The date gives clue to the event. For the previous five years on the eighth month (hachi) and sixth day (roku) the 86 Fuji Style festival has been held, initially only for drivers of the original AE86 – yep, hachiroku – made between 1983 and 1987.
Models stamped Corolla Levin (fixed headlights) and Sprinter Trueno (pop-up lights) are revered around the world for being among the first affordable, lightweight, rear-wheel-drive sports models, produced with bulletproof, high-revving twin-cam 1.6-litre four-cylinder engines dubbed 4AGE.
It was perfect for the drifting scene that would rise in Japanese culture well before the all-wheel-drive Mitsubishi Lancer Evo and Subaru Impreza WRX were power sliding in World Rally Championships (WRC) with Tommi Makkinen or Colin McRae fast doubling as PlayStation stars.
After a day wandering around, we’re blown away by the love for the humble 86 – both old and new – and the commitment to making automotive tuning culture accessible to anyone who wants to partake. You can see after a day spent soaking it up, why there is such passion at manufacturer level for a vehicle like the modern 86.
It’s in the fabric of the DNA of the people to drive affordable sports cars and the Japanese revel in it like nowhere else in the world. There’s no doubt Japan leads the way when it comes to this kind of showcase, right up there – perhaps beyond even the US – and if you’re a fan of the 86, put this event on your calendar.