Newest Trends and Stylings From Japan on Display in Osaka [Gallery]
The 22nd annual Osaka Auto Messe rolled into Intex Osaka convention center during what felt like an exceptionally cold weekend. Fortunately, the cold didn't prevent us from seeing all of the hottest cars and trends in Japan.
Taste of Tokyo Auto Salon
Although a fraction of the size of its larger sibling, Osaka Auto Messe definitely holds its own when compared to Tokyo Auto Salon. Osaka has been known to display some hidden gems that only the unique people from Osaka can bring out. This is still a popular show for some of Japan's big hitters in the auto world.
This includes the top prize winner Toyota GR Super Sport Concept. It was clearly still a fan favorite and made a huge impact on the show. Although they did not bring the display without the body, it was still impressive to see it again in person.
There was still a significant amount of Toyota C-HRs and Lexus LC 500s from companies like Wald and T-Demand. The Kuhl Racing C-HR and the new Modellista C-HR concept were also on hand, proving to be headliners in showing off the popular C-HR with even more customizing options.
Heart of Custom
In our opinion, the heart of custom car culture in Japan is the Kansai region, especially Osaka. Known as a working town, the style of cars that dominate Osaka Auto Messe reflect that culture, with plenty of kei-trucks, vans and probably the best VIP style cars on the planet. Quintessential JDM style emanates from this area, so it only makes sense to go there to find out what trends are big now and will be soon.
All of the ideas and designs come out of some of the world's most famous tuning shops like TRA-Kyoto, Libert Walk and Wald. Not to be outdone, there are also plenty of smaller tuning shops around the region that have also made quite the names for themselves, like Five Mart and KRC Modified.
T-Demand continues to dominate the world of VIP style, as what seemed to be half of the hall featured their customers' cars. Big sedans on air ride may not be for everyone, but you can't argue the skill of execution with perfect wheel and tire fitments that accentuated the mere millimeters in ground clearance.
At the AP Garage, we spotted a familiar freshly finished Nissan Skyline Hakosuka, but what really caught out eye was their BMW 2002 sporting their new air suspension systems. This was just a tease for the area of the show dedicated to Euro cars, showing off some of the best builds, such as Porsche Boxters and Caymans.
Auto Messe also offered plenty of surprises like this awesome Volkswagen Golf GTI by Voomeran. The ultra-clean finish combined with its wheels and ride height definitely reflects the style in Japan. These days, Japan has its own growing "import scene," and it is great to see this style being applied to more than just Japanese cars.
We'll Be Back
Even though it's not as big as Tokyo Auto Salon, all of the biggest trends and hidden gems find their way to Osaka Auto Messe. We'll keep coming back for as long as we can, and we highly recommend giving Osaka Auto Messe a visit next time you're in Japan.