As I descended to basement level, the scent of stagnant, humid air mixed with exhaust fumes began to fill the elevator.
For a split second, I thought the elevator had gone through a portal straight to Malaysia, but the lack of two-stepping and rev battles told me that I was indeed still in Japan
The doors open to Takashi-san’s secret Tokyo underground meet – timed to coincide with the Tokyo Auto Salon – and a parking garage packed with people and cars.
The location was only made known the morning of the meet, and even then the details were sent privately with explicit instructions on what to do, where to park, and how not to get the attention of the police stationed right next door to the venue.
Sharing or discussing the meet on SNS was also strictly forbidden.
Watching Takashi-san running back and forth nervously led me to think things might have gotten a little out of hand.
“The parking staff are complaining that there are too many people, and are asking us to leave now,” he said, confirming my suspicions.
I immediately felt sorry for Takashi-san, and was slightly annoyed, as obviously word had spread far beyond the invited.
Why do people have to ruin a good thing? Can’t people follow simple instructions?
The vibe of the venue is perfect for underground meets and I’m sure a lot of time and effort went into securing the spot, so hopefully it hasn’t been ruined for future usage.
On The Other Hand…
Perhaps I’m looking at everything the wrong way, though? It’s possible that I’m being overly critical about the situation and need to look at things from a different perspective.
Because, despite there being a lot more people than Takashi-san had expected to turn up, everyone who was there was incredibly polite, friendly, and most importantly, respectful.
And you can’t blame anyone for wanting to attend.
Everyone had an incredible time, including Takashi-san, who was so happy that people could enjoy themselves at his secret/not-so-secret event.
The more I think about it, perhaps striking that balance between having fun and not crossing that line of being disrespectful is key.
If we can keep this balance alive and well into the future, car culture can continue to be an amazing experience to be personally involved in and best of all – share with others.
I wasn’t the only Speedhunter at this meet; Toby was also present and has lined up a more detailed look at a few cars that caught his eye, so keep a look out for that story.
Mina otsukaresama desu!