When I heard about the Golden Week Kyusha Festival, the concept — a California Bay Area show featuring only old school Japanese cars — rang a bell. I hit up my friend Kiavash Shariloo from TD Garage in Berkeley and, sure enough, he was hosting the show with help from a handful of friends.
The idea to hold this show in the Bay Area was something Kia had talked to me about two or three years back, but each time he tried to get it off the ground the logistics of finding a space to host it didn’t quite pan out, so the plans were postponed.
A show of this type isn’t exactly new, but in the Bay Area a large-scale event dedicated to classic Japanese cars hasn’t had any traction in recent years. And as I’m sure anyone who’s planned a show will know, there’s a colossal number of moving pieces that all need to come together to make it happen.
But last weekend it happened.
Attendees from as far as Utah and Southern California made the trek out to the show, bringing all manner of interesting builds and restorations. Sara will be back soon with our main coverage, and I’ll have a number of spotlights from the Golden Week Kyusha Festival in the coming days and weeks.
I also shot a couple rolls of film at the show: Kodak Ektachrome 100 — a gift from my good friend John Jack Cirone — and a roll of Cinestill 800 Tungsten. I also finished off a bit of Portra 400 here as well, so I’ll have a couple 35mm galleries on the way.
After quickly scrolling through the digital shots from the weekend, I absolutely cannot wait to get my scans back from Bay Photo Lab in Soquel, California.
Kia selected the Craneway Pavilion in Richmond as the venue for the event, and it has to be one of the best places — if not the best — that I’ve ever photographed a car show. The light was fantastic, and the atmosphere was simply awesome with the San Francisco skyline fading into the fog across the Bay.
While I’m excited to see the results of my analog efforts at this show, I have to admit I’m a little bit anxious about how they will turn out. As I was shooting I felt like I was making a lot of mistakes, not focusing quite hard enough on the extremely dynamic conditions on the show floor.
The experience has given me a new level of respect for old school film shooters whose livelihoods depended on the somewhat mysterious outcome of a weekend’s work. At the same time, shooting the event has further renewed my enthusiasm for car shows and Japanese classics alike. As for the latter, I didn’t think I could become more enthused, but here we are.
Check back soon.
Additional Photos by Sara Ryan