Hunting Unreality: One Night In Tokyo
Reality Check

I’m about to sound like a super self-entitled twat, but Speedhunting is a hard gig.

After a few weeks of quiet reflection I can comfortably claim that, outside of starting a family, Speedhunting is the most demanding project I’ve ever worked on. But for all of the long gruelling days of travel, and nights being locked away from friends and family in isolated darkness, it’s a job that also presents incredible opportunities.

Tokyo2018_Everingham_SH_ (3)

Opportunities that I’m still obtusely aware of and deeply grateful for, now well into my second year on the road. Even amongst the myriad of cool and crazy shit we get to do, I still feel the need to momentarily give some situations a quick reality check.

Tokyo2018_Everingham_SH_ (9)

Moments in time when the unreality of the situation outweighs the daily reality that most of us accept as the ‘rules.’

The moment my appreciation of those special moments fades to an expectation will quickly be followed by the moment I hang up my camera and keyboard and pass the torch to someone more worthy. Hopefully, that day never arrives.

Tokyo2018_Everingham_SH_ (11)

If I’m honest, there isn’t much substance to this story; it’s not life-changing, you won’t learn any new skills, and there’s no real deeper meaning. This is simply me sharing one of those rare moments of unreality.

Planning To Be Spontaneous

The best nights are usually spontaneous and unplanned, but this adventure almost didn’t eventuate. There was a plan to meet up with Nikko-san and his Liberty Walk R35 GT-R and help a mate do some cinematography – that was the full extent of our itinerary.


If I were a smarter man I would have stayed inside surrounded by warmth, but as that wise man Forest Gump once proclaimed, “I am not a smart man.” He was talking about me.


You see, I’d spent the earlier evening hours dressed as Wario, tearing across Tokyo in torrential rain and near-0°C temperatures. The water-assisted handbrake slides were great; the numbness was not.


Along with soaking my only pair of jeans in Japan, I was also feeling slightly more hyperthermic than usual. But seriously, what kind of guy would let hyperthermia and no pants stand in the way of adventure? Not to mention, I’d be letting a mate down if I decided to play it safe. After a scalding shower and some clever ‘MacGyvering’ with a hairdryer, I was ready to brave the cold once again.


I’m damn glad I did, too. It was our last night in Japan for 2018, and it was also our best night in Japan. Zig-zagging through deserted back roads and quiet alleyways, we eventually made our way to Akihabara, otherwise known as Electric Town.

Tokyo2018_Everingham_SH_ (24)

Akihabara’s futuristic neon landscape is unlike anywhere else I’ve seen in real life. It’s more Blade Runner than reality.

Could there be a more appropriate location to play with one of Kato-san’s bold creations? Could anything trump a wide-body GT-R in a neon heaven?

Tokyo2018_Everingham_SH_ (26)

I know the answer, and you do too. A laser-flashing, neon-throwing pink Lamborghini to complement said wide-body Japanese supercar. Believe it or not (and if I weren’t there I’d be skeptical too), but Manabu-san and his Lamborghini were a last-minute thought. Nikko-san made a call to secure a camera car to assist with some rolling shots of the GT-R.

Tokyo2018_Everingham_SH_ (15)

Manabu’s Aventador is officially the coolest camera car I’ve ever (nervously) shot from.

Tokyo2018_Everingham_SH_ (41)
Tokyo2018_Everingham_SH_ (50)

Once we’d finished filming, our hosts decided it was time to unwind and offered a late-night tour and a blast across the city. What kind of miserable guests would we be to refuse such a gracious offer?

Tokyo2018_Everingham_SH_ (38)
Tokyo2018_Everingham_SH_ (55)

Here we were, in that moment of pure unreality. Rolling through Tokyo in dream machines, making new friends with no common language, traversing roads I’d previously only driven in video games, and spotting landmarks in a beautiful and very foreign land.

Tokyo2018_Everingham_SH_ (102)

Life is good.

Tokyo2018_Everingham_SH_ (96)

Time flew by and I was scared to check my watch, but it would have been in the wee hours of the morning that we arrived at our final destination: Tatsumi PA.


This was the first and only time I’ve ever seen this place devoid of sports cars, except ours, of course. I think it may have had something to do with the temperature.

Tokyo2018_Everingham_SH_ (69)

The vending machines were a godsend. Curiously, Nikko bought each of us two hot coffees and offered a quick tip that felt life-saving at the time, a tip I’ll share now: Shaking the cans heats the coffee, and you too, once they’re snuggly placed in your pockets. You’re welcome.

Tokyo2018_Everingham_SH_ (67)

Once the cans began cooling a new source of heat was required. The options were staying warm or going home.

Tokyo2018_Everingham_SH_ (79)

Clearly, none of us felt ready to leave just yet. Instead, we huddled around the Aventador’s exhaust for warmth while we tried to communicate using broken words and smartphones.

Tokyo2018_Everingham_SH_ (76)

Eventually, we all agreed it was time to make a move. We all shook hands, bowed politely and went our separate ways.

Unreality was over, reality was calling. For Bez and I it was a long flight home in just a few short hours. Nikko planned on catching up with friends out of town, and Manabu mentioned an early-morning start for a charity event. All very different people on different paths, but at our core, most of us car blokes are very similar.


Things have been chaotic since returning home. That’s not a complaint as such, I’m just calling it how it is. I can’t count how many times I’ve found comfort by returning to the images captured on that bitterly cold night, even if it’s just for a few minutes between tasks. Most of the time I’d do it without even realizing, too.

Tokyo2018_Everingham_SH_ (98)

Perhaps it’s the sheer absurdity of the night, or how wholly disconnected that one night was from a reasonable person’s reality. Regardless of the reason for my constant reflection, I’m thankful it was something I got to experience, and now to share with you.

While this story may lack the usual substance I chase, it’s a reflection of the purest form of what Speedhunting means to me and why I do what I do. That is, sharing the #JoyOfMachine with like-minded individuals.

Hopefully, through sharing these audacious cars in their surreal setting, I’ll be able to trigger that same joy in you too.

Matthew Everingham
Instagram: matthew_everingham

More Of The Feeling
Tokyo2018_Everingham_SH_ (1)
Tokyo2018_Everingham_SH_ (22)
Tokyo2018_Everingham_SH_ (34)
Tokyo2018_Everingham_SH_ (70)
Tokyo2018_Everingham_SH_ (100)


Comments are closed.


by Oldest
by Best by Newest by Oldest

Street legal go-karts? HELL YES!


serious lack of words on this one.
Lastname: Envy, Firstname: Green with ?

Not that I normally care about LBW laser lights etc. stuff, I am into historic rallying. But it's your ability to put this unreal crazyness in words, Matt. That's what caught me on something I'd normally just skip. Great write-up, man.

Matthew Everingham



This post is a videogame.

Thats about the highest praise i can give to anything


That must have been one heck of a night!


INSANE stylized photos! These are so sick, thank you for bringing this to us! Talk about goals, loving both of those rides


Is the first photo digitally retouched???????

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Yes, JDM Filter+ at 88% :D


Really digging that first picture, kinda looks like it could be a promotional image for the next NFS.


that opening image is jaw-dropping. Could def pass as an NFS cover


This is my first comment after being a long time reader, but this is one of the best speedhunters articles that I have even seen. Great Work!

Matthew Everingham

Thank you Bazooooomking!

Shame me Flame me

Being on welfare is hard too. I feel ya, bro.

If it gets too tough, let me know and I’ll stand in for half the price. I have 16 years photo/video experience.


I was going to comment on how f-ing gorgeous these shots are, but then I watched that video.....
the music......oh god why.
Just killed the whole Japan/Blade Runner vibe

Matthew Everingham

Re-watch it on mute, Dave C.


That first pic, I thought it was a scene for a brand new Need For Speed series! XD


Same here. It actually reminded me of a concept for a new NFS game that a guy on YouTube called eKronicStyle created, called Need For Speed: Tokyo Nights. You can check it out here:

Matthew Everingham

Well, that looks interesting!


I dont know much about photography but these pictures are freaking incredible.

Jay Soh Tsu Chung

This, without a doubt, is one of the best articles on Speedhunters in a while. Those pictures of Nikko and Manabu-san are great. They tell a lot about the human behind the cars. Awesome work Matthew!

Matthew Everingham

You are too kind! Thank you Jay Soh Tsu Chung.


Hypothermia (too cold) guys! Not hyper(that would be too hot)
From a nurse!

Matthew Everingham

Thanks for clearing that up Ben. ;)
From not-a-nurse!


this article is badass... as others have said, the photography and video were both epic


been a fan of this site for almost a decade now and this post tops them all off! this post made me feel like I'm in japan again. there is really that kind of feeling at night time in that country I dunno why something really magical :)

Matthew Everingham

#JoyOfMachine is inside you!


Where in the world is John Best in the comments?!

Matthew Everingham

I miss JB :'(

Jonathan Murray

Gotta love Japan and it's toasty warm vending machine coffees!
These photo's are pretty dardy as well.
What can we do next trip to JPN Matty?

Matthew Everingham

Sir Buckets needs to submit a 43-page proposal to the boss for such an outing. Pending approval, I'll be there in a heartbeat.


Matt, those pictures in Akihabara are a damn masterpiece. So atmospheric, that I want to ship my cars to Japan for such pictures.

I laughed several times while reading your story ("McGuyvering"), thanks for that friday morning (here in Germany it actually is friday morning) entertainment.


Love that opening photo...


Hope one day I can visit Japan


I love the raining night theme of tokyo


Reading this gave me goose bumps


unreal photos & experience, holy cr@p!

Thank you and you’re welcome! (Without us junkies, er, readers, site wouldn’t be here, u no have incredible experience, right??)

Grammar police time, you want less angle: “obtusely aware” => “acutely aware”


Matt, this was great. I almost like the photo story better than the video. Going through the set and reading along, it felt like a video game and the lamb showed up like the villain car, firstly presented in black and white, with just the headlights grinning. The neons, the rain, it all made the whole thing so surreal. I don't blame you for going back these photos over and over again. I'll do the same thing with some of my sets, as I don't really believe it happened. JoyOfMachine is right, that's all this night was, and that's all it ever needed to be.

Matthew Everingham



Please please please please make some prints out of these photographs there amazing!!!

Matthew Everingham

Shoot me an email. I'm doing a print run next week!


What camera did you use?? Because they have clear shots and exposure at night! I want thag camera!

Matthew Everingham

My trusty Nikon D800. It's a few years old now, there are better options these days. If you're looking to make the most of night photography, a high ISO capability should be high on your priorities list. Good luck Camerahunting.


I'm always worried about the graininess but you managed to pull off a good chunk of this with what I would call, acceptable grain. I need to trust the ISO more and just go for it

Matthew Everingham

I don't fear ISO or noise like many of my photo buddies. I'm more interested in capturing the realest version of the moment, rather than the most technically perfect. Noise is only a problem when it detracts from details or the story.
In some instances, I'll even add grain or noise if I think it helps the feel of a shot. :)


I hate being cold and wet, and struggle shooting at night. So I'm completely blown away at what you've achieved with these photos.

Also as many have mentioned well written to boot. *hat tip*


Great writeup and even better photos. I would argue that the first image posted was worth all of it. Describing the scene as more Blade Runner than reality was a spot on comparison. Well done!



Those shots, that story, that awesome clip.... My jaw just dropped


This is one of the best articles I've read from speedhunters as of yet. I have just downloaded 20 plus photos from it. Shared to over 30 friends. Showed my roomates. And favorited the page. Japanese magic. A life that which all of us not living in the enchanting land of the rising sun yearn for. We want it. We need it. We search for it alike. A plethora of photos with some of the best shots of a car and city i have ever seen. The angles. The lighting and backgrounds. Everything here is exquisitely shot with passion and expertise on the highest level. Thank you and i hope the rest of your team can take something from it as an example of what their viewers are looking for from all cultures and cars around the world. 10 point oh. Gimme mo playboy

Matthew Everingham

Thank you! I think I'm almost blushing.

Im so glad that you guys are loving the journey. It makes the long long long hours after the fun party well worth while.


I Love that GT-R!!!❤️


Hey Matthew, what is your favorite Australian car? Mine's a XB Falcon.

Matthew Everingham

Best looking Australian vehicles: Probably an XB Coupe or XU1 Torana.


the photographs where really pretty, write up was great.. I allready was at the brink of reality.
the video completly took me out of it.

thanks Matthew, this article was an awesome experience! Unreal!