February 22, 2024

TAS Week 2024: Underground Tokyo Does Rooftops Too


The afterparty is always where it’s at, and after the tremendous crowds experienced at Tokyo Auto Salon last Friday (and then right across the entire weekend), hanging out on a cold and windy rooftop carpark in Tokyo with a bunch of car nerds was a breath of fresh air in more ways than one.

Last year’s Underground Tokyo Meet was a heady buzz of cars and enthusiasts from across the globe. The event name may have had you thinking it was fully underground in the sense of being secret, like a techno rave in an abandoned quarry, but in reality it was literally held in an underground carpark. Around 40 or 50 cars rocked up by invite only, with hundreds of spectators there to check them out.

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I don’t often get headaches, but spending an extended amount of time in a poorly-ventilated underground carpark as cars continuously cruised through had my eyes watering from the fumes and my head throbbing until bed time. This time around though, the Underground Tokyo crew teamed up with NVRFUKNSUC and automotive lifestyle brand Peaches to ramp things up a notch.

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A new location on a rooftop carpark in Tokyo’s Koto City ward was secured. There was plenty of space and, most importantly, breathable air.

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Having spent the entire day at Makuhari Messe, Rick and I arrived pretty late to the party, missing a special appearance from the Nissan Hyper Force GT-R concept and also Nissan’s Skyline Super Silhouette race car. Bummer. Still, there was plenty to see – kind of.

The rooftop location would have been extra amazing if the parking area had overhead lighting, but sadly it did not. The organisers brought along a couple of huge portable lights, although they were never going to illuminate the entire site. A few people had torches and there was the odd videographer around with an LED light unit, but if you came unprepared, you might have been wishing you’d eaten more carrots the week prior.

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Annoyingly, Rick seems to be uncannily stable with his camera and can shoot right down to a 1-second exposure and still have his images pin-sharp. I tried my best, but I could only successfully get down to half a second. Still, I felt a sense of satisfaction as it was much better than my usual 1/20th of a second go-to shutter speed for night shooting.

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A smorgasbord of 911s, GT-Rs, Evos (including the original reference car for The Fast And The Furious: Tokyo Drift Evo), Imprezas, RX-7s and everything in between lined the rows of what would normally be parking for grocery-getters and minivans.

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The bustle of the crowd, the chilly winter air and the warm under-glow of tuner cars was a real vibe.

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The covered parking levels below the rooftop were filled with spectator cars, and we found some beauties down there too. A real mixed bag.

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All good things must come to an end though, and with just 20 minutes left to run in the event the police showed up to politely ask people to leave, which they did.

Not that it really mattered, because the following evening there was another meet to check out. Stay tuned for that as our coverage from Tokyo Auto Salon 2024 and all the other TAS week activities in Tokyo continues.

Toby Thyer
Instagram: _tobinsta_
tobythyer.co.uk

Additional Photography by Rick Muda
Instagram: ardskellig





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