The Tokyo Auto Salon, Japan’s top custom and tuner show throws open its doors today, and if 800 bhp GT-Rs, huge crowds and not a little madness are your forte, step right up, folks…

The Auto Salon which kicks off the motoring year in Japan every January, is always this heaving mass of people, cars, colour, noise and babes, Just er, like the Tokyo Motor Show itself used to be. Politically correct, it ain’t but still, you just have to love it.

The high rollers of Japan’s car industry discovered the Auto Salon a long time back so Toyota, Nissan and Honda will all have their usual stands and plenty to show and go.

Ahead of the doors opening, we know Honda will present a couple of Modulo/body kitted versions of the Insight. Nissan, together with its NISMO and Autech offshoots will have nine cars with a NISMO Club Sport version of the 2010 GT-R arguably the headliner.

Some say Toyota will roll out a sportified Prius coupe concept, purposely designed to cut across the bows of Honda’s soon-to-be-released CRZ hybrid coupe….but we’ll see.

Too bad that Mazda, Suzuki, Mitsubishi and Daihatsu have all pulled out this time due to the recession.

Still, their collective no-show has cleared the way for others and the exhibitor head count, we hear, will in fact be 21 per cent up this year and a dizzying array of 631 vehicles will be showcased.

Proof then that the wild aftermarket side of things in Japan, complete with oddball conversions and D1 Drift displays outside, is still very much alive and well at fast moving, always entertaining Tokyo Auto Salon.