Ramair at Tokyo Auto Salon 2020 – Part 1

If you’re into tuning – especially the Japanese variety – you’ll be well aware of the Tokyo Auto Salon or TAS for short.

Each January, this huge event rolls into the Makuhari Messe, Chiba City, for three days’ of awesomeness. It’s the place to be for any self-respecting Japanese brand and even attracts major support from the manufacturers, with the likes of Toyota, Nissan and Mitsubishi all building large stands. 

This year, we decided to head over and see what all the fuss was about; could TAS really be as good as everyone kept telling us?

In a word: yes. From the moment we stepped off the plane, the excitement was building. With trade passes, we were able to head straight to the event on set up day where we got a real behind the scenes look at the show. As the likes of Toyota began constructing their immense stand to show off the latest Supra race car alongside some retro racers and to launch the new GR Yaris – we realised that this was to be an epic event.

Set over 11 halls, the show is huge and filled with every conceivable Japanese model you can think off. From fully restored classics like the Toyota 2000 GT made famous in a James Bond film, through to the latest tuned stuff from Liberty-Walk and RWB – there really was something for everyone. 

It’s this diversity and the mutual respect that everyone has for each other’s cars that makes it such a great event. Where else could you see manufacturers rubbing shoulders with tuners and getting on so well? 

Aside from the cars, the show goers themselves provide another sort of entertainment – it seemed as if they were in competition for who could rock the most outrageous outfit. From full on teddy bears, to guys wearing dressing gowns and shiny leggings, the fashion show was almost as popular as the cars.

The sheer scale and quality of cars on display made it hard to pick out favourites, although we have to say it was great to see over 20 Liberty-Walk cars in the metal as well as the RWB Porsches that looked stunning. 

If you ever get the opportunity to go, then we can highly recommend TAS. The show runs from 9am till 7pm and even in that time, you’ll not be able to see it all. You really need a couple of days. Amazing cars are guaranteed, but it’s the Japanese culture that really adds to the experience. From weird fish-based snacks, to the crazy costumes and the city of Tokyo itself, a trip to TAS is something you’ll never forget. 

As a side note, we spoke to a few locals and they said that, in their opinion, TAS isn’t even the maddest show on the calendar. To see the truly crazy cars, you need to head to Osaka a little later in the year. That one’s now on our bucket list, for sure. There was so much to see that we couldn’t fit it all into one blog post, so check out the bonus gallery below. And look out for Part 2 of our TAS report, coming soon!