Shin-Maiko Sundays started as your typical car aficionados’ meet, back in 2010. Just like everywhere else in the world, a few people would gather, show off their cars, talk about them and make new friends. It usually takes place near Nagoya Airport, but for the next 3 months, it joins forces with the local Cars and Coffee, bringing even more cars to Auto Planet’s parking lot, a massive dealership in Aichi prefecture, that primarily focuses on imports.

The Japanese society is known to be one of the most homogeneous there is. Only 1.5% of the population comes from a foreign country (some of those accounted “foreigners” are actually born and raised in Japan and only speak Japanese but come from parents that don’t have Japanese blood), very few Japanese can speak any other language and being an island, Japan is often seen as a country that is a bit cut off from the outside world’s influence. People are taught from a very young age to do their best to fit in this society and not try to stand out, be noticed. This is a behavior you see every day when living here. And you do notice it when looking at cars. Every day cars in Japan kind of look the same. Box shaped kei-cars driven at an average speed of 25mph for their entire lifespan.

To escape this daily routine and all the pressure often put on them at work, Japanese need hobbies. Some spend time in ear-splitting Pachinko parlors, other go fishing or build figurines. A few, on the other hand, will decide to spend their hard-earned money and free time on a car. And, based entirely on my own experience, backed by no statistics whatsoever, when Japanese get into a new hobby, they don’t mess around and REALLY get into it. This is where things start to get interesting for us, car geeks on this planet.

Those people want something unique and they make sure to bring their precious ride, be it a slammed R35 GTR, a kei-car filled with “kawaii” dolls or a perfect looking E30 M3, to local events, allowing us to see how some of the remaining people to enjoy cars, in a country where new = good and old = bad, fight this normalization of their society.

Here is Shin-Maiko Sunday from June 12th 2016, aka your typical Japanese car meet.

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Lotus themed Suzuki Cappuccino. Notice the carbon fiber bonnet coupled with leather belts
Daihatsu Copen...

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… home of an army of Lilliputian wrestlers.
Ever wondered what Zagato would do if you gave them a Toyota MR-S (MR2 Spyder for most of you guys)? Well, wonder no more and behold for the VM180 Zagato, produced by Toyota Modellista.

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Another MR-S with a body-kit, this time of unknown origins.
Lancia Delta Integrale(s) 16V
Alfa Romeos represent less than 0.1% of the Japanese domestic car market. They would definitely deserve more presence!

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Alfa Romeo Giulia…
…with such a nice interior!
Good looking trio if you ask me!

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Cue the “NSX? More like NS-Sex!” well deserved joke. (Not Suitable for Sex??)
You knew Volvo’s prancing moose, welcome to the Scuderia Peugeot 407.

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Pair of Kuhl Racing R35 GTR
Alongside with a Kuhl Racing Prius and a Kuhl Racing Beetle.

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Extremely rare Yes! Roadster, German handmade sports car (what could go wrong!)
With a rear-end that seems to come straight off of a Mitsubishi Eclipse aftermarket catalogue.
Not all Miata were created equal. Extremely rare M2 1001 Roadster.

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Americans were not forgotten with this pristine GT350.

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GMC vans and custom made cup holders are strangely popular in a country where tiny cars are kings. Awful parking, but to their defense, they would not fit even if they tried.
More Cappuccinos.
Honda S2000

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Suzuki Swift with… something on the roof?
Ok, that is a bit creepy.
I wasn’t the only French thing on that parking lot that day! Renault Spyder.

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If I were to own this beauty, I would happily make it my daily driver. And I don’t care if my wife and my back complain about it!

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Honda Beat
“Come at me, Brah!” 
Mean looking 500E

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Everyone’s favorite! 
The local AZ-1 club met up that day also.

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What to do when you’re tall and can barely fit in your AZ-1? Get the tiniest steering wheel available on the market!
Intermède filled with cuteness.
My friend’s R5 Turbo 2!

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Yes, it’s a replica.
Good looking nonetheless.

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This M3 drove along with me for 10km on the way to Shin Maiko Sunday. Lots of drooling on my side obviously.
Datsun Sunnys showing their guts for us to see
Another Seven.

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Gaijin owned Porsche 914. It is his first car that he bought when he was 19 in Canada. He brought it here with him.

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No Japanese car show is complete without a Mitsuoka Viewt!
Minions! Also popular in Japan.
Very clean 2nd gen GTI

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Fiat 500
Peugeot 106 Rallye. The last of the lightweight fun Peugeot.
Skyline DR30. I don’t think a car can get more eighties’Japan than this!

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Let’s wrap this up with even more cuteness!