Konnichiwa! As per our London edition, I’ll not be commenting all that much on these. I’ll be even more discreet about exact locations, as I’m still pretty unfamiliar with this town. And please click on these to enlarge them — lots of interesting stuff in these. Here goes…
Ernie Pyle theater, circa 1950
Mid-’50s — two Datsun DBs on the bridge…
Late ’50s. That 4CV Hino has whitewalls! The van behind (Datsun?) is downright cute.
Late ’50s. Toyota Coronaline delivery and a Triumph Mayflower.
Late ’50s. Plenty of American cars in those days. Looks like a ’47 Mercury…
Early ’60s — the Mazda trikes are out in force!
Early ’60s — with a whale of a Buick (and a Caddy following it discreetly)
1961, when Toyota Crowns ruled the land…
Ginza, 1961. The latest Chevrolet dwarfs its Datsun neighbour.
1963. Love that truck in the middle.
Early ’60s. Really great shot with an amazing variety of cars. Skyline in the foreground; I’ll let you sort out the rest…
An alignment of Nissan Cedric Customs in 1964
Mid-’60s — the American cars are almost gone now…
1965. A Breezeway saves the day. Sing it: “Monorail, Monorail, Monoraaaaaiiill!”
1967. Construction work on Blofeld’s underground lair continues unabated.
1968 — a rare prewar building (downright impossible to find nowadays) and three postwar icons.
Late ’60s. Colour makes a timid return.
Circa 1970 again, but with even more S50 Crown taxis.
Early ’70s, with a lovely Hino truck in the foreground.
Early ’70s — now with a Kujira Crown taxi. Also a Prince Skyway, a couple of Corona coupes and a Nissan A50 Gloria.
1979, just prior to another attack by Godzilla.
I think we’ll stop it right here. Sorry there were so few colour snaps. I’ll do better next time… Where are we going? Well, I was thinking of something west of Tokyo.
Interesting to see British Cars such as the Hillman Minx and Austin A50 Cambridge that we’re made under licence by Isuzu and Datsun respectively. Pale Blue Triumph TR3 spotted too.
I’m a sucker for vintage snapshots, even on Xmas morning.
A bit surprised to see a VW in front of that ’57 Mercury coupe. I assume it must belong to an American, as I can’t imagine Japan importing them at that time.
Nice blue TR 3!
wow, what a great selection of mystery cars!
That black 1st gen Toyota Crown in the 13th picture („1961“) …. exactly how many people are aboard? 7? 8?
More great pictures, thanks, so much to see. The 1968 “Blofeld” pic really reminds me of the Shinjuku station area, but I’m not really sure if it is, there is currently construction there as well so who knows.
What is the car that looks somewhat Beetle-like from the rear but with much larger vents etc on the left side in the 1964 pic with the tram?
A Hino Renault 4CV. The Renault 4CV built under licence. As also featured in pic 5.
Thanks! I didn’t know Hino built these as well.
“The 1968 “Blofeld” pic really reminds me of the Shinjuku station area,”
I was thinking it was Utsonomiya, but the online pictures match Shinjuku- The angled faced of the building and the highway ramps match up perfectly.
Jim Klein, for the win!
Wow, I’m amazed I was right! It just felt correct, and I walked by it a number of times including with T87 himself.
Tatra, I am always impressed by your historical passion for all cars. You’ve really opened up my interest and knowledge of many lessor known and obscure marques. And your photo research and image selection is always outstanding. Thank you!
Where do you get these photos from?
I wish I was Dr Who. I would be jumping into my Tardis and setting the controls for 1965 and stay until 1985…
Great overview of the Showa era – a little less hectic than today…Jim.
I’m loving this vintage snapshot series… but Im betting Tokyo will be my favourite. By the way, that truck you liked is a Mitsubishi Jupiter.
Mitsubishi (which I think was Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in this case, technically not the same Mitsubishi Motors we know and love) also offered this Dodge or Lincoln faced Jupiter Junior.
According to Wikipedia Mitsubishi Motors spun off from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in 1970 so it was the same lineage. Between the various pieces of Mitsubishi you could get canned food, cars, planes, excavators(JV with Caterpillar), TV sets and cargo ships
Great name for a truck. Thank you for IDing that for me!
Anyone knows what is this?
Well I’ll be trammed again! Does Tokyo still have them?
The presence of a stinkingly horrid Triumph Mayflower (6th photo) might suggest the Japanese began their infatuation with English dainties long ago. Or perhaps a local ordered from photos under a linguistic misunderstanding that it was a wardobe.
Great stuff. Even an early Crown V8 whisking along under the monorail.
Good pickup Justy rewarding the Crown V8. I was mesmerised by the monorail!
You can’t half see how much wider the Crown V8 was than the Crown wagon (van) in the front.
I’m not sure if that generation Crown van came with both rear leafs (for the cheaper versions) and coils, but I’d say by the looks of the tail up attitude of the van in the photo, it was the cheaper version.
I love that wavy “moustache” line paint the Japanese seem to use on most trains, buses, trams, monorails , police cars and who knows what else. DOes any one know the reason for this?
I was thinking about that, too. Tokyo has just 2 tram lines left today. One of them is the Arakawa Line (12km long), the other one is Setagaya line (5 km).
These are wonderful!
Love the vintage shots of the Ginza, including the classic Wako Department Store in two pictures (with the 4CV Hino and in the 1970s).
The shot of the 1964 Cedrics in front of the Akasaka Detached Palace (which looks like something out of Vienna) is a great juxtaposition of the traditional with the contemporary).