japan-1Though trade agreements exist between Japan and automakers from Europe and the United States, you’d be hard-pressed to recognize many of these makes on Japanese roads. It should come as no surprise, then, that auto shows in Japan are nearly devoid of a typical American or Euro ride. Indeed, the two Tokyo auto shows might give outsiders just a glimmer of definition to the phrase “Because… Japan.”

35th Tokyo Auto Salon 2017 January 13 – 15, 2017

japan-2If you’re more interested in vehicle customization than Japanese concept cars and next year’s production vehicles, Tokyo Auto Salon 2017 is worth a visit. This three-day show features some of the craziest customs and perhaps a few unrealistic concepts. At the 2016 show, there were plenty of both!

This Honda S660 was outfitted by Modulo into a fit-for-racing ride, and their stand at the 2016 show showed off some of Modulo’s custom parts, from suspension and wheels to body parts and interior fittings.

japan-3The Daihatsu CAST ACTIVA is a new minicar for the Japanese kei car market. It’s tiny, fuel efficient, and fits into the lower tax bracket for up-and-coming young professionals. The ACTIVA variant, as opposed to the lowered SPORT variant, features an 80 mm (3.15 in) for *ahem* serious off-roading and an aluminum cargo rack.

45th Tokyo Motor Show 2017 – October 27, 2017

japan-4Case in point: The bi-annual Tokyo Motor Show, which runs every other autumn. The 44th was in October 2015, which attracted a crowd of over 800,000. Because of bad weather, the 2015 outdoor show came up a little short on crowds – the 2013 show attracted over 900,000 – the unique Japanese flair was not lacking in the least.

Concept cars and outrageous cars dominate the Tokyo Motor Show, unlike many auto shows that feature cars you can actually drive. Of course, you might be able to drive some of them “virtually,” such as the Nissan Vision Gran Turismo 2020 concept car, shown at the show but otherwise a non-existent supercar.

Also at the 2013 show was the Mitsubishi Fuso Super Great V Spider, a crazy-looking cargo truck with four articulating hydraulic booms. It’s probably autonomous – that’s surely a vestigial passenger cabin – and will be used for picking up robot parts from the coming robot civil war.

Where Will You Be?

If you’re planning on being in Japan and want to catch an auto show, January and the end of October will be sure to satisfy. With records like these, who knows what you’ll see in January and October 2017?

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