It's safe to say that there's an unspoken style exchange between the JDM and USDM scenes. It's not such a strange thing nowadays to see a tuner in the States bring his or her car to JDM spec and drop top dollar for premium parts from Japan. By the same token, there has been a substantial shift in USDM popularity in Japan. So where are the die-hard JDM tuners supposed to turn to for inspiration and the latest automotive trends? Believe it or not it's not in Tokyo, but the Kansai area in Osaka, Japan where a show much cooler than Tokyo Auto Salon is held—the Osaka Auto Messe.
It's believed that the JDM VIP scene actually originated in the Kansai area. Companies such as Junction Produce, Wald and Aimgain showcased their best to represent the bippu section. Hate it or love it, these cars demonstrate aggressive wheel fitment and extreme camber that could have only been done with heavy fabrication.
The highly regarded Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ continue to dominate in Japan, and Osaka Auto Messe was no different. One ZN6 worth checking out was the TRD Griffon Concept which clocked in 58.40 seconds on the Tskuba circuit—a pretty impressive lap time considering the JDM build is still naturally-aspirated! Kei Miura of TRA Kyoto also happens to live in the western region of Japan. He presented the KM4SH (Kei Miura For Speedhunters) 86 at Osaka Auto Messe, a milder Rocket Bunny kit that requires very minimal cutting of the body. Additionally, the KM4SH GT86 was rocking Miura-san's newly released 6666 mesh wheels.
It's clear that Osaka is the undisputed champion of car trends and the annual Osaka Auto Messe is the place to seem them. Their unique style is what sets them apart from other tuners and will continue to be the core of the JDM scene.