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Sports car cult in Japan: The fast car club

Yoshi Kimura
Sports car cult in Japan
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N oh it's a completely normal Saturday. The sun is shining, it is a pleasant 20 degrees, and the streets around the Imperial Palace are closed like every weekend. The whole of Tokyo seems to be on their feet, jogging or with a stroller or bicycle circling around the emperor and his family like a swarm of bees around a field of flowers. But not all residents rely on physical activity. A few blocks further on the wide Omotesando avenue, hoarse barking engines announce a special kind of leisure activity.

Pacifier babies and kittens

Not only that a super sports car suddenly follows shortly before 3 p.m. the next to join the queue at the roadside. No, those who climb out of the cars also look anything but normal. An adult baby with an oversized pacifier quickly sticks a 'Need for Speed' sticker on the hood of his Lamborghini Aventador. As if the shiny gold foil wasn't enough to show his attitude towards life. He is accompanied by a skimpy tiger costume, with the slim female wearer named Luna playing around with its fabric tail. This is followed by a cruise ship captain, who is called Shinichi Okada in real life, with a stewardess and a Bentley Continental GT and some superheroes from the Marvel world.

Yoshi Kimura
Up to 100 car freaks meet for the parade.

What's going on here? The Fast Cars Club has been meeting for the Halloween parade through Tokyo for four years. The idea came from Shinichi Morohoshi, who is leaning against his Murciélago in all black with a Darth Vader helmet. 'Supercars are simply our life,' he says, while the first muscle car arrives with the Chevrolet Camaro.Morohoshi organizes everything over the internet and every year more come and join in the great Halloween fun. 'We meet somewhere up to three times a week and go together, but the parade on the Omotesando is definitely the highlight of the year.' And what do you do for a living? 'There's not much time to work,' he just grins, takes Batgirl, who has come with cat ears and a white Lamborghini Gallardo, in his arms and gives a TV team the next interview.

Nightmare for TÜV inspectors

Another of the up to 100 car freaks of the club of fast cars is called Toshi Yoneda, is only 37 years old and made a living from noodle shops, fast food in Japanese. Many members are in the media and IT industry or investment bankers like Takeshi Hasebe. He is sitting on the hood of his Ultima Sports, a red kit car with a Chevrolet six-cylinder. There is still a Koenigsegg at home when things have to go faster. 'Is the parade actually registered?' Hasebe laughs herself up and shakes her head. 'When the police come, we'll leave,' he explains.

In the meantime, around 30 luxury and super sports cars have arrived, some with add-ons and flashing lights that would make TÜV inspectors run amok in Germany . And then it happens. Police officers turn onto the avenue, but initially only drive past the cars lined up like pearls on a string with a scrutinizing look. That is the keyword. The club members go to their Ferrari, Lamborghini and Bentley and start the engines. Surprisingly well-behaved, the convoy sets off to completely paralyze the traffic at the next big intersection.

Toleration and secret joy on the part of the police

No Halloween cruise without a group picture. What about the police? She's just about to take care of our car, which, like the sports car troop, we previously parked in the no-parking zone. 'Just a few more photos and then they're gone,' Hasebe assured the officials before he too went off with his Ultima Sports. We talk to the friendly officers - not about the sentence, but about cars.


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