Easy Like Sunday Morning: Cars & Coffee Tokyo Style
Cars & Coffee: It's one of the most universally appreciated events in the automotive world. The idea of a morning car gathering got its start in Orange County, Calif. and soon spread across the United States and then the world.
These days there aren’t many metropolitan areas that don’t have a Cars & Coffee style event—and Tokyo is no exception.
Once or twice a month, the T-Site bookstore and shopping area in Tokyo’s Daikanyama area hosts Sunday morning auto enthusiast gatherings that have become quite popular among the area's gearheads.
With some pleasant late spring weather ensuring a good turnout, we headed over to the most recent event to see how Tokyo's take on Cars & Coffee would stack up to other events we've been to.
Another benefit of getting up early to check out Cars & Coffee is getting the chance to drive on Tokyo streets that aren't packed with taxis, buses and delivery trucks. It's the perfect chance to enjoy both your car and the scenery of the city.
Small Show, Big Style
Given the rich car culture that Japan is know for, you’d probably assume that Tokyo’s take on Cars & Coffee would be impressive, and it certainly is. But it's also bit different from most Cars & Coffee events.
Unlike some Cars & Coffee events that are sprawling meets with hundreds of cars, the Daikanyama event is smaller and a bit more casual.
There aren't many huge parking lots in the middle of Tokyo, and the parking lot at the T-Site can probably hold about 50 cars, and even when you include the additional vehicles parked on the street outside, the number is still pretty small.
Of course, the quality more than makes up for the smaller size. Each event usually has a specific theme, and this time around the theme was high horsepower British cars.
Naturally this meant a nice turnout of Aston Martins and McLarens, including some vehicles brought out by the Japanese divisions of the brands themselves.
Every Kind of Car
While we certainly enjoyed the selection of supercars, the rest of the show was extremely diverse, with everything from vintage Fiats to Skyline GT-Rs taking part.
The T-Site Cars & Coffee events also cater to a slightly more "gentle" crowd of auto enthusiasts. You won't find many slammed drift cars, bosozoku machines or hopping lowriders here.
You'll find plenty of European cars in the mix, with everything from BMW 2002s to sleek Ferraris coming out to enjoy the atmosphere and grab some coffee.
You can always count on seeing an eclectic mix of cars on the streets of Tokyo, and that feeling is even more amplified at an event like this.
There were several unique cars that caught our eye, including this lovely Renault 5 Turbo 2 tucking a mean set of staggered Panasport wheels beneath its super wide fenders.
Then there was this W126 AMG Mercedes that brought flashbacks to Japan's bubble period and the high-end luxury cars that roamed the streets.
A super clean factory spec Volvo wagon? We dig it.
While you see some modified cars at Tokyo Cars & Coffee, they are usually a bit more restrained in nature, like this beautiful Porsche 993 sporting some big Fuchs wheels and a ducktail spoiler for a cool retro look.
JDM in Spades
It's not all European cars, though. There was also a nice selection of domestic Japanese vehicles as well, like the always-appreciated Hakosuka Skyline.
Here we have a super clean example of the Z32 Nissan Fairlady—a model which is becoming increasingly rare to see on the street, especially in this condition.
The Nissan Sunny is always a popular model at car events in Japan, and we enjoyed seeing this tidy little B310 sedan with a hopped-up A-series motor under the hood.
Representing the Toyota side was this AE86 Trueno notchback still rocking its factory 16-valve 4A-GE under the hood and a set of Longchamp XR4s under the fenders.
For something really unusual, how about a Tommy Kaira ZZ—the rare mid-engined roadster powered by a naturally aspirated Nissan SR20 engine.
Not be left out is the good old USA, which was represented by this C7 Corvette Z06 bringing some high tech American horsepower to the streets of Tokyo.
While it may not be the biggest Cars & Coffee event ever, Tokyo's version is at the top when it comes to a great atmosphere and an even greater selection of cars.
From supercars and JDM classics to quirky machines you've never seen before, Tokyo Cars & Coffee is well worth a visit should you ever be in the city when it's going on.