It’s amazing how the automotive hobby has led me to places I’d previously never thought about visiting. Prior to Covid, I was regularly travelling to different cities in Indonesia and often abroad, all in the name of car culture.
Today, I want to share with you how one RAUH-Welt Begriff (RWB) build inspired me to pack my bags for Japan.
I’ll be honest – I didn’t know much about RWB until I met William Bakajin (AKA TheBakajin) at an RWB Cars & Coffee meet in Jogja two years ago.
William owns a beautiful RWB Porsche 993 named Tsubaki, the first Nakai-san creation built in Jakarta. What makes it even more special – and the only one of its kind in Indonesia – is its RWB ‘Heavenly’ rear fenders, which are wider than those that come with the regular kit.
While Tsubaki looks amazing, what I really love about this car is its interior design, which features a traditional Indonesian clothing style known as batik on the door panels. To tie it all together, the design is carried over to the graphics on the rear wing.
I was lucky enough to go for a ride with William in his 993, and during that outing we talked a lot about the RWB build process and how his car came together in the first place. I could sense William’s passion for RWB in his storytelling, and it sparked something in me.
I had to visit Japan and check out the scene for myself.
After learning about the annual RWB meet in Tokyo, which also coincided with Tokyo Auto Salon and the Tokyo Underground meet, early January (2020) was the right time for me to visit. On a whim, I purchased a plane ticket.
Flights secured with TAS right smack bang in the middle, I set about booking my accomodation. Initially I wasn’t exactly sure where the RWB event was being held, but some digging on social media led me to the Hard Rock Cafe in Roppongi for all its previous iterations. I made reservations at a hotel nearby, and then set about planning out my itinerary for what would be a four-night stay in Japan’s capital city.
Before I knew it I was in Tokyo and off exploring the city, albeit a little worried. Why? Well, unfortunately I hadn’t been able to find any concrete information about when and where the RWB meet would be held, and time was ticking. I ended up back in my hotel room feeling despondent, but a message came through that changed everything.
The RWB meet was on, only the location was now in Kashiwa in Chiba, near RWB HQ, around an hour’s train ride away from my hotel. Determined not to miss out, I rushed to the nearest JR station and made my way there.
Upon exiting the train in Kashiwa, I caught a glimpse of an RWB 911 passing by; this was definitely the right place.
Not only did it turn out to be the RWB meet I’d been looking forward to, Nakai-san used the opportunity to unveil his brand new 997 kit. And on top of this, meeting the man himself was surreal.
As I snapped away, I made a point of introducing myself and starting conversations, trying to soak up as much of the atmosphere as I could.
This is more than just a run-of-the-mill car meet; it’s like a big family gathering. I could see how happy Nakai-san was that everyone was together and enjoying themselves.
On this particular evening, what I hadn’t banked on was a long walk. I had called it a night in Chiba before it got too late, but only made it as far as Ginza, Tokyo, where the last train for the evening was so full that I couldn’t even make it aboard.
It took two hours to walk back to my hotel, but I didn’t care in the slightest; the RWB meet turned out to be everything I had hoped it would and more, and I was absolutely buzzing.
You can revisit Ben and Mark’s coverage from this event here.TAS
Tokyo Auto Salon was next on the list, and as a first-time visitor it blew my mind. What took me most by surprise though, was just how busy it was in the halls of the Makuhari Messe. Luckily, I managed to take most of my photos before the big afternoon rush.UDX
The final major car event on my list before returning home was the Tokyo Underground meet, to be held in Akihabara UDX’s parking building. I found out from a friend when it was happening, but wasn’t exactly sure which basement level it would be on, so I positioned myself at street level and waited…
Soon enough I heard the sound of a couple of SR20DETs and saw two Nissan Silvias – an S14 and S15 – stop to take a few photos on the street. Thinking they were here for the meet, I headed over to ask a couple of questions. They welcomed me with open arms, let me shoot their cars, and asked if I’d like to ride with them to the meet. Of course I said yes; you’d have to be mad to travel to Japan and not take up every opportunity like this that’s extended to you.
Although the UDX meet was shut down early, it didn’t stop everyone finding a new location, and you may have caught Ron’s story on this at the time. Again, it was another memorable night in Tokyo.
I still can’t believe everything that happened and all the cool people I met on this spur-of-the-moment trip to Japan. This is why I love car culture; everyone is so nice and very welcoming. If it wasn’t for the kindness of others, I wouldn’t have this story to share.
However, my journey with RWB is far from over, and I will hopefully be attending and experiencing a build – for the first time – soon. That’s something I can’t wait to share with you all in the future.