Every good day should start with a little Crunk.
For some crazy reason, our Passports are still valid (go figure), and we were invited back to Japan for the 13th Annual Truck Masters' Show (the man can't keep us down!). Because of all of the lifelong friendships we've formed, and the amazing minitruck scene in Japan, we've made it an annual tradition to hang out in the Far East and soak up the amazing surroundings.
This year was a little more layed back because we took a few extra vacation days to spread out the work load and enjoy more of the Japanese minitruck culture. Overall, it was an incredible experience and every year we go gives us unparalleled motivation to see just how much the minitruck scene has grown. Even though the trip is a lot of work (besides just the communication barrier), we shot two full shows, over 15 trucks, toured many shops, and drove in a crammed van for hours on end; which would get on anyone's nerves after awhile. It's also the most anticipated trip of the year! And in true minitrucker fashion, at the end of the long days of work we "rewarded" ourselves, surrounded by the good company late into the night.
We had more time than last year, but still not enough. So once again, Makoto Okamura, Editor of Truck Trends, and Takuji Murayama, the president of the No Regrets Japan chapter, really worked hard to help us get things done. Makoto and Takuji single-handedly made it possible to accomplish everything we needed to do this year. They took us to our now annual stops, including a few of the best custom shops. And Takuji set up an awesome cruise night and drag session where we tore up the streets of Japan. Just like last year, we also did a little sight seeing, and added to our Japan ink at Slap Stick Tattoo.
Our shenanigans this year included: a Lucha Libre vs. Ninja battle, a scary train ride with no translator, an attack of the giant construction cone, frantically hunting models at the show who didn't speak English, running out of money, and trying to figure out the weird ATM for yen, our own version of the movie, "Super Size Me," since we ate McDonalds for every single meal, and getting to drive and drag a right-hand drive manual under water! It was some of the best times ever, even though it was some of the hardest work we did all year. The coolest part was getting to enjoy people half way around the world that are into exactly what we are-minitrucks.
We'll have many more years to catch all that Japan has to offer the minitruck scene; especially since every time there has been many new rides breaking ground with amazing work and innovation.
Special thanks go out to all of our friends and supporters who made this trip possible: Blue Panic, Truck Trends, Makoto Okamura, Takuji and the entire Japan Chapter of NR, Shige Suganuma and the entire Mooneyes staff, Koji and The Tint Shop crew, Slap Stick Tattoo, and all of the people who go out of their way to help us year after year.