As you guys seem to be interested in custom motorcycles, you probably know that some of the most famous and maybe also most crazy bike shops are located in Japan. Especially in and around Tokyo. Our mechanic Christoph recently had the chance to visit an old school buddy who moved to Yokohama last year. Here is what he came back with:
Making the most out of the small things
As space is one of the rarest (and maybe also most expensive) goods in Japan, Japanese people came up with some pretty nice ideas to use space more efficient. Except for deciding, that the sky is actually no limit at all and planting some of the highest buildings of the world into the skylines of their cities. What amazed me the most were those little „everyday life“ inventions that can be found anywhere you have some time to take a closer look.
What first caught my eye when i arrived in Japan was that Japanese people tend to dress a little different to what I was used to. It seems like every single person (and in Tokyo there are quiet few of them) tries to create her or his very own personal style. Especially when it comes to clothes and accessories (but also on vehicles, gardens, buildings and furniture) you will find many sometimes strange combinations and arrangements.
After some time I started to realize that the Japanese society actually seems to fulfills it’s clichés pretty good. Many people live the typical Japanese life. They go through a quiet tough school education, go to university in order to get a good job and when they found that, they work like their whole life depends on working there. And in some way it actually dose.
It seems like society goes pretty hard on those wannabe individualists. I only met one Japanese person who didn’t have a regular job, not because there were non but because he simply didn’t want to have one. So where are the guys and girls who really just do what they always wanted to and live the dream they had since their early youth?
Some of them took the crazy individuality and the enormous creativity, built even more crazy and creative bikes out of it and rumbled through the city at night. I bet they had pretty hard times before someone invented Instagram and the whole world decided that those bikes are the coolest shit ever. Maybe that is also why they all seem to know each other, they shared the same dream of expressing their creativity through motorcycles and design as well as the burden of not being part of the Japanese everyday society.
In the short time I was there I could unfortunately only meet few of them. I had a really nice chat with Mathew Roberts of Deus Tokyo, ate chioux cream (Krafty’s favorite dessert) with Krafty and stood speechless inside the workshop / museum / mayhem of animal boat. And they all told me great stories about them and all the other costumiseres in and around Tokyo. Definitely worth to spend more time there …
Now im back at the Hookie garage, full of new ideas and plans for upcoming builds. Cant wait!