Japanese Car Culture Born in Akihabara: Itasha
Itasha is a car that has been decorated with stickers or painted with characters related to manga, anime, games, etc. It was first introduced on the Internet in 2000, and has become so popular that events are now held overseas as well! In this article, I’m going to introduce you to the different types of Itasha!
Basically, the more flat surfaces the better, so sports cars and box-type cars are usually used. Nowadays, you can sometimes see Vtuber’s Itasha. By the way, most of them do not have copyrights. Games are often adult and 18 forbidden, so some people think this culture is cringy.
In Japan, there are itashas running as racing cars as well as regular cars. The Hatsune Miku itasha, created through a project in collaboration with the vocaloid character Hatsune Miku, has been racing for 10 years.
You can complete a ita-bike for around 200,000 yen, so you can show off your favorite character at a more reasonable price than a itasha. However, since there are fewer flat surfaces than cars, the impact may not be as strong as itasha. However, the appeal of ita-bike is that you can also make a ita-helmet.
If ita-sya and ita-bike are getting popular, then the next step is the “ita-train”. In recent years, passionate anime fans have been visiting the places where the anime was set as sacred places, and ita-trains have been running all over Japan as an attempt to revitalize towns.