Juicebox in Japan: Closing chapter
So there it was, a lifelong dream holiday done and dusted. For our last night in Tokyo and we decided to make our way down to the Sega Joyopolis to check out the Initial D game, afterward, we grabbed a few beers and hit the beach to reflect on the madness we had witnessed over the last two weeks.
This was the best holiday I had ever been on in my life, a car-obsessed human who had more than his fair share of fixes over the two weeks. Japan is the country that kept on giving, it gave me a chance to write a silly amount of articles for the site and yet we really only scratched the shriveling up surface of the greatest car culture the world has ever seen.
Even as we walked around on the road below, cars would drive past and still give us little bits of joy, the buzz never wore off, this picture alone makes me incredibly happy, a dodgy little 180 turning a corner with its mismatched wheels, the owner excited by me grabbing a snap as he drives into the night. The day will come when scenes like this will be incredibly rare in Japan an elsewhere but such is life.
As we sat on the beach, on a humid July night, we could hear straight sixes screaming on the expressway not too far in the distance, both of us started to get excited imagining who or what was making the noise, it went on and on.
That night we walked the streets, taking in the incredible amount of ancient culture which I feel we didn’t get the chance to explore as much, maybe another time. For anyone that has been to Japan you know what we mean, asides from chasing the car culture one could very easily get sucked into all other sorts of madness.
From the ancient temples and their vast array of history…
To the random bars down alleyways like this little Jazz cafe. We bought some beers on our last night and floated around the streets seeking out the most obscure places to go drinking, this little jazz bar was exactly what we were looking for, the owner had no English and we sat with him for about an hour, drinking and watching Bob Marley videos on Youtube!
The place looked to be his house also, the bar was basically his living room, he had no customers and I wondered how this was even a business but regardless, it all added to the laugh we had on our final night. At around 3 am, we decided to go back out on the streets, but that’s another collection of madness that id better not explain here on Juicebox, I might add some of it to our Vlog episode on Japan coming very soon, we will see…
The next day we woke up with rough heads, but you know what? It was worth it. Today was going to be strange, we were going to de-register the Elgrande and the next time anyone would see this would be on the other side of the globe.
I had always been so curious as to how this process goes down and our final hours were fitting for a car Holiday in Japan. The final process for many vehicles here before they meet their new owner and a new life elsewhere in the world.
We never really think about the process that goes into the process of Importing a car Ireland or the UK. For many, you either collect it yourself at the docks or buy it from someone else, but one time in its life it went through the process of being bought, deregistered and then shipped around the globe.
There are a few large ports in Japan that do this and what I found quite humorous is the fact that Daikoku, as much as its a hot spot for cars during the night, in the daytime but during work hours this is a place where quite a lot of those cool cars of the night have been shipped out to any amount of countries around the world. . Nissan has a plant here and so does Toyota, we drove across the bridge to a yard where someone would take the car from us, right at Daikoku. On the way across, we noticed a stack of cool cars destined for the UK and Ireland.
Its sort of sad to think that we have played a huge part in stripping Japan of its car culture but at the same time, many cars would have been scrapped or recycled as one of the main things we kept noticing here was how little people tend to hang onto cars from the past, there is a large group of people who do see the value in these cars but many Japanese have no issue with moving on, possibly because of the price it costs to keep such old vehicles.
We drove the Elgrande in, Julian went inside to fill out some paperwork, while we went for a final stroll around the Daikoku area in the daytime. Day or night this whole area is hard to process.
Essentially it’s an Island, filled to the brim with all sorts of vehicles, this stuff is either driven here fresh out of the surrounding factories or brought here from the auctions and lined up in a similar fashion. Above there is an endless flow of traffic going in and out to Tokyo, and whats funny is eventually, many of those cars above will end up in a line here destined for another life.
This is just an endless machine, turning day in day out. Our glimpse was a mere few hours of looking at this process as we deregistered the Van…
I still couldn’t get over the fact that Daikoku, quite possibly the most impressive hub for Japanese automotive night activity, was the same place where many of the cars that once parked up here get shipped abroad.
We got to see the trusty ole Elgrande for one last time, her plates removed and she was ready to be parked down in an what seemed to be an endless line of cars destined for the UK. It was an emotional moment, we had some great memories with this van but it was time to say goodbye.
After a few hours of trying to navigate our way back to Tokyo, it was hard to have the head for its maze of buses and Subway stations. We grabbed some food and took one last glimpse at the city. Our final train in Japan would lead us to this…
A total contrast, an incredibly quiet, calm evening in Narita airport where we would be unfortunately spending the next few hours as our flight our was at a silly hour the following morning.
Narita was unbelievably eerie but it was a welcomed silence and peaceful time to let the brain begin its processing of two of the best weeks of my life.
As you can tell from the twenty or so articles I’ve stretched with these, you can sense just how good this holiday was to for us, I captured over 8000 photographs and it took me about three weeks to narrow it down to just under 1500 to use for these articles.
The trip to Japan was on my bucket list for at least twenty years with the urge to go getting stronger every single year, somehow everything lined up for us and we managed to see almost everything we had ever dreamed of.
I had finally gotten my chance to see a place which I have obsessed over for a long long time, built a website and spent endless hours on the internet because of. If I have an advice for you, its to get your ass in gear and start saving and see this for yourself, see it before its gone, because this stuff is starting to disappear and there will come a time where all we will have are the photos and videos people captured
I’m already saving to make my way back this year and you can be damn sure ill have another Sea of photos and articles to go with it.
Thanks to everyone for all the positive feedback over the last year writing these, its been a blast refreshing my memories through these articles.
Stay tuned for the Vlog on this coming very soon…
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