Paradise Road

The endless struggle to avoid becoming the salary man engulfs many but with a heavy dose of passion and dedication you can forge your own path…

While in Osaka we were speaking to Shane from Drift Kansai http://driftkansai.blogspot.com/ about finding some truck shops that stock a reasonable amount of dekotora truck parts. He suggested a shop near a major highway interchange in Nagoya which happened to be our next stop.

About an hour of internet searching gave no leads so it was onto google maps to pick a few highway interchanges and have a stab in the dark. If you have read some of my previous posts you would have heard my motto “there are no wrong turns in Japan”. The fact that we really had no chance of stumbling across a truck shop by picking a spot on a satellite image and going for a ride wasn’t hindered with the motto in mind. Thankfully we found something far greater then a truck shop.

Leaving the train station and bout twenty minutes of riding our 12” collapsible bikes we were in a

semi industrial area choosing random streets to see what we could find, looking up a side street the back of a van stood out. Locking the brakes we turned to check out a pretty unique looking van.

We didn’t spend long at the van as we were drawn to the awesome low down rides out front. The blank walls of the workshop didn’t hint of the amazing journey we were about to have inside.

As we entered Paradise Road we were greeted by some custom bikes.

Then it took a while to browse around the lower level packed full with hot rodding memorabilia.

The wall was lined with trophies from hot rod and custom shows and there were a few shells tucked away for future use.

It would take a lifetime to accumulate this many cool items in America, in Japan even longer.

An old frame with images full of what I guess to be previous builds. (The centre image is dated ’97)

We went upstairs to the main store area after being blown away by the 2008 Yokohama hot rod and customs show winner. If you look close there is model car in front of the windscreen which shows where the inspiration was stared. So much detail and custom work in this one machine.

Upstairs is full of rodding merchandise and accessories, take a look at the Paradise Road blog post showing their stock. http://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/paradiseroad1987/archive/2010/12/21

I spotted a picture hanging in the store which had a good headlight conversion.

Once we finished browsing we attempted to ask the store person if he knew of any truck stores in the area, he directed us to ask a gentleman who he called Juni-San who was working in the back of the workshop.

The team was building a machine that looks like it was taken from a 50s gangster movie. They looked up as we approached and with my limited Japanese I said “sumimasen Juni-San”. We explained that we were looking for truck shops and within a few minutes he was drawing directions in my note pad and circling rail stations which we needed to change at.

He was so helpful and wanted to ensure the directions he was giving were correct that he was confirming with other workshop staff and even called his friend to clarify! You would never get that sort of help in Australia as a foreigner with very limited native speaking abilities.

Juni-San being one of the leaders in the custom world had pretty good English speaking skills, I guess dealing with American suppliers and being so committed to the culture gives you a good base to learn. He asked us why we were looking for truck shops. I explained we were very interested in dekotora and other Japanese sub cultures like Bosozoku and zokusha. He said he knew an Australian who was exporting parts to Australia, I asked his name and it turns out he knew Shane from Drift kansai from back when he lived in Nagoya! Small world.

He was kind enough to grab his bosozoku books from his office for us to have a quick look through. (Click to enlarge)

Check out http://www.paradiseroad.net/ they have one of the chevs from the pics for sale.

We wanted to thank Juni-San for his help so we rode to the nearest convenience store, grabbed a 6 pack or beeru and took it back for them to have after work.

A huge Thanks to Junichi Shimodaira and Paradise Road for their hospitality and accurate directions (We found the truck shops that night but that’s another story)


5 Responses to “Paradise Road”

  1. 1 bc
    February 12, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    you would never get that service in aust. that for sure.. Awsome write up

  2. 2 Tayno
    February 18, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    Nice post! Any more shots of the bikes?

  3. 3 dandfx
    February 18, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    I’ll have a look for you.

  4. 4 Zeb
    February 20, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    I love the place, very familiar with their website. Such cool stuff man

  5. 5 lachlan
    March 18, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    i read about these guys in a book called “kustom japan” a book about the history and modern day hot rod scene in japan, very facinating stuff! very jealous you got to visit

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