Japan: Let's plan a trip Part 3!

My trip to Japan, in January 2019 has been postponed a year, so the new date needs to be confirmed with two of my friend's but I am hoping that it will be January 2020 so we can go to Toyko Auto Saloon amoungst other things. In the meantime I will get a chance to do more research and plan more for the trip, I don't think my friend's James and Clint know what they are letting themselves in for, it's just a good job they are also petrol heads, James been the one to blame for my love of Silvia's, s15's in particular and having 2 Silvia tattoo's. So like every other country the world over Japanese cars must display number plates, but in Japan there are 4 types of number plates.

Yellow- Kei Car s:

Kei cars which are the smaller lighter family cars which must be 600c or less, I mentioned these in my last article all these cars in Japan wear yellow plates.

White with a red diagonal shape number plates, you will see a lot of modified cars in Japan with this type of plates, the reason for this is because they are a ‘temporary’ plate, which means they allow illegal cars to drive on the road without a legal road permit for a short time…I think we need some of these in Ireland!

Black or green plates these are used for commercial vehicles. Dark green for commercial vehicles and black for kei cars if they are been used for commercial reason.

Bent number plates? A styling thing? No none of those thing in particular but people seem to think that number plates are bent because the car is how will I put it in questionable road worthiness so Japanese people think that by bending the number plates it makes the car harder to identify.

Next step in my research…JDM I think it’s safe to say we all have an understanding of what JDM means…Japanese Domestic Market, cars and parts made for those cars come under is name, produced and sold exclusively in Japan which have become somewhat a desirable thing for us westerners!

JDM sticker everyone knows this sticker the yellow and green leaf, otherwise known as the ‘Wakaba’ mark, in Japan it means you are a learner driver, much better than the big red and white L plates we have here in Ireland. It must be displayed on both the front and back of the car until you get your full license! And here was us thinking it was just a sticker!

Next piece of research I did was, well how to speak some Japanese, which I am still trying to learn, I don’t think a Collins-gem dictionary would help here. So what have I learned, car talk that’s it, nothing like where can I eat etc. It’s been all car talk! Also let’s hope I pronounce them the right way and not actually insult anyone!

What I have learned so far which is pretty easy!

Kuruma pronounced koo-ru-mah means car in Japanese although the English word car is understood 90% of them time!

Watashi/ Boku no Kurnama pronounced wah-ta-shi and boh-ku-noh-ko-ru-mah, from what I have learned this is used when or if your asking someone a certain question like, Is this your car? It has both male and female version depending on if you’re asking a man or a woman. Watashi no if you’re asking a girl and boku no if you’re asking a guy, if the car is theirs!

Anata no Kuruma pronounced ah-nah-tah-nah-koo-ru-mah, bit of a mouthful but this means this is your car, when you are asking the question!

Also a big thing is to compliment someone’s car the Japanese car culture isn’t at all like the Irish one. In relation to cars, the list below can be used as compliments to the owner!

Sugoi means awesome/great

Kakkoii means good looking impressive

Sugee less formal awesome/great more masculine and fella’s use this word more than girls!

Ii means good or nice depending on the context pronounced ‘ee’. It is usually said at the end of a sentence for confirmation, that car is nice isn’t it.

Japanese people do understand the names of cars in English but if you’re like me while in Rome and all that…here is the list of common cars found in Japan in both English and Japanese names.

Bluebird – Burubaado – (bu-roo-baah-doh)

Cedric – Sedorikku – (seh-doh-ri-k-ku)

Celsior – Serushio – (seh-ru-shi-oh)

Celica – Serika – (seh-ri-kah)

Chaser – Cheisaa – (chei-saah)

Civic – Shibikku – (shi-bi-k-ku)

Corolla – Karora – (kah-roh-rah)

AE86 – hachi-roku

AE85 – hachi-go

Crown – Kuraun – (ku-rauh-n)

Fairlady Z – Fearedi Zetto – (feah-rei-dee zeh-t-toh)

Galant – Gyaranto – (gyah-rah-n-toh)

Levin – Rebin – (reh-bih-n)

Impreza – Inpuressa – (in-puh-res-sah)

Integra – Integura – (in-teh-gu-rah)

Lancer Evolution – Ransaa Ebiryushon – (rah-n-saah eh-bi-ryu-shon)

Laurel – Roreru – (roh-reh-ru)

Mark II – Maaku 2 – (maah-ku tuu)

Pulsar – Parusaa – (pah-ru-saah)

Roadster – Roudosutaa – (rooh-doh-su-taah)

Silvia – Shirubia – (shi-ru-bi-ah)

Now the models of the cars!

S13 – ichi-san

S14 – ichi-yon

S15 – ichi-go

Skyline – Sukairain – (su-kai-rah-in)

R32 – san-ni

R33 – san-san

R34 – san-yon

R35 – san-go

Sprinter – Supurinta – (su-pu-rin-tah)

Trueno – Toreno – (toh-reh-noh)

Soarer – Soara – (soh-ah-rah)

Starlet – Sutaaretto – (su-taah-reh-t-toh)

Supra – Suupura – (suu-pu-rah)

So here I was just thinking I wonder are the brand names of cars and car accessories and parts are the same or even pronounced differently, well of course they are spelt and pronounced differently here is what I found!

Advan – Adoban – (ah-do-bah-n)

Blitz – Burittsu – (bu-reet-tsu)

Bride – Buriddo – (bu-rai-d-do)

Endless – Endoresu – (en-doh-reh-s)

Rays – Reizu – (rei-zu)

Sparco – Suparuko – (su-pah-ru-ko)

Trust – Torasuto – (toh-ra-s-tu)

Volk Racing – Boruku Rashingu – (boh-ru-ku ra-shin-gu)

Work – Waaku – (waah-ku)

Car part’s next never did I think there was so many!

Air Conditioning – Eakon

Aero – Earo

Alternator – Orutaneetaa

Bonnet (hood) – Bonnetto

Brakes – Bureeki

Bumper – Banpa

Distributor – Disutoribyuutaa

Calliper – Kyaripaa

Clutch – Kuracchi

Coilovers – Shakouchou

Differential – Defu

Drive shaft – Doraibu Shafuto

ECU – Enjin Konpyuutaa

Engine – Enjin

Engine Block – Enjin Burokku

Engine Mount – Enjin Maunto

Exhaust Manifold – Eki Mani

Fender – Fendaa

Fuel Filter – Fyuueru Firutaa

Fuel Pump – Fyuueru Ponpu

Gasket – Gasuketto

Gearbox – Gia bokkusu (more commonly referred to as ‘Misshon’)

Grill – Guriru

Headlight – Heddoraito

Injector – Injekutaa

Intake – Inteeku

Intercooler – Intaakuuraa

Mirror – Miraa

Oil – Oiru

Oil Cooler – Oiru Kuuraa

Oil Pan – Oiru Pan

Parts – Paatsu

Pedal – Pedaru

Pipe/Piping – Paipu

Power Steering – Pawa Sutearingu

Radiator – Rajieetaa

Seat – Shiito

Shifter – Shifuto

Spacer – Supeesaa

Spoiler – Supoira

Steering Wheel – Sutearingu hoiru

Suspension – Sasupenshon

Tachometer – Takomeetaa

Tail Lamp – Teiru Ranpu

Throttle Body – Surottoru Bodi

Transmission – Misshon

Turbo – Taabo or Taabin

Tyre – Taiya

Wastegate – Uesutogeeto

Wheel – Hoiiru

Windshield – Fronto Gurasu

Wing – Uin .

My next piece of homework learn how to put a sentence together....Watashi shirubia ichigo......Anyone want to try translate....I think it means is that your Nissan s15, well at least I hope it is otherwise I may just have insulted someone.

Part 4 on the way.....

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Comments (1)

  • Oh we had those plates for 'illegal' cars too as we are just visiting so the cars were temporarily imported. I spent a month driving the length of the country filming the Samurai Challenge Rally. ..can't seem to post the link to that story on mobile.

      1 year ago
  • Watashi refers to your self 'I'. Putting wa on the end 'watashi wa' is my. So ' Watashi wa Karuma' means 'my car'. 'Annatta' refers to the person you are speaking to 'you', adding 'wa' makes it your. 'Suberashi' means you really like something...closest translation I think is 'super dooper'. So 'Annatta wa karuma' ...'your car is super dooper'. ''des' is used like 'is'. So, ' Annatta wa karuma des?' - 'Is it your car?'. To be clear you're asking a question you can also add 'ka?' On the end of the sentence. Another useful phrase I learned when driving in Japan was 'Man-tan cud a sie'' which, at a petrol station means 'fill her up please!' ....it also worked when holding my plate out to a sushi chef! - please excuse my atrocious Japanese spelling!

      1 year ago