Nearly 1,000 show cars and motorcycles; 15,000 spectators; in upwards of 300 vendor booths; and 40 active pinstripers. These stats are impressive for any one-day indoor “domestic” show, here or abroad. But, apply them to an event in a foreign land showcasing mostly “foreign” vehicles (there's the catch) and that is something else altogether.

That's precisely what the statisticians recorded following the 22nd Annual Mooneyes Hot Rod & Custom Show (HRCS) held this past December 1 in Yokohama, Japan. Of the vehicular entrants, it's safe to say that a good percentage, if not the majority, was foreign to the Japanese participants and spectators who flocked to the Pacifico on a sunny winter Sunday. It's stuff we're accustomed to seeing here Stateside—from lowriders to customs, hot rods to Harleys, and all the Kustom Kulture and lifestyle goods you can imagine.

To use the word “fanatical” might seem a little much, but it's accurate when it comes to the Japanese fans of iron-inspired Americana. The cars they construct (or restyle) and the dress in which they present themselves is spot-on in most cases. Their enthusiasm is second to none. Despite what some may think as far as “our” treasures ending up in a foreign land, others find it inspiring, maybe even comforting, knowing that not only are the relics being saved, but enjoyed by those who respect them for their true meaning.

I've been honored to be part of Mooneyes' HRCS since the 9th annual show back in 2000. Traveling with such iconic invited guests as Ed Roth, Billy Gibbons, Pete Chapouris, and Robert Williams has been quite the honor, to say the least. This year's selected invitees just happened to be recent R&C feature builders, Starlite Rod & Kustom, with their Olds and Ford hardtops, along with Bobby Green and his Old Crow Speed Shop belly tanker and a host of U.S. motorcycle builders. Obviously, Mooneyes' HRCS isn't something everyone can justify adding to their bucket list—but if it is at all possible, do so … the trip to Japan itself is well worth the time (and the money, if you plan it right). Hopefully, we'll have the opportunity to take part in Mooneyes' 25th anniversary show in 2016, but in the meantime, there are still two more big shows to go!

For even more on the 22nd Annual HRCS, visit www.yokohamahotrodcustomshow.com.