One of the most popular locations for the Japanese car enthusiast is to meet on top of the Hakone Turnpike. There is a large parking, restaurant, lounge and amazing panoramic view. On top of that it is also the place where a lot of good driving roads come together. Besides the aforementioned Hakone Turnpike, the Tsubaki Line passes Taikanzan, and entrances to Jukkoku Touge, Izu Skyline and Ashinoko Skyline are close.
Every Saturday and Sunday there is a large variety of cars, bikes and other vehicles to be seen from early morning until sunset. The majority are motoring enthusiasts, but since the scenic views on Mount Fuji, Ashinoko and Kanto are so magnificent, there are also a lot of regular sightseeing people. On weekdays it is less crowded but on these days it is common to run into car journalists testing the latest new cars.
For everyone there is something to see at Taikanzan. Old classic Japanese cars, tuned 90’s JDM cars, super-and hypercars, classic bikes and new touring bikes, you name it and it has been there. As Tokyo is only one and half hour away by car via the highway, it is easily accessible for a large amount of people. As such it is also a popular spot for car clubs and meetings to take place. Often these groups book a part of the parking so it is fun to see all these similar vehicles together.
Watching the sunset is on a clear day is also a spectacular event. Staying a few hours longer or coming back a few hours later turns Taikanzan in a good stargazing spot. During the summer holidays it will be crowded. After closing time or upon special bookings, the Taikanzan and the Turnpike are also used by car manufacturers for testing.
Hakone Touge is a 10 minute drive away from Taikanzan and has a big parking called Eco-Parking along the route 1. This is also a popular spot for car people to meet, especially during the night as Taikanzan does not have much lighting and closes after 10 pm.
Here is a link to the live camera:
Taikanzan location on Google Maps:
Hakone Eco-Parking location on Google Maps: