REAL CAR CULTURE

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REAL CAR CULTURE

AUTO MESSE WEB(オートメッセウェブ)

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Van Life Bliss: Tales of Camping and Bonding with Bongo

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TEXT: 奥村純一(OKUMURA Junichi)  PHOTO: 奥村純一(OKUMURA Junichi)

  • The 2018 Mazda Bongo Van with Daichi Mobara, Eri Fukada, and their dog Kerun
  • The 2018 Mazda Bongo Van with Daichi Mobara, Eri Fukada, and their dog Kerun
  • The 2018 Mazda Bongo Van with Daichi Mobara, Eri Fukada, and their dog Kerun
  • The 2018 Mazda Bongo Van with Daichi Mobara, Eri Fukada, and their dog Kerun
  • The 2018 Mazda Bongo Van with Daichi Mobara, Eri Fukada, and their dog Kerun
  • The 2018 Mazda Bongo Van with Daichi Mobara, Eri Fukada, and their dog Kerun
  • The 2018 Mazda Bongo Van with Daichi Mobara, Eri Fukada, and their dog Kerun
  • The 2018 Mazda Bongo Van with Daichi Mobara, Eri Fukada, and their dog Kerun
  • The 2018 Mazda Bongo Van with Daichi Mobara, Eri Fukada, and their dog Kerun
  • The 2018 Mazda Bongo Van with Daichi Mobara, Eri Fukada, and their dog Kerun
  • The 2018 Mazda Bongo Van with Daichi Mobara, Eri Fukada, and their dog Kerun
  • The 2018 Mazda Bongo Van with Daichi Mobara, Eri Fukada, and their dog Kerun
  • The 2018 Mazda Bongo Van with Daichi Mobara, Eri Fukada, and their dog Kerun
  • The 2018 Mazda Bongo Van with Daichi Mobara, Eri Fukada, and their dog Kerun
  • The 2018 Mazda Bongo Van with Daichi Mobara, Eri Fukada, and their dog Kerun
  • The 2018 Mazda Bongo Van with Daichi Mobara, Eri Fukada, and their dog Kerun
  • The 2018 Mazda Bongo Van with Daichi Mobara, Eri Fukada, and their dog Kerun

Van camping event by Bongo lovers for Bongo lovers

On 6-7 April 2024, the “Japan’s largest collection of DIY bongos in Minano Town in Chichibu, Saitama Prefecture” (official name undecided) was held at the “Bokurano Minano Base” campsite in Saitama Prefecture. We spoke to a couple from the event who were there with their dog.

The couple who love mountaineering start van life with Bongo

Sitting amicably on chairs set in front of the open rear gate of a 2018 Mazda Bongo van and drinking beer with relish were couple Daichi Mobara and Eri Fukada. Lunchtime beer is a pleasure that can only be enjoyed at overnight events. They seem to know how to enjoy themselves at such events, judging from the calm demeanour of their dog, Kerun, who was sitting by their side in a well-mannered manner.

“This is our first time at a car event.”

They came from Kanagawa Prefecture to the campsite “Bokurano Minano Base” in Saitama Prefecture. Mr Mobara’s all-time favorite hobby is mountaineering. He met his fiancée, Eri, through mountaineering and has climbed mountains in the 2000 m class. Kerun, of course.

“When I was looking for a car that I could sleep in as a pre-mountain climbing destination, the fact that it was relatively cheaper than other one-boxes was appealing, and the steering wheel angle and column shift were track-like and felt right! The Bongo has a cute retro look, but it’s not that old, which was another reason why we decided on the Bongo.”

DIY interior for van life with textures to match the body

The Bongo that became his car is only four months old, but both the exterior and interior are well-finished.

“We bought the car with the exterior already finished, including the different MAZDA emblem on the front, but we also looked for fabrics in colours and textures that matched the body colour and made the bed, cushions and other items such as shelves together as a DIY project.”

When we asked Eri to show us the back of the sofa bed cushions, she told us that they were made using a DIY tool called a tacker, which fixes fabric and other materials to wood in the manner of a stapler. Eri, who posed for this picture, told us that she was in charge of designing the interior of Bongo this time. Her expression shows how much fun she had while working on the project.

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