016 goes all-out 80s on VHS tape

Corolla Matsuri 2016

By now you’re all familiar with the typical drift video — dramatic hi-def footage of heat waves coming off of the tarmac, wheels being mounted, zipties being zipped, and cars sliding in slow-mo to the beat of electronica. This is not that.  Continue reading


NIHON LIFE: Get free tea when you climb into a Suntory taxi

Suntory Tea Taxi 2016

Today is National Taxi Day in Japan, a date chosen to commemorate the start of the country’s first cab service in 1912. As it happens, this month Suntory is making Japan’s notoriously hospitable taxis even more so, by giving passengers a complementary bottle of iced tea.  Continue reading


QotW: What’s your best Japanese taxi story?

3865_Toyota Mark II X80 taxi

Today, August 8, is National Taxi Day in Japan. It marks the start of operations for Japan’s very first taxi, which occurred on August 8, 1912. As those who have visited the motherland may know, Japan’s taxis are some of the best — and more importantly, cleanest — in the world. With lace doily seat covers, white-gloved drivers that can somehow navigate an entire city without street names, and doors that you don’t even have to open yourself, the experience is unmatched by any other in the world.

What’s your best Japanese taxi story?

What say you, dear reader? As always, the most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What’s the best JNC camper conversion?”  Continue reading


Happy 86 Day from JNC

15-2354_Mooneyes Toyota AE86 Corolla Levin

Today is 86 Day, and in honor of the momentous occasion, we at JNC are sharing some of the favorite examples of Toyota’s game-changing drift machine that we’ve seen over the last decade, starting with the most recent one spotted at Mooneyes Area 1 in Yokohama in June. Continue reading


EVENTS: 2016 Nissan Jam, Part 03 — Editors’ Choice

006-1346_Nissan Skyline Hakosuka sedan GC10

We’ve saved the best for last in our 2016 Nissan Jam coverage. It wasn’t easy choosing our favorites, but the cars in this post, for one reason or another, caught the eyes of the JNC staff that attended the show.  Continue reading


EVENTS: 2016 Nissan Jam, Part 02 — All Odds

121-1408_Datsun 210 wagon B310

In the first installment of our 2016 Nissan Jam coverage, we focused on the most popular of the Nissan family tree. The “cool kids” club included Skylines, Zs, 510s, 620s, and Fairlady roadsters, but Nissan has a deep history of other models that don’t get quite as much love. Now it’s their turn to shine.  Continue reading


COLLECTIONS: Autech restores classic Nissan Caravan built for disabled passengers

1978 Nissan Caravan Chair Cab restoration 10

Every August since 1978, Japan’s NTV network has put on a 24-hour telethon called 24HTV Love Saves the Earth to raise money for charity. It will soon be held again, and to mark the occasion Autech has restored a 1978 Nissan Caravan used in the very first airing of the show.  Continue reading


MINICARS: Sung Kang’s Fugu Z is now a Hot Wheels

Sung Kang Fugu Z Hot Wheels

We’ve known it was coming for quite some time, but now it’s official. Over Instagram, Fast & Furious actor Sung Kang revealed that his Fugu Z is now immortalized in Hot Wheels form.  Continue reading


QotW: What’s the best JNC camper conversion?

1976 toyota chinook

It’s summer, and thus camping season for much of North America. And as we all know, JNCs have had their share of camper conversions. What’s the best one for hitting the highways and heading to the great outdoors?

What’s the best JNC camper conversion?

What say you, dear reader? As always, the most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What’s the best Japanese getaway car?”  Continue reading


NEWS: The millionth Miata tour dates announced


Earlier this year, the one millionth Miata rolled off the assembly line. Think about that for a moment. One million drivers have been able to experience a true connection to the road and undiluted driving thrills for a price that doesn’t even come close to breaking the bank. To celebrate, Mazda is bringing the one millionth Miata on tour. It’s already done a lap around Japan, and now it’s coming stateside.  Continue reading


NEWS: Revived Supra to use Toyota-developed twin-turbo V6?


More evidence is emerging that a Mark V Supra will soon be upon us. And this time, Toyotaku will be pleased to hear that the motor could be something Toyota is developing on their own.  Continue reading


VIDEO: Honda Serial One N600 update

Tim Mings Honda Serial One N600

Honda has been serving up a steady stream of videos documenting the restoration of the Serial One N600, the first Honda car built for the US market. The good news is that the videos have been getting longer, so we can see our buddy Tim Mings at work, doing what he does best.  Continue reading


VIDEO: Wheeler Dealers flips a Honda Civic CVCC

Honda Civic CVCC Wheeler Dealers

In the most recent episode of Wheeler Dealers, hosts Mike Brewer and Edd China leave the UK and head to the sunny climes of Los Angeles. There, they pick up a well worn first-gen yellow (aren’t they all?) Honda Civic, restore it, and sell it back to the American Honda CollectionContinue reading


QotW: What’s the best Japanese getaway car?

GR1-854s_Toyota Chaser JZX100

Japan has one of the lowest crime rates in the world. but when a heist goes down, it’s a big one. As in, the kind you need a getaway car or two to pull off. A getaway car has to be big enough for your crew and whatever newly liberated goods they recently acquired, stealthy enough to blend in, and — in case you need it — fast. A big, 90s four-door Toyota like a JZX100 Chaser might just be the perfect weapon. It’s right there in the name.

What’s the best Japanese getaway car?

What say you, dear reader? As always, the most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “Which JNC had really low production numbers?”  Continue reading


SHOP LIFE: A visit to Mooneyes Area 1

10-2343_Mooneyes Daihatsu Midget

When recent travels took us to Yokohama, our resident illustrator and Japan native San Mamiya suggested that we meet up and go to Mooneyes Area 1. It had been a few years since we’d visited the Japanese headquarters of Mooneyes, and there’s always something different parked around the shop, so we headed to the Honmoku neighborhood where the famed brand is based.  Continue reading