"Mini-trucker Heaven" Click here for more pics from the Japan tour!
What better excuse is there to go to Japan other than one of the world's largest all-truck shows? We wanted to see firsthand what Truck Masters Final in Kanagawa, Japan, was all about, but that's not what this story is about. There wasn't enough room in the show coverage to show you all the cool things we encountered, so we decided to give you a taste of the entire Japanese mini-truck scene, culture, and our shenanigans while on foreign soil.
When we first planned on going to Japan to shoot trucks, check out the show, and try to stay out of trouble, we had no clue what we were in for. Low and behold, there was an entire culture that's into mini-trucks just as much as we are. It was amazing to see that not only were there hundreds of 'bagged mini-trucks with really cool owners, but there were also body-dropped rides everywhere we looked! It was mini-trucker heaven as far as the eye could see. There were some very creative mods that we've never seen; there were mini-trucks actually sporting Mini Truckin' logos; and there was an entire buzz of excitement from everyone at the show. It was very cool to see that kind of enthusiasm from a culture 5,500 miles away from our west coast. Honestly, it was truly humbling to see so many people halfway around the world into exactly what we are: building cool trucks, hanging with cool people, and enjoying every second of it.
Besides, for the Truck Masters show we also had a unique opportunity to take in the entire mini-truck scene in Japan because we had two of the best tour guides that you could ask for. With so little time and so much to do Makoto Okamura (Editor of a Japanese magazine called Truck Trends) and Takuji Murayama (President of the No Regrets Japan chapter) really had their work cut out for them. Makoto and Takuji single-handedly made it possible to accomplish everything we needed to do. They took us to a couple custom shops that do suspension and body work just as crazy as any shop here, and Takuji set up an awesome No Regrets cruise night where we tore up the streets of Japan mini-trucker style, draggin' to our hearts' content. We got to do a little sightseeing, and we even got some Japan ink (tattoos)! The language barrier made it tough to always get our point across and at times both sides got frustrated, but as soon as we were on the way home, we already missed it.
All in all, it was a trip of a lifetime and we can't wait to bring it to you up close and personal year after year. Special thanks go out to our friends Makoto and Takuji for everything. Also, thanks to Truck Masters, Shige at Moon Eyes, Koji at The Tint Shop, Art of Work, No Regrets, and all the other cool Japanese mini-truckers and shops that showed us such hospitality.