A Local Perspective on Life in Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan.

Long Way From Home

I just came back from a trip to Africa. I had a wonderful time and met lots of interesting people. One thing that I thought was interesting was that there were many cars in Africa that had clearly been imported used from Japan. I guess that Japanese people (and businesses) tend to get rid of their cars after owning them for about ten years because the shaken (compulsory inspection) gets more and more expensive as the car ages. However, the cars are usually still in reasonable shape after that amount of time and, with a few tune-ups, can still look forward to a few more years on the road. With regular cars, it is impossible to tell whether they were imported from Japan used or whether they were bought from a Japanese dealer in Africa. With business cars, though, it is rather easy to tell as the name of the business is rarely erased from the side of the car.


I saw all kinds of trucks that had Japanese writing on the side — trucks that used to belong to nursery schools, nursing homes, swimming schools, etc. I was very surprised, however, to happen upon a truck that belonged to a company in Tsukuba (Interior Igarashi) while I was in Zambia. I am tempted to call up this company to let them know about the free advertising they are getting in southern Africa!


  • Norie says:

    Hi, Shaney! (^O^)/
    I’m glad to talk to you again here.
    It’s good for you to had a great trip to Africa, isn’t it?
    I highly recommend you to call to ”インテリア イガラシ”.!
    I believe they’ll be very very surprised to hear you. i bet !
    Please tell me the result of that after your calling.
    I’d love to hear it very much!

  • herb says:

    i think a lot of african scholars bring back the cars they bought here in japan because they’re duty free. my friends did!

  • m.a. says:

    It’s indeed a surprize that such a company-owned car is being used in Africa!!! Yet I think it’s interesting to know that and I could imagine how excited you were when you happened to see the car in the place that is so far away from Tsukuba !!

  • Shaney says:

    Yes, it was quite shocking to see something from Tsukuba in Africa! I saw lots of trucks with Japanese writing, though, so I imagine the chances were good that I would at least see a truck from Ibaraki while I was there.