How many guys might define their ideal home as a huge multi-bay garage with a small living area overhead or off to one side? Many years ago I ran into a website for a magazine called Garage Life that seems written for the Japanese motorhead with the same idea, it’s all in Japanese and I couldn’t find any way to subscribe. When Mule wrote about his very functional garage workshop a couple of years ago on The Kneeslider, he mentioned that magazine and how he often used it for ideas he could use in his own work space. In answer to a question in the comments, he explained he bought it through a local Japanese bookshop which, unfortunately, many of us don’t have access to locally. Well, I just found a way to buy it and it’s far easier than begging your friend flying to Japan on business to pick up a copy while he’s there.
Zinio, a company I’ve mentioned before where you can purchase digital subscriptions to many of your favorite magazines, has just added Garage Life. It’s a bit pricey, $18.12 per issue, and they only have 2 issues available so far, but you can buy it, and be reading it within minutes.
The magazine is all in Japanese, so unless you read the language, you’re essentially buying a glossy picture book, but that’s OK, because it’s really in the universal language of workshop and garage photos most everyone here can understand.
Given the tight spaces you’ll find most everywhere in Japan, the owners of these garages must be seriously committed to their cars and motorcycles since they’re willing to turn over so much of their available space to their vehicles. The photos are pretty sweet and some of the garages are obviously owned by very successful individuals, based on the numerous Ferraris and Porsches and gorgeous wood surrounding them, but there’s a cross section of much more basic layouts as well and, given the tight confines, there are some very ingenious solutions to making maximum use of space.
You may not need to buy every copy, but reading through one or two issues could give you some cool ideas for your own workshop and there’s always the simple pleasure of looking inside some garages you wouldn’t otherwise get to see. Neat magazine.