Gallery>>japan Streethunting Vol.1

I thought I'd take a quick break from my JCCA New Year Meeting coverage to post some street sightings from the roads of Japan. I've been here for a week now, and whenever possible I've tried to bring my camera to grab photos of various cars I see rolling around.

I'm sure I look pretty strange snapping photos of random cars all the time, but it's fun to see what sort of vehicles you see in Japan on a daily basis. With all of the great Japanese events we cover, it's easy to forget that just driving or walking around on the streets can be a thrill for car fans – especially if you are new to Japan.

So far I've done some carspotting in small towns near my in-laws place in Ibaraki prefecture…

…as well as in Tsukuba City, where I found this mint Mitsubishi GTO cruising around.

I also did some carspotting while I was in Tokyo last weekend. This tough Benz was stopped in traffic in Akihabara.

Akihabara is of course the "nerd capital" of Japan, with countless shops selling electronics, comics, games, and other more "questionable" things. I've also found that you see lots of cool cars in Akiba.

And yes, in case you were wondering there are still plenty of itasha on the streets of Akihabara.

A very clean and original looking BNR32. The R33 wheels were the only modification I noticed.

Anyone else dig kei class offroaders like the Suzuki Jimny?

While doing some shopping at the mall in Tsukuba I spotted a Lexus CT200h equipped with the F-sport package.

As well as a fully original aircooled Beetle.

An SW20 MR2 hunts for a parking spot on the streets of Akihabara.

While American cars certainly aren't common on the streets of Japan, there are more than you might think. Here's a new 5.0 Mustang GT sitting in Tokyo traffic.

A couple minutes later this showroom condition Celica notchback drove by. It's so nice to see old cars like this still seeing daily use.

As an American, being in Japan always provides the opportunity to see cool European models that were never offered in the US. Alfa love.

A four-door Impreza lurks in the garage.

I heard the sound of this S14 long before I saw it.

A Honda Civic Ferio Vi-RS – not something you see everyday. If Honda had decided to release a sedan version of the 99-00 CIvic Si in the US, it probably would have looked like this.

A Subaru Forester STI ready for the rugged outdoor life.

JZX100 Chaser in Odaiba.

Japanese car buyers love the minivans, and they also love the Toyota Prius. Combine both and you have an instant recipe for sales success.

A Honda Legend re-badged as an Acura RL for added luxury cred.

Do half-car sightings count? While driving around the other day I spotted a junk transporter loaded up with an entire front clip from a Toyota Soarer.

While heading to Toyota Megaweb in Odaiba I spotted a newer Dodge Challenger R/T in the parking lot.

A big Muscle Car like this is not cheap to buy or operate in Japan, but once you see it parked in a lot full of minivans and hatchbacks you can see where the appeal comes from.

That will do it for now. Hopefully I'll find some more cool machines out and about for my next episode of Japan car spotting.

-Mike Garrett



Comments are closed.


by Oldest
by Best by Newest by Oldest

what a pile of tosh, a forreter with a roof box, you need to get out more !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I take it you can delete posts? Lacklustre beyond belief - there's better cars on the shopping run in my local Tesco... less please!


Unlike the above, I thought this post was very interesting. Nice to see what sort of cars are out and about and not just a hoard of Japanese machinery either, although the individuality of people's Japanese cars is great! Would love to see some more galleries like this, you never know what you're going to see on a Carspotting trip!


Nice Celica GT from the 80's ;p I have a 1600ST TA60 in the garage (fastback). I like it!


Very cool. Random street snaps are fun. When I visited Japan I always kept the camera within reach becaus you never know when an interesting car will show up. A couple times I had my driver stop the car so I could jump out get some shots. That will get you some strange looks :)


arent those stock skyline wheels?


I want the 5-0 wheels those are sick!


Mike- Don't listen to the haters. They don't understand the journalism behind this post evidently. I loved it however, and I would love to see more of the same from all over the world. For a car guy, it's cool to just see all the different every-day lives that others get to live out. I wish I could have the opportunity to visit Japan, it seems like such a magical place.


Nice SW20!


When I saw the Swift in front of the S14, I first thought "this guy surely likes so much jdm things"... then I realized how dumb I was^^


That yakuza probably didn't like you taking a picture of his Benz! ;)


C'mon Mike.. You can do better than that! :)


That MR2 is perfect. WANT.


what a pile of tosh, a forrester with a roof box, a cool car?, you need to get out more !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Hold on...... i am on

These cars i can see on a "normal" automotive website ;)


I sorta agree with keith. There are so many amazing cars here and for you to take photos of stock GTO/3000GTs and a standard Merc among others baffles me. I suppose its nice to show the readers that cars from all over the world are here (like most developed countries) but I think everyone would enjoy the crazy side of tuning and more upscale cars that can be seen. I know I would!


Did I really just read this?! Why has there been no coverage of the Daytona 24 hour? Or the MP4-27 launch? Really poor guys.


Disagree with you guys, I love this sort of post, seeing everyday cool cars in Japan. And it's a STI Forester, not just some standard gt spec version Keith.


^ pretty much have to agree even NZ has better cars to be seen on a daily basis


Not gonna lie, I see more interesting crap here in NZ... Your not in the Japan the rest of the world knows XD


As usual, you can't please everybody Mike!! Interesting post, I, like Passeyfier, like to see whats out and about on the streets of Japan. Keep up the good work.


Great "car culture" post Mike... You don't see that much Vi-Rs in Japan because half of them are here in DR :)


That Impreza TS is Hawt!!! I whish Subaru would let us have one for a year or two in the product line up..


I really enjoyed the post. More please!


I for one enjoyed this post, nice to see what rides be lurkin in the streets of Japania!


that merc is a 500E


Suzuki Jimny FTW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

In the photo with the half Soarer you can also see a 2JZ!!!!!!!!!!!


i love seeing what people drive in other parts of the world every one doesn't have 40k to put in there car and i like to see what people due with what they have. keep it up speed hunters this is why i love this website


some of you are talking as if you live in car shows. cars are meant to be driven to work ,home, track, school etc. haters


Now this is why i love nissan when you have a good enegine bay in your nissan and it sounds good you can hear it with out seeing the car and if you really know your car you can time the shitfing gears part I do it all the time GO NISSAN FANS!!!


I want MORE of THIS !!!!! LOVEEEE IT !!!!!!


you have to get out more. If you spend a couple hours on the streets of tokyo you see all these cars and then some


That's one mint Celica!


Hey everyone! I understand a lot of these cars aren't the most exotic or the coolest around, these are just interesting vehicles I happened to catch while I had my camera with me. It's a small slice of what you might see on streets of Japan on any given day, and something that will yield different results every time you head out. Hopefully there will be even better ones next time!



Moar carspotting!! I do it every day.


I like these posts - a glimpse in to Japan daily car life for the curious


Celica notchback?? used to get a lift to work in one of those.. way back in the late 80's - is that a Maserati Shamal up top?? - wicked.


Just came back from nearly 3 weeks over in Japan. I sort of have to agree with some of the comments. A lot of these are vanilla. Having said that, he did say he was mostly hunting in the small towns around Ibaraki, so the thinner population would lead to a thinner distribution of cool cars.

More kei cars would have been cool. Pretty much nowhere outside of Japan gets these and because the buy price is less, a lot more have mods to them. Saw plenty of awd kei cars whizzing past our bus up to the snow fields and driving around Tokyo.


are the american cars right hand drive??


You are all missing the point... there are MUCH better day time street cars all over Japan - down side alleys, seemingly abandoned in long-term car lots, parked up outside bars and clubs, in fact everywhere. My point being that this isn't a good cross-section of domestic and european cars. I don't know you Mike, and apologies for sounding harsh, but you have written so much more concisely and certainly more interestingly than this story illustrates. At least edit out the Forrester/topbox/taxibenz combo!!!


A Honda Civic Ferio Vi-RS? Really, who cares... AND WHERE IS THE COVERAGE OF THE "ROLEX 24 @ DAYTONA." ARE YOU SERIOUS? NOTHING? WTF?!!!!!!


Mmmmm Maserati Ghibli GT twin turbo V6 in the first pic, a much better car than the Biturbo... North America never saw it though, a few came to Australia.


I love posts like these, just like you did years ago when you were in Japan.

I request a desktop of the Mitsu GTO and the R32 GT-R!


I do enjoy me some MR2's...


Contrary to what others are saying here, I found this article very interesting cause each snap was something completely different and random. Features like these give off a 'personal' feel instead of the complete serious and repetitive tone of race/drift/drag coverage. If it is something you didn't like save yourself some time and be constructive by finding something to your liking rather than complaining.


Why the hate? These are, beyond a shadow of a doubt, my favourite type of posts. This is what I think of when I think Speedhunters. This is a man and a camera, hoping and praying that there will be an interesting car around to snap a shot of.

These aren't garage queens, they aren't race cars, they aren't drift missiles, they are just cars that people drive. You know, like you and I. That's where the appeal comes from.

Mike: more, please. Thoroughly enjoyed this.


I love these sightings. More of this.


reguardless of what anyone says, these are some of my favorite posts. i enjoy seeing everything japan has to offer and see.


whoever posted that this is all a waste because NASCAR wasn't being covered is an idiot. Really? you would rather have pictures of a bunch of fiberglass shells rolling around a circle track covered in their corresponding manufacturers and sponsors vinyls? Gimme a break. These are daily drivers on the streets of Japan that Mike was keen enough to capture. If you wanna see show cars, go to one.


I personally enjoyed it, while motorsports and uber high spec, uber high dollar cars are great to look at, I like seeing shit that's street driven and just an average joe's car, as opposed to the others. Keep up the good work.


I love these kinds of posts, it adds a different flavor to the blog. Keep it up!


is that an actual Maserati Shamal or a tweaked Ghibli ???


What is name of car on first picture?

sorry i didn't noticed in comments... :o


My word can't understand the hate around this post. One guy saying he sees Toyota Chasers and new Mustangs on his run to Tecos?!?!

Great stuff, spotting cars on the streets will always be more satisfying to me than seeing something at a show. Let this lot stick to the posts on SEMA. Why must people be satisfied with every single thing on here? It's not all about you, if you don't like it, fine. No need to post and moan about it, it's not going to change anything.


Loved it!! I can't wait to see more of your street hunting.


Woah, Keith calm your shit down...

Nice post


@Comment  looks like a Ghilbi to me