Kei Truck Mini Gardens3 min read

Recently I have been getting way into kei cars, kei vans and kei trucks. I used to love cars, and always wanted to have a drift car of my own. Then I realised that it was prohibitively expensive to do that in Australia, so I turned my attention to Remote Control drift cars. Then I went to art school and had no money for a very long time, and my love of cars was all but forgotten.

Recently, I have had the time, money and energy to get back into cars. I got a Nissan Cube3, a rad little Japanese minivan, which isnt classes as a kei car, but by Australian standards is a very small car.

So, with my newfound enthusiasm for cars, I have been looking into Kei Cars. Kei Cars, short for keijidōsha, literally translates to Light Car. Since the middle of the 20th century, kei cars have had small engine restrictions, currently limited to 660cc, equivalent of a mid ranged motorbike. They are often very simple, small and cheap, and also attract much lower taxes and registration fees. There are kei cars, kei vans ( my current favourite, more on that at a later date) and Kei Trucks.

Whilst doing some research into kei vans and trucks, I came across the Japan Federation of Landscape Contractors who just happen to host a yearly garden competition. A competition where the garden has to fit into the bed of a Kei Truck.

This contest is apparently held every year, and while I couldn’t find much details on it, I am super happy it exists. From what I understand, none of these installations are permanent and are made only for the competition, but the amount of effort these various landscaping companies go through is amazing.

I love kei vans and trucks, and enough to attend the launch of Chris Loutfy’s Zine – Small & Mighty, which was held out the side of his 1980s Suzuki Carry Van. Super appropriate as the zine features photos of all sorts of small and mighty kei vans and trucks.
Get Small And Mighty here

And of course, the JFLC also has a mascot called Niwa-Maru

Kei Truck Photos via Spoon & Tamago