Lowriders Take Over Shibuya
7’s Day Is Far From Over

Despite the police shutting down the festivities, it turned out that 7’s Day night was not a total loss. After being kicked out of Daikoku PA at a relatively early 9:00pm – the time the rotary party usually gets into gear – I made the drive back up to Tokyo, destination Shibuya.

Being the first Saturday of July, Tokyo’s monthly lowrider gathering was scheduled to go down, and with it being such a nice summer’s night the potential for a decent turnout was pretty high.


There was no hurry for me as nothing really starts to happen before 11:00pm, so I grabbed a bite to eat on my way to Tokyo’s glitzy shopping district.


By the time I arrived in central Shibuya there was already some action. It felt like I had somehow been teleported into a parallel dimension where the space-time continuum had been disrupted and Tokyo was mixed with a hot ’60s summer night in SoCal.


It’s almost hard to put it into words, as what happens is a proper take over of Shibuya. The police are always ready for it too; they position a couple of vans on the main stretch of road in front of Tower Records, drop a line of cones so people don’t park up, and station an officer with a red LED baton and a whistle to ‘help’ direct traffic.


Thankfully, that’s as active as the police would get on this night, and of course everyone just totally ignored them and parked around the next intersection up the road.

It all becomes a massive parade as cars and trucks cruise by in every direction, before looping around and doing it all over again. Every side street becomes either a short cut to Shibuya’s main drag, or a temporary place to park and grab a drink from one of the many convenience stores.


It was down one of these side streets that I came across a couple of custom builds of the two-wheeled variety. You don’t see too many of these modified scooters around Tokyo (Yokohama seems to be where they’re mainly at), and they usually only have mild wheelbase stretches in comparion to some of the bigger and wilder bikes in the scene. But that said, they have their own cool aura and attraction. I loved the saddle covered in Bride seat fabric; talk about a car-bike crossover.

Lowriders Own The City

An hour or so into the meet, Shibuya had become Impala central.


Along with the low-riding customs that you see, there are also what I like to call ‘support vehicles.’


These can be pretty much anything American, but are usually large SUVs and wagons with massive wheels. I even spotted an H1 Hummer – modified of course.


The uphill crossing that leads to Shibuya’s Seibu Department Store and the Apple Store is the place to be to get your shots.


With all the surrounding buildings sporting illuminated signs and LED panels, it’s lit up like daytime.


With so many high-quality builds driving past, it reminded me of the Yokohama Hot Rod Custom Show, but live and in central Shibuya. It’s visual overload of the best kind, and even passersby with seemingly no real interest in cars were grabbing pictures with their phones and enjoying the unique spectacle.


It was at about this time that I heard the unmistakable sound of a burnout, followed by the sight of a slow-moving cloud of tire smoke.


I had to go and check out what it was all about, and no surprise it was a group of foreigners that were up to no good. I must stress that the Japanese guys and gals that show up to this monthly gathering would never do this sort of stuff as it just attracts the wrong kind of attention and can possibly have a bad effect on the whole culture. Something like this can spoil it for everyone; it’s just a lack of common sense.

The Move To Yoyogi

Thankfully the police didn’t take any notice, or if they did it was too late for them to launch an investigation into who was involved, so nothing came of it.


I followed the road down past Tower Records and towards another area where cars had gathered.


This is where friends wait for each other before driving off in small convoys towards Yoyogi Park, where an even larger parade usually materializes.


Check out this Impala coupe putting its hydraulics to good use, lifting the inner front wheel for that spider stance.


I don’t know what it was about this Celsior; perhaps it’s because it’s so clean, so low, or it’s just the way it rocks those three spokes, but I wanted to have one immediately. That’s the thing about cars dumped to the ground, they accentuate style like nothing else.


As cool as the scene in Shibuya was, it was time to make a midnight dash to Yoyogi Koen.


When I arrived, both sides of the street that runs right by the park was filled with cars.


I even spotted a couple of those more extreme scooters that I was talking about a moment ago. How crazy and equally bizarre are these low-riding things on two wheels?!


Aside from the odd dim street lamp, it’s pretty much pitch-dark in this particular area. But that only adds to the atmosphere of cars putting on a bit of a show for the bystanders that gather. I think this Caddy hit 88mph!


This is also the place where hydraulics and custom chassis setups are put to the test. As weirdly satisfying as it is seeing a massive car bounce up and down as it passes you by at 25mph, it’s the sound that sticks with me.

Checking out Japanese lowriders is a great way to unwind on a Saturday night, and I can’t wait to look into this scene again in the upcoming months.

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: speedhunters_dino



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"Still DRE" by Dr. Dre was on my mind the whole time I read this article lol

Dino Dalle Carbonare



There's always some loser/s who think that burnouts on a public road are the height of car culture....

Shits me because they're almost always not locals/regular attendees to these kind of events, and have a 'I'll never be back, so it doesn't affect me' attitude.


Whenever i see these idiots out at modified car events its almost always in a near stock car. It's like the moment they get no attention they have do something loud and obnoxious to get some. The equivalent of a child putting a saucepan on their head and banging it with a wooden spoon.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

So silly. If you like to do burnouts that's fine, just don't do them where you would get others in trouble...


I love how you left both their faces and licence plate un blurred haha, good work. Name and Shame!


WTF. One minute all you guys are crying how cops shut events down, and how authorities discriminate against modifiers in different places etc, etc. And the next minute your willing to out your fellow car enthusiasts to "name and shame". First of all, even if there is no burnouts, cops are not happy to see large groups of loud low modified vehicles out on the street. And second is the whole car modifying culture is built on outlaw stuff like street racing, street drifting, and other outlaw practices . And the people that still carry the most weight in the couture usually are outlaw image personas, or pretending to be one. So its no surprise stuff like this happen, and will continue to happen on outdoor events. If you cant handle it, just go to indoor car shows, streets be streets.


And by the way i am not defending the guys that happen to ruin the fun sometimes for many. I understand why some people that just wanted it to be a cruise might be upset with them. But i think scolding and yelling "Get'em" like that is not proper, and many times worse than what these guys do.


yea thats probably you on the picture huh...


I really need to check this out one of these nights. That Celsior... damn. So fresh and so clean!

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Amazing right? Needs a feature...


The scooters are bizarre lol. How do they turn? lol

Dino Dalle Carbonare

With difficulty lol


bloody sick! looks like a fun night :)

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Always is!


Haha great shots, wonder how those super long scooters go around corners.:D

Dino Dalle Carbonare

16-point turns? lol


I'm thousands of miles away and hate JDM, but it still makes me violently angry that the same cops who dropped surprise inspections on 7's Day seem to love these lowrider crews.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Love would be a wrong word. Just different departments doing different things. Also what's with the hate?


Previous articles I've seen seemed to indicate that the police genuinely appreciate having these guys around. And I've posted before about why I don't like JDM, but it basically comes down to overexposure on a truly epic scale. Other places still have some of their own car culture but it's like the local cultures... aren't the mainstream anymore. Japan should be considered just one country among many, not the true source of car culture.


I think one of the big reasons for JDM being "overexposed" is because japanese cars are quite affordable anywhere in the world. If it wasnt so bloody expensive to get some sweet US Cars imported and on the street in other countries (refering mostly to europe cuz thats where im from), I'm sure we would be seeing a lot more of US car culture in different countries as well.
We've got a local meet called "Import Stars" which is a meet for anything not European, and the turnout is 95% JDM and 5% Mustangs and Camaros. Rarely do you see any US Classics there, sadly, as its a great meet with a nice atmosphere every time.


I refer also to the US. Hot rods & muscle cars do still exist but sites like this seem to focus mainly on the JDM/drift-centric side of things, and quite often in the Californian Soviet Socialist Republic. Besides, I said JDM, not Japanese. You can have a Japanese car and still modify it in an American or European style. Unless you're in Japan, in which case 1. any car you drive should be modified in a Japanese style no matter where it comes from and 2. non-Japanese automotive media should be deliberately ignoring you until local styles have a chance to reassert themselves in the rest of the world.


Hey Chuck, not sure if your being sarcastic about regional styling, but if not, then that kind of isolationism will hold everyone back. Automotive styling comes with the opportunity to express oneself. And if your someone in Europe whose Fascinated with West coast lowrider styling, Car culture as a whole should welcome that attitude as long as the person respects and contributes to the culture in some way.

The cultural shift of focus from vintage USDM hot-rodding to JDM is just a sign of the times. People are becoming more interested in affordable compact cars that can pull real numbers. Or things that are different than what we grew up with. I'm a mixed asian kid from Detroit, and I'm Building a Rat Rod/ Wangan inspired 280z lol. Websites like Speedhunters have given me the opportunity to learn and appreciate car cultures from around the world.

If you have a problem with lack of exposure of something your interested in, buy a camera and share it!

Dino Dalle Carbonare

I think you have a point with the whole affordability side of things... But that said so much comes into it, it's hard to generalize

Jay Soh Tsu Chung

That "Back to the Future" reference though. LOL!

Dino Dalle Carbonare

There are a few in there... hehe

Frankie Neptune

The ASTRO VANS always crack me up when I see them there.
You can’t even sell those things to Americans...well, Americans without meth labs.

Oh, and the foreigners...when in their domestic domains they’re simply referred to as IDIOTS.
No need to distinguish them alternate classifications when abroad ;)

Japan doesn’t have to worry for long. It’ll get pricey to travel there once again and the bros will rather spend their money on knockoff cologne and hair gel.






Always some that ruin it for everyone. Must be those types of people everywhere!
Lets try naming & shaming them aha

The event looks unreal though. Always love your work Dino

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Thanks Jack. I wouldn't want to get into naming and shaming. Pictures do tell a thousand words though...


Since you said in the 7s Day post about, I was waiting anxiously for this article.

How cool is this!!

Everypost from Japan I believe even more on the head of an article from months ago: Everything Is Better In Japan!!!

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Well, there is good and bad like any other country. Most of the stuff we are into here at Speedhunters is better hence why I live in Japan haha


Can you imagine a major metropolitan city where you can grow sunflowers on the side of the street and NOBODY messes with them? Truly a different world.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Simple respect. Japan shows it can be done. Unfortunately it would never work in most other societies. I think Scandinavia generally comes pretty close.


I grew up around Lowriders from as far as I could remember. There is nothing like that feeling when you feel the ground tremble as a old-school 60's-80's GM slams on the ground and bounces back up. I love cruising around in my dad's 86 Regal, clowning the car at stop lights, putting smiles on the faces of the spectators. Its good a break from all the car meets I go to with all the other imports around here in Chicagoland area and drive slow and low. No matter who you are, you will always love seeing a Lowrider.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

And there is it right there. You've explained it perfectly. It's such a nice break from the usual stuff, it's impossible not to love it and the cars and what these cars can actually do is pretty mind-blowing. That sound! Tremors more like haha

Rich E Wavy Kariuki

I remember my folks rented an Astro van when we visited Las Vegas as a kid. Driving to Disneyland, we hit a bump in the road and the thing continued to bounce for a good minute! Floaty is an understatement describing the Astro's stock suspension.


This is so epic, the articles on the meets in Japan never disappoint! How do you know about when these events are going on?

Heading to Tokyo later this year, would be incredible to check one of these nights out.


I believe we'll see a full article dedicated to these "low scooters" not only a passing by photo since BIKEHUNTING is officially a thing now.


I keep thinking about those classic 70s American songs when I see this.......diamond in the back, sunroof top, digging the scene with a gangsta lean.