Summer in Japan is a very special time of the year with a series of defined stages: June and most of July is tsuyu – the rainy season; August is the hottest month of the year; and finally September, when the heat and humidity starts to die down a little and it all gets rather pleasant. The entire season is marked by local festivals around obon – the week-long annual Buddhist event to commemorate everyone’s ancestors. People dress up in yukatas and visit shrines, mikoshi are carried around neighborhoods, and friends and family meet to enjoy traditional matsuri food and most importantly of all, beers and highballs.
But with this being Japan, you’ll also find car culture interwoven into this special time of the year. July gave us 7’s Day – a celebration of the RX-7 and all other things rotary-related, and on this 8th month of the year, during the 6th day (read: 8/6) Japan celebrated the Hachiroku.
It’s been a few years since I’ve checked out 86 Day at Daikoku PA, and I hadn’t heard much about this year’s gathering through social media. But I had this feeling that there’d be an extra special effort to make it happen, just to stick it to 2020 and all the crap that it’s thrown at us.
And I wasn’t dissappointed.
Car folk really pull together for this sort of thing, and as I drove into the parking lot as the sun was setting, there were no shortage of AE86s.
One thing I keep forgetting is that 86 also means the newer generation model. Maybe I’m too much of an old timer, but I’m always surprised seeing lines of these cars on August 6th, and then a second later it clicks… this is a Hachiroku too!
As the car industry continues its push to a world of self-driving electric cars, it fills my heart with joy seeing that passion will never die. Because enthusiasts will always continue to drive the cars that are special to them, and with that continue to personalize and perfect them.
This purple Trueno hatch is the perfect example. I saw it the very first time I ever covered an AE86 gathering, and I’ve seen it at every other Hachiroku meet or event I’ve been to since.
It visibly embodies the continual evolution and relationships that true enthusiasts have with their cars.
Of course, at Daikoku there’s always other metal to admire, even during these themed nights.
If there was one underlying theme I’ve been noticing in the street AE86 side of things here in Japan over the past few years, it’s that owners seem to be moving more away from extreme exterior styles and modifications. They’re going cleaner.
And subtle upgrades and extensive mechanical work is what it’s all about in my book.
However, there are plenty of new 86 owners still going wild.
At this point I decided to grab a bite to eat and return a little later when it was darker.
The atmosphere and look at Daikoku PA completely changes once nighttime falls.
I think this is a general observation about Japan in general; once the sun sets and the lights turn on the whole place assumes an almost magical ambiance. This is my favorite time to shoot.
I’ll let you enjoy the rest of the shots I took on Thursday night.
Don’t worry, this won’t be my only contribution to our AE86 celebration this month; keep an eye out for a couple of other features I have in the pipeline. In fact, if you check out the Coming Soon images on the lower section of the front page you might see something already…
Dino Dalle Carbonare