It’s Time For The Craziest Car Show In Tokyo

If it’s mid-January, you know where to find me: Tokyo’s biggest eye-candy car event of the year, Tokyo Auto Salon! Unlike the more stuffy Tokyo Auto Show (where big makers debut their new offerings and concept cars), Tokyo Auto Salon is for people who definitely don’t want something off the rack. From samurai rides to gangsta wheel spikes, this show’s got it all.

I’ve been saving last year’s photos until now, so you can see what kind of delights await you in every single one of the NINE exhibit halls!

Let’s take another look at this bad boy, my favorite car from 2019. It’s been stripped down to the vintage metal, then elaborately etched on every. single. surface. I don’t know if this one will be back in 2020, but there’s always something that’s this knock-your-socks-off fabulous

The Auto Salon is where you’ll see all the latest in car primping, and in 2019, the scrollwork Chevy wasn’t alone in riffing on state-of-the-art finishes. Color-changing paint jobs looked so last millennium compared to the next new thing: textures

Like this subtle but super cool Honda

And when you add in some of the custom hacks on sale (like this color-changing wheel well light) you’ll definitely have every eye upon you as you cruise Main Street

Of course, custom paint jobs are the classic way to grab attention, so whether you’re a lean, mean, fish-annihilating machine…

or a samurai lord heading straight for a showdown on Thunder Road, they’ve got you covered

Naturally, there were parts manufacturers who were showcasing their less-than-sexy add-ons in cars that really drew a crowd…

Like this fuzzy Beemobile (selling fancy animated taillights)

and hilarious examples of unsporty goods like snow chains, strapped onto cars that are not exactly anyone’s first choice of an outdoor adventure vehicle

I was extremely disappointed that the all-bling Mercedes wasn’t on display at the D.A.D. accessory booth in 2019, but fortunately, host club employees can still trick out their rides with everyone’s favorite luxury potato holder

tokyo auto salon constellation ceiling

If you’d prefer your sparkles to be more subtle, you can take your date to “look at the stars” without leaving your driveway, once this color-changing starry starry night is installed inside your car roof

But if you’re the type who’d prefer to go out lookin’ for trouble, this booth will sell you the ways and the means to battle any chariot on your turf

Of course, there were still plenty of booth babes posing in scrums of otakus with big lenses (sorry, you’ll have to find examples of that creepy phenomenon elsewhere), but I was cheered to see that in the new millennium, some beefcake has joined the short skirt and pouty lip brigade.

This one was posing at a booth set up like a WWF-style wrestling ring

And finally, on my way out, the Samourai air freshener display gave me the biggest laugh of the show:

Most hilarious attempted Star Wars tie-in ever

It’s on this weekend, and if you’re in Tokyo, go.

Dates: January 11 – 12, 2020

Hours: 9:00 – 19:00 (until 18:00 on Sunday)

Admission: Adult – ¥2500, Junior (13-18) – ¥1800, Children – free

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