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June 23, 2022

After Three Years, The Biggest Gathering Of Mazda MX-5s Happened Again

For the first time in three years, the biggest annual gathering of a single model happened once more as the Karuizawa Meeting gathered more than 1,100 Mazda MX-5s under clear May skies.

The Karuizawa Meeting first happened in 1993 where 115 MX-5s gathered in a parking lot in Karuizawa, Nagano, Japan. Since then, their numbers steadily grew until the coronavirus caused organizers to scuttle the event in 2020 and 2021.

But just in time to celebrate the meet’s 30th anniversary, organizers managed to pull it off and gathered 1,140 Mazda MX-5s and 2,180 people.

Attendance is 40 percent higher than in past Karuizawa Meetings.

In terms of MX-5 generations, the fourth-generation ND was most represented with 50 percent—a surprise given the it was just launched in 2015. Meanwhile 26 percent is for the NA, 13 percent for the NB, and 11 percent for the NC.

While a fan-initiated event, Mazda supported the event by bringing an example of its lightweight MX-5 990S and a fully-restored MX-5 NA.

Also present were Masashi Nakayama, the MX-5 ND’s chief designer, Yoshito Iwanai, the current designer in charge, and Azusa Kano, a color designer.

Nakayama-san took the opportunity to throw Iwanai-san a tough question: “What do you think you should fix with the MX-5 ND?”

Iwanai-san retorted: “I have a lot of things to do, but changing the MX-5 ND isn’t one of them.”

It should be noted that Nakayama-san actually drove his personal MX-5 all the way from Hiroshima.

As Japan relaxes more of its coronavirus-related restrictions, Mazda and the Karuizawa Meeting Executive Committee hopes for an even bigger event in 2023.

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