Monochromatic Tokyo Nights
It’s All About The Drive

I sometimes forget just how fortunate I am to be living in a place like Tokyo. Car culture is everywhere and it’s easily hunted out; a quick trip to a few local meeting places or nearby race tracks is all that’s needed to get a fix. But despite immersing myself in Japanese car culture every working day, I just can’t get enough. And to try and scratch that itch, nothing clears my mind more than jumping in Project GT-R and taking a late-night drive on the highway network of Tokyo and Kanazawa to see what I can find in the parking areas.


So, I take a break from cars by driving to see more cars… Well, it makes sense in my head, so that’s good enough I guess! And just because life has been especially demanding as of late, it’s as if fate had a working hand on it the evening guys in Japan celebrated the great R34 Skyline. March 4th (3/4) just happened to be a Friday night, and I had a clear schedule…


While I used to cover these sort of Skyline celebrations often, it all got a little too repetitive for me, so a couple of years ago I decided to take a break. And I’m glad I did too, because this time around it all felt so refreshing.


The sort of feeling you get after catching up with an old friend after a long time. Skyline celebrations aside, it had also been a while since I’d stopped by Daikoku PA. Since Tatsumi PA is so close for quick midnight excursions, I haven’t journeyed down to the famous Yokohama parking area many times in the last year or so.


So yes, it was cool to be back. Sure, there were R34s of all types – from GT-Rs to GT-ts, to four-door versions as well as other generations of the Skyline – but as always, Daikoku was jam-packed with all manner of cool metal.


Being a Friday night you could sense a more chilled kind of atmosphere. And because most people didn’t need to go to work the next day, they could stay out longer.


This was obvious, because by 11:00pm the parking lot was buzzing with energy; as more cars left, more kept arriving. I’m glad I got a chance to snap away at this pearl white ER34 sedan, as it’s been given one of the nicest GT-R conversions I’ve ever seen. Even the rear arches (and back doors) were blistered, GT-R-style.


Given that the Nissan Stagea’s chassis code is WC34, there were just as many of these big station wagons present, too.


It’s only a matter of time before this model gets a real bump in collectable value – especially the 260RS version running the RB26DETT and BCNR33 Attesa driveline.

A Style For Everyone

As soon as I arrived I took a quick walk around the whole carpark to see what had shown up. Many R34s had passed by Daikoku PA after spending the day at Fuji Speedway for an R34 meeting.


It explains why there were so many slammed ER34s around too; a lot of the emphasis on the show was put on stance.


We even had a little visit from an old timer.


There is something so right about how these meets materialise at Daikoku. You pull up and chill by the side of your car, chatting amongst friends while watching and commenting on the cars that pass by.


Wait long enough and you know you will get to see some surprises.


These NSXs were part of the Advance crew, and in fact, this particular car is the shop demo machine I featured last year. I recently dropped by Advance during one of my tours that I’ve started running for JDM fans, and I was blown away by the awesome selection of customer cars that Masa has sitting in his shop. I need to go back and shoot the lot of them!


This car had been driven all the way up from Ehime in Shikoku Island to be part of the R34 event at Fuji. It’s one of the most ‘out there’ interpretations of an ER34 sedan I’ve seen.


If the owner’s intent with this build was to get attention, he’s done a good job of it.


This thing was not on air, so the entire 800km drive up to the Tokyo area was made with the underside scraping on the highway. It’s not everyone’s style I’m sure, but nonetheless the owner was shown respect for the effort he’s poured into his project.


After spending some time in Europe and minding the expanding family, it was a breath of fresh air to bring my GT-R out for a cruise. I met up with Kenneth, who you might remember as the owner of that crazy Top Secret-built sanyon. Since I featured the car last year, Kenneth’s added a side-exit exhaust for when he’s feeling naughty, and ditched his Nismo intake plenum in favour of a billet Hypertune item with six NAPREC throttle bodies. Yes, it goes even better than it used to!


Here is one car I wasn’t expecting to see, but these little S660s are quickly becoming popular. In fact, Spoon has recently put the finishing touches to its demo machine, so I must drop by and see what’s been done. I’m sure you Honda guys would like that!


There were GT-Rs parked as far as the eye could see…


Including this BCNR33 parked next to one seriously-kitted Mitsubishi Lancer Evo!

On To Tatsumi

Daikoku PA continued to fill up throughout the evening, but as the night was still young, a few friends and I jumped in our cars and drove responsibly along the Wangan to another popular parking spot.


It doesn’t matter that it’s probably only a tenth the size of Daikoku, Tatsumi PA is a special location for Tokyo car guys as it’s the the place to stop once you are out circulating on the R9 loop. The R9 is a fast stretch of Shutoko that only has two speed cameras along it, right next to the Police station as the C1 dips down into the Ginza section (which incidentally used to be a river that got drained and turned into a highway back in the ’60s for the Tokyo Olympics).


People love to run the R9 stretch hard, but this particular night wasn’t about going crazy; it was about soaking up the feeling that Tokyo car culture gives you.


Compared to Daikoku PA, you have a much better chance of seeing expensive exotics show up at Tatsumi. Being so close to the central area of Tokyo, it’s a popular hangout spot for those that are so busy that they seldom get a chance to take their prized possessions out for a drive. This Z06 reminded me just how damn good American cars have become over the last five years or so. It was probably the best car I drove in 2015, and I’ll never forget it wheel spinning in fourth gear on me in the wet!


Admittedly, I have a lot of adoration for GT-Rs, but can you blame me? I just love the unique way in which people personalise them; they’re basically all the same car, but at the same time totally different from one another.


And can you get any cooler than a white BNR32 on white rims?


Masa eventually made it out to Tatsumi too; his individually-throttled V6 ensured everyone in the parking area took a good look at his ride.


I ended up being overtaken by this F355 on the C1 later in the evening. The owner was obviously out for a ‘hot lap’, and in doing so passed by me like I was sitting still. The legendary days of Wangan and C1 racing might be a distant memory, but there are still people out there that can’t help but have a little fun every once in a while.


Ever since that first time I hit up Daikoku PA in 1993 on a school night, Tokyo evenings still hold a special place in my heart, Things have changed, yes, but the magic is still very much there.

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: speedhunters_dino



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Nice article Dino..
I feel ya, Tatsumi is so close to home, I just can't get the bug to want to hose down to Daikoku all the time.
May see you again if your doing Nikko in the next month as we're up for three trips there..

Hope all is well ^-^/


Great work Dino!
I'm visiting Japan end of May and will spend a week in Tokyo, is it worth just turning up to Daikoku PA on a Saturday night to see what's there?
Can you get there with public transport or is it a taxi?
Sorry for all the questions but I've always thought about visiting it, it's like the Mecca of JDM!


jjpae86  I like DAIKOKU on a Sunday morning and Tatsumi on a Friday or Saturday night. To get to DAIKOKU only by cab or you can rent a car, same for Tatsumi.


Can we have a color version of this post...?   you removed the vibrant of the show..


More info on the 190e!


Dino,you said the r34 sedan that has a bnr34 conversion even to the blistered back door bnr34 style, I believe that particular car even have a bnr34 taillight to match with.


only black and white picutres of skylines? pretty boring post... please bring back some color and variety...


Thanks, I knew someone here would know!!




@ttop your ignorance can easily kill someone.. easy with that please..


LOVE the black and white style!
As always Dino your articles are the bomb, and your pictures too!
These cars make me smile, i love the white on white r32!


Roughsmoke Cool, which events are you hitting at Nikko?


jjpae86 I've seen and heard stories of people climbing into Daikoku PA from the street across from Daikoku Futo, but I don't recommend it. Most hook up with like minded guys  and grab rides to and from the PA, or rent cars. Taxis are doable too from Yokohama station or something but the issue would be calling one when you are trying to leave!


afongdesign No, that was the whole point haha


@Daniel I've really should feature it I guess uh?


psikyo88 A superbly executed conversion. It's what Autech should have done but never did


Onecton Thanks:)


Awesome article speedhunters_dino seeing this article and recently coming across something on IG; if schedule permits is there a chance to maybe have a story on an "All Fairladys" meet/day...can't remember the exact name lol


Awesome. Is always good to see GTR's on speedhunters. That Evo is crazy!


Brilliant post!

Are you sure there are only 2 speed cameras on that stretch?



Dino, are the same cars from attack tsukuba going to be at sugo? If so you have got to go. Awesome post.


These are the articles that keep me glued to this site. More!


speedhunters_dino Yes :)


The R33 GT-R at Tatsumi... That really stole my heart! What a stunner!
I quite like R33's a lot more over the R32's and R34's.


No color do... :'(
Very nice and that Evo holy crap.
I can help to feel the same way about Daikoku Pa & Tatsumi Pa. It is so special it makes me feel like a kid on a christmas Every single time.


reix2x well obviously your arrogance can do the trick as well...


@ttop someone didn't get the theme of the meeting..


jjpae86 You could also rent a small camper van for a couple of nights.  LOL


Monochrome hell yeah! Everynow and then I really enjoy it, it makes you focus more on shapes and light. Please feature the spooned S660!


SeBaBunea your the only one ;)


What car pictured in the photo below the car with plate # 83-38? It does seem the same as the other skylines? Thanks


@Chops Maybe it is a GT-T


@Chops Toyota Soarer Z30, aka Lexus SC.


Hi, Will be looking for Drift Muscle and Black Mark Day.. And squeeze another in if time allows..
Plenty to choose from..
Any plans yourself? @speedhunters_dino


SeBaBunea  Right there with you. Not the best looking stock, but a set of wheels an a bit more low will do wonders for them.


speedhunters_dino  please do. Is it entirely street-legal, or kinda... 'ehhhh, legal-ish'?


Another awsome article sir!! Japanese car culture at best. Thank you


If only things like this were in the U.S =(


great cars there.. but could you post it in colour.. pleaseeeee..


asdiru no hahaha


Project AT180R My pleasure :)


jay8393 yeah and a very nice example save for the poor fitment (which you can't see from the side profile)


koko san EXACTLY! That was my point precisely, focus that and on the atmosphere. :)


@Drive Circles And more you will get :)


mayorquimby Yes, some and others from the Tohoku region I'd expect. And no, I didn't go unfortunately :(


I love Daikoku....such a cool place to visit.


dangina *you're
And no he's not, I'm an R33 GTR person myself....32's are over-hyped IMO. I'd have a 34, but they're still too pricey, so 33 it is(which I'd probably still pick anyway).


Nope me too!


Black and white. HELL YES.


That's an awesome write up! After visiting daikoku and tatsumi last year, I'd have to say the aura around them both is something different. Such an awesome hub of unique and wild cars. I wish I was lucky enough to see it during the 80s and 90s too! That would of been incredible.


speedhunters_dino Dino, it´s funny that you mention the issue of leaving Daikoku Futo if you go there by Taxi...i had the same problem but it was lot´s of fun. First time i asked for help to some girls that were there and they called a Taxi for me to take me to Ishikawacho station. Since that time we become friends and they already visit my country.

Last time i asked help to some information employee at the shop (they have yellow clothes) and they called a Taxi. This time the Taxi stopped at the back of the shop and i went to a different station. The good think abaout it? Well...on the way to the station i discovered where NISMO has the warehouse with all the goodies!!! 

I guess going there by Taxi can be an adventure but good thinks can also happen that´s why i believe Japan is a special place like no other and Daikoku Futo heaven on earth for an auto otaku guy.

Thank you Dino for inspiring us with your articles  You can get a Taxi from Ishikawacho station to Daikoku Futo, make sure they take you to the parking lot (mention this). if you are coming from Tokyo you can get a train at Tokyo Station. Have fun :)


speedhunters_dino jjpae86 

Dino funny
thing that you mention about leaving Daikoku futo…I had that issue when I went
there by Taxi from ishikawacho station! First time I asked for help and some
girls helped me by calling a cab…we are friends since this time and they have
visited my country already!
Last time I
asked help by approaching some staff guys at the shop wearing yellow clothes. They
called a Taxi that stopped at the back of the shop, this time I went to a
different train station. The good think about it was discovering NISMO warehouse
on the way to the station.

I guess
going to Daikoku Futo by Taxi can be an adventure but good thinks can happen
and it did! I made new friends and discovered were Nissan has all the NISMO
goodies…maybe next time I will go there. This is why I believe Japan is a
special place.
Futo and Tatsumi PA are heaven on earth for Auto Otaku guys…and also Umihotaru

Thanks Dino
for inspiring us with your great articles about Japan car life.

@jjpae86 you can go
to Daikoku Futo from ishikawacho station, make sure you mention Parking Area.
From Tokyo you can get a JR train from Tokyo Station. Have fun.


asdiru kinda contradictory of the whole monochromatic title wouldn't you think?


Well, at least you didn't say black and white, because those are some pretty boring desats. Please look into proper b/w conversion and theory.


@DaimlerLeitz says a guy sitting behind his computer screen and doing nothing productive with his time :D


@g452 sitting behind a screen editing photos as a matter of fact




Of course you can get better than a white-on-white GTR... when it's a Mine's! ;D


i want to live in Japan!!


Sufferes thank you! glad i wasnt the only one that saw that


good car for the race and I'm sure very fast


the car was very good 
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