Toyotoro [tɔɪˈəʊˌtorəʊ] Noun. Gender X: is a portmanteau of the car maker Toyota and the Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki’s wonderous, playful forest spirit Totoro. Japan holds a special place in our hearts because it is the place where we first met. Therefore, it is only reasonable to name our first car and home in honour of this country.


We are Henning, a German engineer who worked in Beijing for the last 3.5 years, and Runan, a Chinese/British languages and antiques lover based in England. Together we have a shared passion for anything edible, trees, sports, and puppies; with unshared hobbies of killing plants, sitting on the loo until the bum is numb, paté and squatting. 

We plan to set off from Germany with a car loaded with enough underwear, baked beans and tea for a year. Aiming to head East with the Star of Bethlehem as our guide we want to go through Russia, the cluster of Stan countries, through Mongolia to reach China and Japan trouble-free. Then we can be on our merry way back to Europe but not before eating our way through South East Asia and the Middle Eastern kingdoms. Hopefully all three of us will return to Germany with all parts of our bodies and paint work intact.

A little bit about our metallic friend here. Toyotoro might sound very cute and can get pretty sentimental at times but let us not forget it is still a 2.5m tall and 2.0m wide, V6-engined, 4WD with extra heavy suspension and 180 litre petrol churning mean machine, who is capable of conquering the steepest mountains and the deepest of ditches with all diff locks on of course. Toyotoro is a perfect symphony of Japanese and German engineering and like Totoro to Satsuki and Mei, will be our beloved companion and guardian for our adventure from Europe to Asia and back. 

Toyotoro's bum

This is our journey and we would like to share it with you. We have no idea where this journey will take us but life is too short to not do stupid things. Here goes nothing. Scheiß’ die Wand an.