When you take a look at car and bike culture as an entity, vast amounts of it can trace its roots back to a certain cluster of islands in the north Pacific. If it’s got wheels, then you can be fairly certain that somewhere in Japan, there’s a group of people with boundless enthusiasm for it.
There are the obvious things – the Japanese cars themselves, so distinct in flavour and style from any other country’s products. From diminutive kei cars that show how much charm and variety can be spun from 63bhp and 660cc, all the way up to the sports cars that have again and again rewritten the rules on delivering face-bending performance.
There are their efforts in global motorsports, pretty much all of which have been dominated by a Japanese manufacturer at some point or another – Honda’s F1 engines, Subaru and Mitsubishi’s rally cars, Toyota and Mazda’s Le Mans-conquering prototypes, Yamaha’s screaming MotoGP machinery – not to mention drifting, the nation’s most famous motorsport export, which is really more of a noisy, smoky art form.
That brings us on to the modifying culture. Building an engine for mind-bending power figures, setting up a car to slide gracefully round a track or augmenting bodywork with the most outrageous aerodynamic addenda – Japan is the heartland of it all.
It’s not just Japanese cars either – whether it’s the groups illuminating the nighttime streets of Tokyo with neon-clad Lamborghinis, the visionaries up in the hills turning old Dodge vans into unlikely race and drift machines, or the country’s thriving classic car collector scene, nothing goes unappreciated in Japanese car culture.
And it all converges in an unassuming car park on an artificial island in Tokyo Bay. The Daikoku Parking Area, from which the first of our monthly events takes its name, is one of the world’s great automotive melting pots, one of those places where everyone with even a passing interest in cars and bikes can find something to keep them occupied.
It’s from this magical place that we take our inspiration for Daikoku Nights, a celebration of Japan, its machines and the thriving, endlessly diverse culture around them. First Wednesday of the month.Buy your event tickets here