Journey to Tokyo: Part 4 – Tokyo Auto Salon Life

Scroll this

“How do you get to Tokyo Auto Salon?  How much is admission?  How do you apply for press passes?  Is one day enough to cover the show? ” This post is pretty much a guide to Tokyo Auto Salon and will be super informative if you’ve never been and plan to go sometime in the near future…


Tokyo Auto Salon – biggest Tokyo convention of modified cars, women, and perverts… I mean photographers… 

Never been to TAS before and plan to go in the future?  Cool, this is pretty much my guide of how to survive Tokyo Auto Salon.

Things to bring to Tokyo Auto Salon:
–  Comfortable shoes (Don’t make the same mistake I did and only bring Van’s to Japan)
–  Lightweight warm jacket (It will be warm inside the event halls but cool/cold outside)
–  Backpack or a bag for free swag (You can use your gf or friend as a mule to carry stuff as well)
–  Battery pack (At least 3350mAh, but I usually bring 26800mAh to last me half the trip)
–  Cash (They have a Family Mart and bunch of restaurants where they don’t price gouge like venues in the states)
–  Camera and lens (Wide angle lens at least 24mm for FF or 16mm for crop sensors)

If you’re there for media/press purposes:
–  Of course your gear
–  Passport (if you’re not from Japan)
–  Approved press papers or email with QR code
–  Business cards

Alright, these are the essentials I’d recommend for you to bring or have for the show.  I also like to travel light because carrying a bunch of stuff gets irritating when you’ve covered 8 halls in a day.

How do you get to Tokyo Auto Salon?
TAS has always been held at Makuhari Messe in the Northwest part of Chiba Prefecture.  You have the choice of traveling by car (if you have a ride) or train, but it will be at least a 40 minute to 1 hour commute from metro Tokyo area, assuming you stay around there.

Screen Shot 2017-02-03 at 5.38.23 PM.png

Don’t mind the starred locations and just click the photo for Makuhari Messe‘s location.  

How much is admission?
Friday – General Special Public (Pretty much advance tickets)
Advance or Pre-purchased online is 2,600Y or $23-25 USD (depending on rate exchange)
Day of show is 3,200Y or $28-29

Saturday, Sunday – General Admission
Advance or Pre-purchased online is 1,800Y or $16-18 USD
Day of show Adult is 2,200Y and Teens/kids 1,700Y

Just check Tokyo Auto Salon site for ticket information there.

How do you apply for press passes?
You can apply online for press pass usually around mid December.   Depending who you’re doing coverage for, they will either approve your application within 10-15 business days or ask for more information.   You will then need your passport and business card when picking up your media passes.

Is one day enough to cover the show?
For the normal general public doing coverage or visiting, no you won’t be able to hit up all the Halls in the venue.  If you look at the map below, there are 11 Halls to go through, as well as a driving exhibition/demo area.  There are also special concerts that go on as well.

Screen Shot 2017-02-03 at 4.41.57 PM.png

Very useful map from TAS 2017… if you can read in Japanese.


MuthafuckinPineappleApplePen Piko Taro was one of the opening acts at TAS 2017

If you’re special media or press pass holder and can sneak in Thursday night/day, that would be the best time to do coverage.  Booths will still be setting up but most cars should be ready.   If not, I would recommend arriving at 8AM to avoid the general public crowds.  If you have on comfortable shoes and took 2 of those 1o hr energy jelly packs, you might be able to cover the whole show.   If you do plan to cover the show in 2 days, I’d recommend walking around the parking lot as there will be a few hidden gems out there as well.

That’s pretty much it for my guide to Tokyo Auto Salon… now onto my favorite photos from TAS

Also, if you haven’t seen my photo coverage for Front Street Media by Kyle Crawford yet, you can check out Part 1 HERE and Part 2 HERE.  I sent the photos overnight to Kyle and had the article up within less than 24 hrs later.  Glad the photos didn’t sit around for too long either.  He did a great job and it almost felt like he was there at the show with me O_O.

Screen Shot 2017-02-03 at 9.20.18 PM.png

Check out the coverage on Front Street Media by Kyle Crawford.


TAS wouldn’t be TAS without the models.  I can’t lie about that because who would go just to look at modified cars and parts….


There were a bunch of celebs at TAS.  Drift King or Tsuchiya was doing interviews all day… I actually got to see him in the media room chilling earlier, but didn’t want to bother him =/…


SARD racing aero always being SARD…. The only thing I like is the CF wing…


These guys are always on the go.  2017 should be a good year for  Kenneth Li of Wekfest and Joey Lee of… 


ROBERUTA Lamborghini Huracan with a Super Trofeo aero look.  Not sure if it’s the real deal but check out the ROBERUTA lift kit in action HERE


Every year D.A.D. always goes all out and blings out a Benz…


I believe this Mercedes SL600 is covered in real diamonds… 



I’m not even sure what this car is… but the grill is covered with screens and trunk lid full of speakers while the headlights rotated… o_O


The new AIMGAIN GT kit for the Toyota 86 Kouki… you can see Elvis of StanceNation napping in the back…


Didn’t even notice each side had different colored wheels…


Next to it is the new AIMGAIN GT kit for the new R35 GTR.


I’m not sure why the Event halls were packed with spectators… 


Because it made it super difficult for the working press… 


Luckily some of the booth cars were on a stage display… 


Like the new Honda Civic Type R seen here… 


Which would rotate every 30 seconds or so…


Caught Tein Dampachi and female pachi at their photobooth…


Caught Joey and crew again around TAS again…


This crazy model stood outside in the Hallway upstairs while it was freezing cold… god bless her soul…



Also a couple of FD’s in the international hall… 



I believe this is the same Kamikaze 370Z from the Varis booth last year at TAS 2016…



Being a Toyota 86 guy, I had to check out the TRD kit for the new Kouki model… still not sure if I like it…



CWest also had a new lip for the kouki 86… not sure if I’m even feeling the new front bumper…



The Impulse kit for the AE86… in CF…



I walked into Pandem / Rocket Bunny territory at TAS 2017…


Daigo Saito was in attendance too… glad he didn’t mind me taking a photo… 


But he was staring pretty hard at this Pandem R32 for awhile…


More drifters at Tokyo Auto Salon 2017… 


More models at Tokyo Auto Salon 2017…


Kuhl Racing always engraving and designing cool shit at Tokyo Auto Salon 2017…



Photoshoot going on… with ladders and off camera flash.. 


I’m not even sure what time period that’s from… I guess 2017 from a different dimension…


Jun Auto also had the kouki Toyota 86 out for demo at Tokyo Auto Salon 2017… 


Drool at the swan neck SARD Racing wing for the Toyota 86…


RE Amemiya FC3S RX7 with new aero at Tokyo Auto Salon 2017



RE Amemiya RX8…


One of my favorite shots of Under Suzuki taking a look at how ridiculously huge that wing is… jk.



BN Sport revealed new kits for the FD RX7 and R35 GTR.  Both aggressive looking as usual…


Earlier next to the BN sports booth cars, this was going on… 


One of the BN Sports guys liked watching the spectacle…


I came back for a 2nd day of Tokyo Auto Salon 2017 and looks like they added some livery to the AIMGAIN GT Toyota 86… 

This post wasn’t supposed to be long, but I couldn’t help it with all the photos I took.  Even Kyle had a tough time choosing photos to post.  As always, thanks for actually reading or skimming through to the end.

Danh Phan

Nikon D750
Sigma 35mm f1.4
Nikon 85mm f1.8

1 Comment

Submit a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *