Thank goodness for mobile devices with cameras. I can snap anything that’s the tiniest bit out of the ordinary while I’m out and wandering about, forget about it for a few months, and then splurge it onto the blog when things are busy and I don’t have time to craft a full-blown post. Today is just one of those days – it’s not going to be the most inspiring or engaging thing I’ve ever posted, but (arguably) it’s better than nothing…
Every time I’ve been to see my in-laws in Fukuoka, this car has been parked up nearby. I haven’t seen it move in over five years, and the reasonably thick layer of stoor suggests it’s unlikely to have shifted while I haven’t been looking – although curiously, the tyres are always pumped up. It’s an eighties Corolla so not exactly a great loss to the world, but there’s something about those alloy wheels that tells me this would make a great budget road rally car should the owner ever decide to part with it.
This is the controversial Nissan taxi for New York, the vehicle that’s supposed to be replacing the Checker Cab across the city. For once, I can safely say Scotland is ahead of both Japan and the USA, for the city of Edinburgh has been employing converted vans to ferry large groups of drunk (and sober) people about for many a year. This exemplar was on display at the Nissan Gallery in Ginza – a place of which I have precious little memory on account of horrendous jet lag…
…and for the same reason nor do I have much memory about the location at which this image was taken – the Tamiya Plamodel Factory in Shimbashi. It’s essentially the flagship store for the world’s favourite model kit maker, containing all the geekery that entails. Actually, having just been boosted by one of the wonderful little cans of hot black coffee one can acquire all over the place in Japan, I remember slightly more of the Tamiya Factory than of anything else I saw that day. As such, I’m going to write more about this place some time soon – it honestly wasn’t that dull!
This is a terrible photo, shot from the window of a moving car, but it illustrates precisely why I never switch off when I’m in Japan – one never knows what one might see or when. When my now wife and I started dating, she always used to joke that she wasn’t competing with other women for my attention, but with vehicles (she then added that she was never sure if that was better or worse, but we’ll gloss over that part of the story). Anyway…an even older Toyota just parked in the middle of an open warehouse, with all the signs that it’s in use as a daily driver.
This was the interloper car I saw running away from the Toyota Museum in Aichi. As far as I can tell this is a Honda S600, but I await to be proven wrong – if you can distinguish between an S500 and an S600 from a grainy phone pic shot across a pedestrian crossing in twilight, you are a better person than I.
I’m struggling to think of some sort of narrative to stitch these pictures together without over-egging it, but I guess the strand running through all of them is this. If you’re as daft on cars as I am, there’s a whole additional dimension to going overseas. Put simply, at any moment you could come across something, however unremarkable it might be to the untrained eye, that you’ve never seen before.