Generally speaking, here in Europe (and with the exception of a few organised events) the motorway services is a rather drab and depressing place. Let's just say that it's not what you'd call a destination. It's a pitstop for a quick coffee and a toilet break long before you get to your destination, a place with little appeal, chocked full of weary travellers and overpriced sausage rolls. But, that's not quite how they do things in Japan, so while we were in town for the Tokyo Auto Salon, we just had to experience another Japanese car culture institution - the legendary Daikoku Futo.
Now, as you can see from the pictures, this place isn't quite your normal services. Situated just south of Tokyo in the port of Yokohama, this world-famous "parking area' has been a meeting place for Japan's wildest modified cars for decades now. The location is just off the Shuto Expressway - or more specifically the Bayshore Route - the hunting ground of the (allegedly defunct) Mid Night Club, Japan's most notorious street racers from the mid "80s until the late "90s. Apart from these historic 200mph "maximum velocity' runs in mega tuned 2000bhp Skylines and Supras, this infamous stretch of tarmac is also no stranger to the maddest Bosozoku ride-outs, massive Kyusha car convoys and the current generation of Kanjo Racers buzzing around with their VTECs at full chat. There's also been the odd appearance in some of the best car culture movies out there… oh, and Tokyo Drift. But, what all these have in common is that most of the time the cars involved end up right here parked up at Daikoku Futo.
Anyway, JDM history lesson aside, we thought we'd take a random Friday night blast down the Shuto and check out the place where you're guaranteed to see everything from modified JDM classics to modern performance cars and all that's in-between. And, what's even more mind-blowing than that is what follows isn't an organised meet - it's actually like this every night of the week. Mental!