Many tourists came to The Tokyo Auto Salon 2012 for checking Japanese popular tuning style, new items or taking pictures for magazines or making fake products. One tuning parts company’s staff said bad foreigner who come here for making fake products shoot any new parts with digital camera, then the guy email to their own countries. One or two months later, they make fake products. The Japanese tuning companies have hard time about fake parts and are surprised at how fast fake parts are made. After TAS, many foreigner tourists try to visit to the tuning shops for seeing demo cars or buying tuning parts. But many tuning shops doesn’t have people who can speak/understand English. Some tuning shop keeper told me suddenly foreigners visit to the shops and see and take pictures of any cars in the shop and leave. No greeting, and they stay to themselves without saying anything. That is so scary. If you thought the Japanese who work for the tuning shop cannot understand English and that’s why you don’t need to say anything, or you cannot see the signs that say “Do Not Enter” or “No Pictures”, don’t think you can go and do whatever you like. You are wrong and you need to understand Japanese culture. Many tuning shops don’t have a big show room. Famous and big tuning shops have show room but if you want to see the demo cars or tuning cars in the shop, please ask any employee if you can see the cars and BEFORE taking any pictures. Please do it if you could not find any sign which says “No Enter” or “No Pictures”. If you have iPhone, you can use Google translate, for example. Or if you want to speak Japanese, here are some useful phrases:
Sumimasen (soo-me-mah-sen): “Excuse me” or “Sorry”
Demo-car/Tuning car o mite mo iidesu ka? (Demo car/tuning car oh mee-teh mo ee-de-su-ka): Can I see the demo car/tuning car?
(* Demo car and tuning car is almost same pronunciation in Japanese.)
Kono kuruma no syashin o tottemo yoi desu ka? (koh-no ku-ru-ma no see-ya-sheen o tot-tehmo de-soo-ka): Can I take picture of this car?
Ano kuruma no syashin o tottemo yoi desu ka? (Ah-no ku-ru-ma no see-ya-sheen o tot-tehmo yo-ee de-soo-ka): Can I take picture of that car?
Kono parts o kudasai. (ko-no parts oh koo-da-sigh): I will have these parts.
(* Parts is same pronunciation in Japanese.)
Kore wa ikura desu ka? (koh-reh wah ee-koo-rah deh-su-kah): How much is this?
Are wa ikura desu ka? (ah-reh wah ee-koo-rah deh-su-kah): How much is that?
Arigato. (Ah-ree-gah-toe): Thank you.
Suki desu. (soo-kee deh-soo): I like it.
Kakko ii desu. (kah-koh-ee deh-soo): It is nice (or cool).
If you try to say them, I think shop employee would be happy.
When you are not looking for cars, please try any Japanese foods, like raw fish, raw meat or raw egg. They are very fresh. Udon or ramen (Japanese noodles) are very good; do not think it is instant food. If you could not eat Japanese foods, don’t worry because there is McDonald’s anywhere, as well as TGIF and Outback in Tokyo and Makuhari area (TAS is held in Makuhari area in Chiba prefecture). Super Street staff’s favorite Japanese restaurants are Pepper Lunch, Jangara Ramen and Freshness Burger; please try them and enjoy your stay in Japan when you come. Not only Tokyo Auto Salon but any customized car show in Japan.