Category Archives: Nihon Life

Japan brought out its best cars for the Tokyo Olympics in 1964

The 1964 Summer Games in Tokyo was a turning point for Japan. They were the first Olympics to be held in Asia, and Japan was ready to rejoin the world as a symbol of modernity. As a show of its … Continue reading

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McDonald’s popularized the drive-through in Japan and turns 50 today

Fifty years ago today, Japan’s first McDonald’s restaurant opened in Ginza, Tokyo. The American fast food chain not only introduced hamburgers to Japan, but the concept of the drive-through restaurant. It was a time when Japan was undergoing rapid motorization, … Continue reading

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Rent your own island villa complete with FJ40 Land Cruiser

Remember that Allstate Insurance ad where the guy drives his little Defender all over town, revealed at the end to be entirely situated on a tiny island that you could drive across and back before your tea kettle boiled? Well, … Continue reading

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Toyota Supra owner selling car to pay for his cat’s medical expenses finds there is still good in the world

The pandemic has been a reset for mankind, with shelter-in-place orders last year giving us time to wrench on our projects and spend time with our loved ones. However, one man in Osaka was posed with a very difficult choice … Continue reading

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Hino’s radio program for long-haul truckers ends after 52 years

For over half a century, a Hino-sponosored a radio program has kept long-haul truckers company in Japan as they drove through the night. Imitators came and went, but Hino Midnight Graffiti Hashire! Kayōkyoku wasn’t just the longest-running radio program for … Continue reading

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Ebisu Circuit rebuilding efforts under way with fan donations

Last month, a 7.1 earthquake magnitude earthquake and subsequent landslide heavily damaged Ebisu Circuit, one of Japan’s most famed drifting grounds. The landslide caused the collapse of several courses including Drift Land, Minami, and Nishi circuits, and some surrounding facilities. … Continue reading

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A train station in Japan now plays the Seibu Keisatsu theme song

Starting February 20 of this year, Kokuryo Station, located in Chōfu, Tokyo, will adopt the Seibu Keisatsu theme song as one of its platform jingles. The change is a tribute to Ishihara Pro, the production company responsible for some of … Continue reading

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A brief history of JCW, Japan’s first carwash company

We recently came across a news item about a new system in Japan that washes coronavirus off of your clothes and shoes. You walk through a metal frame while nozzles spray chemicals all over you, in droplets too small to … Continue reading

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You can now get Mazda RX-7 rotary engine-themed face masks in Japan

The march of car-themed face masks continues as Japan struggles to deal with COVID-19. Though Japan’s coronavirus death rate — a little over 1,000 — is pretty mild compared with that of the US, themed masks are still doing brisk … Continue reading

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That new life-size Gundam robot in Japan is basically a Mazda RX-7 from the 22nd century

Giant robots are serious business in Japan. Construction has just finished on a 59-foot Gundam robot in Yokohama, and it’s not even the first. If you’ve been to Odaiba, Tokyo where Toyota’s MegaWeb showroom is located, you have probably seen … Continue reading

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Now you can get classic Nissan coronavirus face masks

If you want to protect yourself (and others) from transmitting a harmful virus while simultaneously expressing your love for classic Nissans, there is now a face mask for you. In Japan, you can now get two types of masks, one … Continue reading

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Official Initial D 25th anniversary store opens in Japan

On July 23, a pop-up store celebrating the 25th anniversary of Initial D opened in Tokyo. It will be open for just over two weeks in the capital city before moving onto Osaka. The shop features a small gallery of … Continue reading

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The history of Toyota’s insane dealer networks, explained

“Why does Toyota have so many dealership chains in Japan?” you may have asked yourself at some point, “And why do certain dealers sell only certain models?” It’s all very confusing. Well, as of last month, if you’re buying a … Continue reading

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Drift back to school with an Initial D AE86 backpack

It’s hard getting up for class but when you’re wearing a snazzy AE86 backpack, you can slide to school in style. Forget your Jansport, a Japanese shop has made a replica of the Initial D Toyota Sprinter Trueno for all … Continue reading

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Japan unleashes retro mobile post office based on the Toyota HiLux

On July 19 Japan’s postal service kicked off a national campaign featuring a retro truck that will serve as a mobile mail drop. Based on the sixth-generation Toyota HiLux, the roving post office will travel to tourist destinations and appear … Continue reading

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VIDEO: Nissan celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Tomei Expressway

You are probably sick of hearing about Nissan’s many anniversaries this year, but the company is celebrating one more 50-year milestone — that of the Tomei Expressway. The 215-mile highway traces Japan’s southern coast between Tokyo and Nagoya, following a … Continue reading

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NIHON LIFE: Japan raises speed limit to 75 mph

Japan has raised its speed limit to 120 kph (75 mph) on two major expressways, the highest maximum that has ever been allowed in the country. The high-speed zones span a 50-kilometer section of the Shin-Tomei Expressway between in Shizuoka … Continue reading

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NIHON LIFE: How an automaker deals with scandal in Japan

As you may have heard, Mitsubishi Motors experienced a little scandal last year, in which it was found guilty of cheating government fuel economy tests. It sent stock plummeting so badly that Nissan was able to gobble it up and grab a … Continue reading

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NIHON LIFE: Japan proposes changes for easier expressway navigation by foreigners

Japan’s expressways are famously difficult to navigate. Most are named for the far-away places they head to and are difficult for non-native Japanese speakers to remember. That may all change, the Ministry of Transport is proposes an alphanumeric system to help us gaijin not get … Continue reading

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

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 … Continue reading

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