Tokyo's Daikoku Parking Area attracts car enthusiasts
【Summary】Daikoku Parking Area in Tokyo is a popular hangout spot for car enthusiasts. Located near ports, it offers a variety of food and shopping options. Visitors can find a mix of cars including luxury minivans, classic Japanese sports cars, and even some American cars and SUVs. It's recommended to visit on Friday and Saturday nights or Sunday mornings. However, getting there can be a challenge as it's only accessible by car.
I have always been a big fan of Japanese cars, especially modified ones. Even before I started working in this industry, my love for Japanese cars influenced some of my travel choices. When I was 12 years old, my family had the incredible opportunity to visit Japan for a couple of weeks. At the top of my to-do list was a visit to the Mazda museum and factory in Hiroshima. I was already dreaming of owning a Miata or RX-7 as my first car in a few years. In college, I had the time and money to attend the Tokyo Auto Salon. There are still many Japanese automotive experiences I want to check off my bucket list. Thanks to a generous friend in the area, I recently had the chance to visit another important destination: Daikoku Parking Area, also known as Daikoku PA.
Daikoku PA is essentially a rest stop located along a highway. It is surrounded by spiraling ramps and is not far from ports where various goods are loaded onto ships. We even saw lots full of Civic Type Rs waiting to be shipped out. Although it is better equipped than many American rest stops, offering more food and shopping options, it has become a popular weekend destination for car enthusiasts of all kinds. It is similar to weekend cruising on Woodward Avenue in metro Detroit, complete with occasional police intervention when things get too crowded late at night. According to my friend and some travel sources, the best times to visit are Friday and Saturday nights, as well as Sunday mornings, when the weather is usually decent.
If you happen to be in Tokyo and have the means to visit Daikoku PA, I highly recommend it. Getting there is not easy, as there is no direct train access. You will need to either rent a car, find a friend with a car (like I did), or potentially take a taxi. However, I have heard that taxis and ride-shares are reluctant to go there. There are some people who offer "tours" to drive visitors to Daikoku PA. But if you can make it, you will be treated to a wonderful mix of cars, including luxury minivans, classic Japanese sports cars, unique European vehicles, and even a few American cars and SUVs. The atmosphere is casual and relaxed, making it a great way to spend a couple of hours observing the comings and goings of different vehicles. Of course, if you do visit, please be respectful and cautious, as it is a functioning rest area for cars and trucks. I know that I will definitely try to go back in the future. In the meantime, you can take a virtual tour with the gallery above.
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