Japan is home to a lot of things. If you visit, you’ll find that there are a lot of oddities waiting to be explored such as high tech toilets, Takotamago, Maid Cafés, and more. But there’s still one thing that you can find only in Japan, and it’s called Dekotora. An apt abbreviation for “decoration trucks,” the Dekotora refers to badass and beautifully blinged-up trucks. We kid you not. This is like Pimp My Ride on steroids!
The Dekotora Is What You’d Get If Optimus Prime Went Inside a Japanese Parlor
The Dekotora will give you aesthetics overload. These trucks are heavily coated in extravagant paint, multi-colored and neon lights, chrome accents, flashy upholstery, and golden exterior parts.
Even the interior of the Dekotora is blinged up from top to bottom. It’s no surprise if you will see massive chandeliers inside the ride.
The interior will even look like it’s made for the royal family. The plush seats and the overall design just look too elegant. Can you believe you are looking at a truck? This Dekotora is probably more beautifully designed than one’s regular home.
The decoration trucks always have extravagant designs, and many say that is the whole point of having one. If you are wondering about the origin of Dekotora, it actually stems from a series of movies from the 1970s called “Torakku Yaro.” There are 10 films that follow the story of guys who decorate their trucks in a “rather extreme way.” The guys in the films all drive around the country while getting into various shenanigans. In fact, when the first Torakku Yaro film came out, there were already a bunch of truckers who followed the story and designed their trucks. Before you know it, the whole trucking community just started flipping their trucks and turned it into a visual delight.
To date, there are probably over 500 decorated trucks in Japan. During its heyday, it saw around thousands!
Nothing Like These Trucks Exists Anywhere in the World
Let’s get one thing straight. Some of you might say that Japan really has a lot of crazy and bizarre people. Why would they spend so much time and effort decorating their trucks?
We think they are just more open to embracing their wild and imaginative side and there is nothing wrong with that. Albeit bizarre, you can’t deny that you can’t find Dekotora anywhere else in the world.
Some of the trucks’ interior will be lined with black velvet and embroidered with golden flowers. On the other hand, there are also trucks with an antique chandelier hanging from above. It’s safe to say that pimping out these rides definitely takes time. Some owners strive to make their Dekotora truck the most attention-grabbing truck, so they experiment with some design flourishes, like traditional straw mats and LED lights. The creative community of truckers takes pride in their trucks because they think of it as their babies or precious projects. A Dekotora owner will probably tell you that the trucks reflect their heart’s aching desires.
Dekatora Is Not Just a Mode of Transport
While these rides are truly functional – a lot of the drivers use them for work – you can say that these trucks are also coveted art masterpieces. The owners of these trucks shell out a lot of money to really make it stand out. It really is a labor of love. After all, you won’t achieve the chromed perfection just by paying cents. Some owners spend up to $100,000 to completely transform their vehicles! That is the cost of making a truck look over the top.
If you think about it, the amount of money used for the Dekotora could already buy you a small house! Some paintings on the sides of the truck can also be pretty elaborate, and just those could cost almost $9,000.
Some say the trucks’ cabs are like an aircraft’s cockpit. Aside from the abundance of buttons and switch controls, you will see many neon lights added to the vehicles’ exteriors.
Some Drivers Use the Dekotora to Go About Their Daily Lives
Again, these decorated trucks are over the top, but they are still functional. Some drivers who craft these vehicles also go about their daily lives delivering goods such as fish and vegetables up and down the country. If you were the recipient of their fresh goods, you’d probably be so happy seeing the flamboyant, transformer-bling styled trucks from afar!
However, since the trend of the Dekotora stems from an underground subculture, they are now being specifically designed by some hobbyists and creative truckers for shows and festivals. There are some events where the Dekotora owners gather the trucks in one place. We can only imagine what it looks like, but it is probably a visual feast!