Ringing In The New Year At Daikoku PA

It really only feels like the other day that I was putting together my post on the 2021 New Year meeting at Daikoku PA and acknowledging the situation we had all been enduring. While it hasn’t improved, this time around I’m going to jump straight to the cars. It’s the best way to begin a new chapter.

And you better believe that Japan once again turned it on at the country’s most famous parking spot.


After seeing on social media Daikoku absolutely flooded with cars the day prior, I thought that the turnout for January 3rd – which is the usual day that I head down – was not going to live up to past years.


But I shouldn’t have worried.


Even though this isn’t an organized or official event, you can always count on Japanese enthusiasts showing up in numbers.


And with this sort of weather, who wouldn’t take out their pride and joy for a drive or ride to ring in the New Year.


For this early-morning outing, I had to prepare, swapping the trickle charger over from Project GT-R (currently in hibernation) to Project 964 to make sure the Optima battery was fully juiced up. I had actually spent a few days prior taking the rear lights off the Porsche with Aki (Mr. Project 33) to see if we could trace an issue with the position lights that all of a sudden had failed. We (I should actually say Aki, I just supplied moral support) pinpointed the problem to a cracked lens cover that was letting water in, and in the process screwed up other things. But the car worked fine for a quick jump on the highway down to Yokohama, and as always was a joy to drive.


It was around 8:00am when I arrived at Daikoku, and the car park was already buzzing.

Every trip here is one of discovery. You have the regulars, but there’s always never-before-seen cars to check out, like this wild C3 Corvette, which looked like a mix of ’70s dragster and kaido racer.


The January 3 date also coincides with a lowrider and hot rod meeting held in Odaiba, so those headed to Tokyo from the Yokohama direction usually stop by to regroup, before convoying on the Wangan.


Which blue car would you pick?


I remember seeing this particular R34 at a StanceNation event in Tokyo a while back, and it looks like its evolution is still going strong.


On top of sporting enough vents to keep a nuclear reactor under the hood cool, it’s the only BNR34 I have ever seen fitted with a sunroof.


In a world of R34 owners returning their GT-Rs to OEM or OEM+ spec, it’s refreshing to see others going the complete opposite direction.


Out of all the cars I posted live on my Instagram story feed while walking around Daikoku, it was this pink, customized Lotus Europa that got people talking the most.


It turns out that Toby tracked down the owner of this thing a little while back, so stay tuned for a full feature very soon.


And in the Nissan corner…


…We have pure awesomeness with a Tekkamen R30 sedan and a pair of pristine Z32 drop-tops.


I can’t forget this March (Micra) either. Seeing this, I was instantly reminded of all the fun, manual and affordable hatchbacks that Nissan used to make, but are sadly absent from their model line-up these days.


It was only when the green Z32 drove off that I realized just how clean and well-specced it was. The want for a Z32 project car continues to grow…

This meet always seems to attract a crazy number of Lamborghinis. It’s mainly Aventadors, but you can always count on some older gems too, like this Diablo VT and the wide-body example in the opening shot.


Pure Lotus perfection here.


As I swapped over to a wider lens the cars kept flowing in.


Towards the bottom – and thus out of the sun – corner of the car park, I spotted a few familiar cars making up a very cool Group A-themed display.


From an Irish car with a Renault engine in the back, to a Renault Alpine looking rather sexy under the morning rays.


Now this is a look I dig for the Nissan Stagea. To me, it beats all the R34 front-end conversions you see applied to these wagons.


I was tip-toeing through a bunch of tightly-packed supercars when I heard metal scraping tarmac in the distance.


I missed them bouncing up and down, but this was probably the third wave of lowriders that had dropped in by 9:00am.


Following closely behind was this USDM Prelude and a Cima slammed on some VIP-style rims.


The Hot Wheels-like C3 had some German company the second time I passed by it, a 3.0 CSL nonetheless.


What usually gets big events at Daikoku PA quickly closed down by the police (who reside in that red brick building you see in the background) is cars spilling over into the truck spaces.


Japan’s on-road distribution network never really stops moving, and by January 3 most companies are very much back in business, meaning trucks are out and naturally want to find places to park at parking areas like Daikoku. When they don’t, it’s one call to the police that sparks the dreaded announcements. It was about the time I was taking pictures of this stunning Porsche 928 that they started announcing that the parking area would be closed at 10:30am.


With only half an hour to go, I made sure to do another lap to see what I might have missed.


The last few cars managed to get in before the entrance was blocked off.


Simplicity is so underrated sometimes. This is pretty much Z10 Soarer perfection.


I can’t believe I got to see this Veilside NSX again. I shot the car in 2005 just as the Fast & Furious: Tokyo Drift RX-7 had been completed for filming. It’s good to see that after 17 years the NSX is still very well cared for.

Speaking of Veilside, I wonder what Yokomaku-san is up to these days?


There were no hypercars at the Daikoku PA New Year meet this year, but I did see this – one of 153 Fisker-designed Artega GTs ever made. This was the first time I had ever seen one in person, and it sort of looked like a re-skinned Alfa Romeo 4C.


While the party got cut short in Yokohama, many moved to Tsuzuki PA, a much smaller rest stop on the Daisan Keihin expressway that connects Yokohama to Tokyo. I called it a day, though.


I hope you enjoyed seeing how Japan’s car crowd celebrated the arrival of 2022 in style. Daikoku PA on the 3rd is always a nice preview of things to come for January – our Japan Month theme, and of course Tokyo Auto Salon, which gets underway at the end of next week.

Yes, there’s plenty more excitement to come from Japan in the days ahead.

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: dino_dalle_carbonare



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A lot of awesome cars out here!
Can't wait to go for meets again!


Anyone know what wheels are on those pair of Caterhams? Look like Momo Heritage, but those would be to large.


Dymag, great stuff!


Man that green z32 with that Kaminari rear center piece is so goooooood!

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Soooooo good!



Incredible group of cars but the Countaches take the cake.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Just wish people stop putting oversized modern wheels on these things


Awesome to see a C34 Stagea featured with the (i belive) S2 Takeros front bar. Definitely agree that the R34 front is overdone! Love seeing the White C34 in the background behind the Artega GT

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Well spotted!


This is the type of meet that reminds me why I got into cars at a young age. Always something interesting to find, and all these cars are a treasure in their own right. I also like the fact that even though its Japan there's plenty of turnouts with EDM, IDM, GDM, USDM etc. cars that are just begging to be photographed.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Variety is something Japan knows how to do


Got that right!


I'd suggest some cone or signs that says truck parking only on the truck spot

Dino Dalle Carbonare

People would just move them

Vladimir Ljadov

wow, that Corvette is wild!


I look forward to the daikoku reports as there is always such a variety that turn up. I can't think of many meets in the UK where you'll get JDM machinery rubbing shoulders with supercars, hotrods, american muscle and german engineering.

I will admit to liking some more than others but all get the respect due (in the case of oni-camber, the amount due is negligble - mainly for the technical aspect. It certainly isn't for the look). We all like different things and I'll take a bet that most SH regulars are mostly JDM fans. But everyone appreciates cars in most of their forms!

Dino Dalle Carbonare

There is much mutual respect in Japan, or at least less dishing out negativity.


The photo with the 458 Speciale Aperta with the group of Lamborghinis behind it is a masterpiece!

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Thanks Ivan!


Never thought I'd get scroll-happy bored of aventadors when it came out, given what the Diablo had done to me in my youth... but the vast array of what makes Japan motoring heaven, from the bellissima swan song of the Alfa Romeo 4c to the still-trackin Z-Tune GTR34's, this event/article just makes my eyes foggy. Molto Grazie, Arigato - happy new year for real.
(Not much against aventadors really but starting to cringe at why so many and what they're actually used for. Ferrari on the other hand... They are up to some delicious stuff, and without sticky buttons!)

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Grazie a te!


That green Z32 is incredible

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Possibly one of the cleanest Z32 out there, not even going into the obvious that it's a cabrio


On the Veilside front: Yokomaku-san posted a teaser to Instagram that they would be out at TAS with a brand new A90 kit that looks like a return to the Fortune widebody days. Couldn't be more stoked.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Yeah hopefully taking a look at it in a few days