Not too far from Initial D’s Mount Haruna, you will find the area known as Ikaho. And in the area of Ikaho, if you know where you’re looking, you will find the Yokota Collection of cars at the Ikaho Toy, Doll, and Car Museum. Its primary draw is probably a full scale reproduction of Fujiwara Takumi’s AE86 Trueno, but there’s oh so much more.
Out of all of the museum’s displays, both of the automotive and the plaything varieties, the Initial D AE86 is definitely what stands out the most. For that reason, I took ahold of the map I was given when I bought my ticket and proceeded past most of the museum until I came upon the car section, I then skipped the first two areas within that in order to get to the AE86 (don’t worry, I went back and took pictures of the other areas, too).
Most of the museum is, understandably, devoted to toys and dolls, but I definitely noticed a traffic pattern in my fellow visitors. Lone or coupled off adults generally did the same as me. They skipped the front sections of the museum and went straight to the cars. The first section of cars was teeny, tiny kei cars of various types.
The next section was a special all Mini Museum (they even had a Moke!), but alas, the Mini Museum was no photography allowed, and without adequate documentation, I didn’t ask if exceptions might be made for legitimate press.
Up the stairs and past the AE86 was literally the stuff of JDM Fantasy Garages. All brands were represented. Datsun/Nissan, Honda, Hino, Mazda, and Toyota.
Being a Honda fangirl, the two vehicles I most wanted to take with me were the fire engine red S800 convertible...
And the lime green 1972 Honda Coupe...
In an outside portion of the museum there was a random Ferrari and what was, I think, supposed to represent a period auto garage in a “Route 66 Garden,” because, okay, sure. Even in Japan, I guess US Route 66 is associated with automotive induced freedom of movement.
Scattered throughout the toy sections of the museum were still various vehicle related goodies, like types of bikes and scooters, tricycles disguised like miniature copies of actual cars, as well as shelves and shelves of model kits.
Other than everything having to do with motorised apparatus, I believe my favorite part of the museum was the section on 1980s Japanese idols. I haven’t discussed this much on Jalopnik (as there hasn’t been much point), but a lot of my preconceptions of Japan were wrapped up in 1980s Japanese mass media, especially TV, film, anime, and music.
And so I was positively delighted that the walls around the museum were decorated with the like of Yakushimaru Hiroko of Sailor Suit and Machine Gun (you can read my review here), Ishikawa Hidemi (my favorite Japanese idol), Kokusho Sayuri, and even Nakamori Akina (one half of the basis of my favorite anime character, Ayukawa Madoka, the other half being Phoebe Cates). I’ve often amused my much older coworkers by knowing ridiculously minute details about these idols and their careers.
Images via Kat Callahan/Jalopnik.
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