Be wowed by the like-no-other truck decoration culture of Japan - Dekotora


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You probably have heard about sports cars upgrades and other forms of car tuning, but do you ever think about decorating a truck?

In Japan, "Dekotora Truck" is recognized by many as a unique art form, a unique culture that occurs in no other place in the world.

Dekotora or Decotora is a brief phrase for "decoration truck", which is used to refer to a form of heavy trucks decorated colorfully in Japan. Drivers of this type often spend hundreds of thousands of dollars chrome plating the entire body, installing neon lights, wrapping Louis Vuitton for chairs and even hanging chandeliers for their "love".

a dekorata truck

Some of the dekotora drivers have spent over 100 grand on their cars, and that's only the decoration part only!

The explosive and pompous design of these 18-wheelers has attracted the attention of many foreign tourists to Japan, including professional photographers. Now, we will witness the beautiful beam of the culture of the Dekotora truck played by Robert Benson, who has lived in Japan for eight years and was fortunate to attend a gathering of more than 300 dekotora drivers.

3 dekotara trucks in the dark

Those sparkling cars have drawn attention from many foreign visitors 

While Dekotora existed in the '70s, it was not until the Toei firm released the action movie "Torakku Yarō", a comedy series about a truck driver in Japan living on a truck, this unique car culture became really popular. One of Japan's largest Dekotora trucks events took place in Chōshi city, where Benson had a chance to participate directly.

"All cars function well, and are used by drivers in their daily work," Benson said. "What does not work or do not serve the main purpose of their job is the chrome plated decorations, bells, and whistles." Some drivers spend up to $ 100,000 to decorate their cars.

a dekotora truck with colorful decorative lights

When not used for show, they can function just like other trucks: carry commodities and merchandise

The cabin of a Dekotora car can be compared to the cockpit of an airplane because it is decorated with a lot of neon lights, countless buttons and controls. However, when running on the road, these lights must be turned off to comply with traffic rules. "Drivers are proud of their accomplishments," Benson said. "It's so overwhelming to my brain, and they spend a lot of money on what they do."

two dekotora trucks with illuminating lights

Those tiny sparkling lights have to be turned off during its journey on the road to conform to the law

"Attending the event, I do not know whether those drivers are rude or nice, but in fact, they are very, very nice and all are happy to be there. They want me to take pictures of the car and myself, "Benson said. Dekotora trucks are often designed by the drivers themselves for fun or by people who love them for special events.

Since the late 1990s, Dekotora has been heavily influenced by Gundam animation. While the other decorations relate to modern art and nostalgic design style similar to Japanese films. "These trucks do not exist in the United States or anywhere in the world," Benson acknowledged.

Now, let's watch some of the most mesmerizing truck decorations you have ever encountered!

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