View RSS Feed

Heineken's Garage

Buying an NSX in Japan

Rate this Entry
As some of you might know, I was living in Japan (Tokyo to be exact) during four years from 2012 to 2016. Even though you don't need a car to go about your daily life and even to travel around Japan, I was nevertheless curious about the local car market.

With some support from my co-workers I learned that the two major online platforms are CARSENSOR.NET and Goonet. Both of them are working in a similar fashion. It's possible to search based on keywords or manufacturer/model followed by regional limitations. The results can be filtered and ordered further to make things easier. This e.g. is a list of all Nissan Fairlady Z currently on sale - sorted by age.

Private people don't advertise their cars on these platforms and it seems that private sales of vehicles without a professional dealer in-between are rather rare in Japan. This might have changed in the meantime as my information is about five years old.

Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Honda Prelude vorne rechtsf.jpg 
Views:	148 
Size:	119.8 KB 
ID:	13978
My first Honda

As my first car was a BA4 Honda Prelude from 1988 looking for Honda's top model felt like a natural choice. About half of all NSX built remained in Japan so the availability is compareably good. Mind that the new NSX was not yet announced and prices where still reasonable unless looking for very low mileage or specific models (like the Type-R).

Three types of dealers seem to be selling the NSX:

  • Regular shops (selling it in parallel to other used vehicles)
  • Semi-specialized Shops (e.g. for luxury or sporty cars)
  • Specialized shops

Regular shops don't seem to take special care and the the corresponding offers can vary strongly. The headquarter of the chain Phenix was quite close to my work place and would fall into the category of "semi-specialized".

The company Surgeon is specialized on the NSX and made an excellent impression but was quite far away, unfortunately. Red Ribbon - another specialized dealer - was not that far our but unavailable due to personal difficulties at that time.

As Phenix was not for away from work a colleague and me went to have a look at a black NSX with 40.000 km who's photo was taken in the rain.

Click image for larger version. 

Name:	0501620A30140620W00601.jpg 
Views:	140 
Size:	49.5 KB 
ID:	13979
The black NSX mentioned above

Unfortunately the vehicle had a repaired side panel from a crash, interior plastic parts were missing, the steering made the popular clunking noise and the climate control was already suffering from leaky capacitors. In addition, the vehicle was without any papers so the mileage couldn't be confirmed.

A little disappointed, we asked the dealer and he told us that another NSX was on the way. A 1997 model with 100.000 km previously owned by Honda and in a classic colour dress (red/black) for a similar price. To get first hand access we paid a small deposit and waited.

The result was quite impressive as the car was in good condition, had a nice interior colour and the non-standard wheels could be exchanged for matching Honda ones free of charge.

Click image for larger version. 

Name:	2014-08-03 - IMAG0404f.jpg 
Views:	143 
Size:	129.4 KB 
ID:	13980
A Custom Order Model

The following discussion about the price was a little difficult (simply because everything was in such a good shape) but an agreement was made on a 10 % price reduction and re-painting of the right rear fender due to a colour issue (a metallic like orange spot).

As I didn't have my personal inkan (stamp) with me at that time, it was the first car (and probably the last) I ever bought by giving a finger print.

Hoepfully this little blog entry on my (car-) life in Japan was interesting.
Next up is going to be the steps required to register the car which is quite impressive - even compared to German standards.

Updated 25-07-2020 at 07:52 AM by Heineken (some small corrections)

Tags: japan Add / Edit Tags
Car Life


  1. NZNick's Avatar
    I bought my NSX from Japan - the initial search website that I used was - it seems to combine listings from both and
    I bought from a specialist shop - , via an English-speaking intermediary -
  2. Heineken's Avatar
    Hi Nick,
    The process for buying a Japanese car from abroad is probably very different - something I don't have experience with. It's nice to see though that the corresponding platforms seem to build upon the same data. Most used vehicle dealers are selling abroad as well. When I bought my NSX the dealer initially thought it was for export, too

    Quote Originally Posted by NZNick
    I bought my NSX from Japan - the initial search website that I used was - it seems to combine listings from both and
    I bought from a specialist shop - , via an English-speaking intermediary -
  3. NZNick's Avatar
    Indeed - there was one vital piece of paper that the vendor had to get a stamp for - that was to effectively de-register the car from the system to enable it to be exported.