One of the greatest aspects of traveling through Japan was the fact that we were able to swing through so many well-known shops. On this specific day, the agenda called for a stop at the infamous TRA Kyoto to link up with Mr. Rocket Bunny himself, Kei Miura. Off the bat, I can tell you that other than being aware of Miura-san's mysterious persona and untouchable smoking experience, I really didn't know much about the man. All would change as soon as I stepped foot into his private JDM lair.
For those of you who don't know, Miura's TRA Kyoto is not so much a shop, but rather a realm of influence. Sure, there's the standard clutter and parts scattered about, yet it's different in so many ways-from tiny replicated trinkets and customer-designed skateboards to 3D scanners, classic Atari video games and various masks displaying his true Kanjo origin. Every single piece of "clutter" had meaning. It all had a purpose and clearly displayed the upbringing of this incredible mind's past, present and future.
Aside from exploring the closet of a workspace, I was also really looking forward to seeing how my years of smoking would stack up against Miura-san's infamous iron lungs. (Believe it or not, outside of California you're not treated like a terrorist for enjoying a fresh smoke, and believe me when I say I'm thoroughly trained.) But sadly, after plowing through roughly half a pack, I finally came to the conclusion that I was no match for the master, admitted defeat and stepped outside for some real fresh air and a short walk where I would blindly stumble upon Miura's most personal project, the Datsun 510 parked out front of TRA Kyoto.
It's hard to image someone as busy and innovative as Kei Miura having a personal TRA Kyoto side project, but sure enough, his roots run strong and this little Datsun is a prime example of his love for all things automotive. It's a little beat up, certainly rough around the edges and I'm not sure if it could be claimed as reliable, but goodness, this piece of history is a beauty. And after walking out of the secret laboratory that is TRA Kyoto, one's imagination can only run wild with where this car will be when it's complete. Massive Rocket Bunny fenders on a timeless chassis? Ultra-wide wheels and an impeccable stance? Kanjo-style aesthetics? Who knows... Though, if one thing is for sure, it's that we cannot wait to see the progress, and will be eagerly wating for the final product.