Kansai Auto-Otaku: Street Spotting

I’m sure car spotting is something most of us car geeks do on a day to day basis (some more hardcore than others), keeping a lookout for interesting automobiles is a usually harmless activity that lets us keep our senses alert in a very fun manner.

Needless to say, this activity is something I let myself thoroughly indulge in while overseas. Especially in the car mecca land that is Japan.

Even though I’ve been to Japan quite a few times, Kansai still feels relatively foreign to me. Why Kansai you ask? Well, this trip was purely an R&R vacation and not the automotive otaku trips you are used to. I did manage to sneak in a detour to Carland86 but more on that later.


Now, you would be expecting a pretty extensive blowout with a plethora of photographs, but strangely, over the course of my one week there, it all seemed rather quiet and sedate on the automotive front. Maybe everyone with the cool cars just decided to keep them at home due to the cold winter weather, maybe they just returned from their Tokyo Auto Salon pilgrimage, maybe some of them are still in Tokyo for a number of other automotive meets happening in the big city, or maybe they were preparing for the Osaka Auto Messe?


There just weren’t as many cool cars on the road as Tokyo, but since we were still in Japan, there will always be something interesting lurking around. An EVO here, a decked out Prius there… You get the picture.



Even cars that are probably really pedestrian to most Japanese can be intriguing for non-JDM folk like me. Like this Ignis. Suzuki has really made a clear distinction between their Ignis (Ignii?) and Swifts, with the former taking on a slightly tougher, off-road image.


Strangely, I did notice more smaller cars in Kansai than Tokyo. This mini looked amazingly clean and amazingly sweet.


Figaro with some icing on top.


Yet again another car that most locals probably won’t bat an eyelid over.


I probably lost count on the number of the latest-gen Toyota Crowns I saw but I just HAD to take a picture of this hot pink Athlete. Do you know this is an official colour you can spec when ordering your car? Japan being awesome yet again.


I so would.


Crowns for everyone!



We even managed to sneak in a couple of taxi rides. Albeit in a Crown Comfort and not their more luxurious siblings.


This Nissan Cedric wagon was one of the very few Kyushas I spotted on the trip.


Can’t beat a 70 Series Land Cruiser. Boxy, but good. (So so good)


Looks like this Midget was a regularly used load-lugger.


I love the way this mini was styled. Check out those rear window louvres. Somehow, the Japanese just know how to make a car look good.


On the last morning, before we headed off to the airport, snow started to fall rather significantly making even normal daily scenes look that bit more special. Or maybe everything just looks better in Japan.


As I walked past a parking garage, my eye caught sight of a G-wagen and I think I found my one picture to encapsulate this Kansai car spotting post. Until next time Kansai, you have been a lovely host with amazing food!


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