Updated: Jul 15, 2022
The #AE86 is a cult favorite among car enthusiasts, so it comes as no surprise that so many places around the world specialize in upgrading and maintaining them; Carland86 in Kyoto, Japan does that and then some. Located at 〒601-8127 京都府京都市南区上鳥羽北花名町45 (45 Kamitoba Kitahananacho, Minami Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 601-8127, Japan) it is a destination for Toyota fans and especially those of the Hachi-roku platform when staying in Kyoto or Osaka which isn't too far away by train. Taking the Kintetsu Kyoto train line to Kamitobaguchi station, it is just a short walk from there until you see a lot full of mostly white, pristine Toyota Truenos and Levins.
On a hot July day I walked up, towel around my neck, iced coffee in hand, to browse this slice of heaven. Being very limited in both speaking and reading any Japanese I took in all of the details while trying not to drool on vehicles most would die to own here in the states. Zenki...Kouki...Levin...Trueno, coupe and hatchback, every combination and style was present with the small parts that distinguish each standing out like a diamond in the rough.
When I walked further back I was welcomed by some shop workers who were in the process of rebuilding an AE86 for what seemed like a customer. The shop was filled wall to wall with various parts, bumpers, lights, transmissions, a 4AGE that was disassembled for repair; this isn't just a shop that sells clean Hachi Rokus they also rebuild and refurbish them. Since I was in the back of the shop I asked if anything was for sale, and of course the variety of parts on hand were, everything you see has been salvaged from other Sprinter Truenos and Levins, the very back were a few crashed cars where they retrieved parts from to resell and use. Keeping a stock pile of parts helps drivers keep their rides on the road, and for those living in Japan, a quick phone call could help source a much needed part.
In the states we have a lot of shops that tune and service classic #Toyota vehicles but did you know that Carland86 also rents out a couple of these cars in automatic guise for sightseeing? Yes, for a fee you can take out a very clean example of an AE86 to drive around the #Kyoto region; a map with directions to some scenic places is also distributed to renters...this is something I have to do on my next trip. If you're visiting the area, or even the country, I would recommend taking the time to visit Carland86; the staff is friendly, the cars are beautiful, and if you've been looking for a hard to find part, they probably have it here.