Tokyo's Daikoku Parking Area attracts car enthusiasts
【Summary】Daikoku Parking Area in Tokyo is a popular spot for car enthusiasts to hang out and hold impromptu car shows. It's like weekend cruising on Woodward Avenue in Detroit, with a mix of cars including luxury minivans, classic Japanese sports cars, European machines, and even American cars. It's not easy to get there by public transportation, so you'll need to rent a car or find a friend with a car. It's a great way to spend a few hours watching vehicles come and go.
I have always been a huge fan of Japanese cars, especially those that have been modified. Even before I started working in this industry, my love for these cars influenced my travels. 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. During my college years, I had the time and money to attend the Tokyo Auto Salon. However, there are still plenty of Japanese automotive experiences that I have yet to cross off my bucket list.
Thanks to the kindness of a friend who lives in the area, I recently had the chance to visit Daikoku Parking Area, also known as Daikoku PA. This highway rest stop is located near ports where various goods are loaded onto ships. We even saw lots full of Civic Type Rs waiting to embark on their voyages. Although it is better equipped than many American rest stops, offering more food and shopping options, Daikoku PA has become a popular weekend destination for car enthusiasts of all kinds. It reminds me of the weekend cruising scene on Woodward Avenue in metro Detroit, complete with occasional police interventions when things get too crowded late at night. According to my friend and some travel sites, the best times to visit are Friday and Saturday nights, as well as Sunday mornings, when the weather is usually pleasant.
If you ever find yourself 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 rent a car, find a friend who can take you there (like I did), or possibly take a taxi, although I have heard that taxis and ride-shares are not fond of going there. I have heard that some people offer "tours" to drive visitors out there. However, if you manage to make it, you will be treated to a fantastic mix of cars. From luxury minivans to classic Japanese sports cars, unique European vehicles, and even a few American cars and SUVs, there is something for everyone. The atmosphere is casual and relaxed, making it the perfect way to spend a couple of hours watching cars come and go. Of course, if you do decide to go, please be respectful and mindful of the fact that it is a functioning rest area for cars and semis. I personally cannot wait to go back in the future. In the meantime, take a virtual tour through the gallery above.
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