So this was gonna be the “Impacted day”. After coming down from Sendai, the plan was in this order:
As seen in the map (red are race shops, yellow was my place of stay, green were other places to check, blue was the bike rental).
Get to blue location (bike rental – 100 yen for 4 hours).
- Blitz (furthest left red marker)
- Jun Auto mechanic (closest to blue maker)
- Then bike to Suginami Anime Musuem (closes green maker)
- Bike to Spoon Sports and Type One (the furthest away red markers)
- Then check Nagano shopping center.
This was suppose to get done by 1130 am (the map makes locations deceptively close!)
Get on a train to East Tokyo, Adachi area. Yokota san said he would meet me at Daesha Mae station and we can go around.
- Star Road – it is a shop I have been wanting to visit as I am former S30 and S130 owner (yellow marker).
- Matchless Crowd Racing
- Yashio Factory
Yokota san had to work and so I would attempt to go this direction if I had time. (which did not happen).
Suenaga and Taguchi san (from Van Kulture) and I planned to meet in Saitama, I would make my way up there.
One the way, I would stop by 3 shops before the evening settled (I’m thinking like 1800 (6pm). And that didn’t happen either.
- Garage Hundred One (Miata/Roadster shop)
- Techno Pro Spirit
- Orangeball tuning
Out of those 3 goal sets, I was only able to do the first one. By the time I got to the rental bike, there was a hold up in communication, took an extra 15 minutes. It also started raining, so I went to 7/11 and bought an umbrella.
I then started to head towards JUN and it really felt longer than I expected. I checked my phone (keeping use to minimum since battery life was short). Finally when I found JUN, I don’t think they were open, so I said, let me get to Blitz. I sped on my bike as much as possible.
Finally, I get to Blitz. A guy (his name is Jun) came out and spoke English. He started to talk about the Kei car photoshoot going on and said it was okay to take pictures. While there, 3 other Americans arrived and asked about Silvias and drifting. This is where the bomb hit. I’ve noticed that there wasn’t as many Silvias and Skylines as my early 2000’s trips. Jun then told them that drifting has kind of slow down, but people are tuning the new 86 model, parts are drying up and that RB motors and skylines have been drying up do to exports to North America and Australia. The guys, who seemed younger, were kinda blown away as I was. But it made sense. The guys were really into drifting and S chassis… so they didn’t care about the other cars at Blitz. I started to take more pictures.
During our conversation, I mentioned I was from the Northwest and Jun said he used to work at Fastlane…
This triggered another long conversation and brought up tons of names I haven’t thought of in years. He then told me he graduated from Piece College…
Anyways, that took longer (as usual) than I expected.
I high tailed it to JUN, where I was allowed to take pictures of the motors. This was the Auto Mechanic shop, so I didn’t see any demo cars.
I just snapped some shots of the displays and talked to the person upfront.
I then high tailed it to Spoon Sports, which was way down the road!!!
I came upon it and saw the clean old school Honda. I went inside and talked to some staff members. Very cool people. One guy mentioned the showroom was down the street at Type One.
I headed to Type One which was 10 minutes down the street. Upon arrival, I met the mechanic and he told me the showroom was upstairs.
Things took longer and I must have lost weight that day because I haven’t biked in a while and I was hauling. Legs were sore. LOL.
I got back to the bike rental and returned. It was nearing 1500 (3pm). I realized that my goals for other shops were not going to be met. I knew that it would take almost 2 hours to get to Musashi Takahagi station, where Suenaga san said he wanted to meet.
I jumped back on the train at Kamishakuji station and headed for Hon Kawagoe station. I switched a train at Torokozawa Station. Once I got to Hon Kawagoe station, I asked where is Kawagoe station. It was a few blocks away.
Again, deceptively short distance on the map!
I had to walk out and head south a few blocks. But the street was a shopping street, so I had to buy a few things for my family while there.
Jumped on the Kawagoe Line.
When I arrived, Suenaga san messaged me and picked me up. I was waiting for Taguchi san, as he was delayed.
Suenaga san took me to his place and I checked out his leopard and other cars. We talked about some cultural differences and he showed me his Suzuki Mighty Boy and Cresta.
Himura san showed up in his bB.
Taguchi san hit me up and said he was at the station, so Suenaga san and I went to go pick him up. And then Yamashima san stopped by too! It was the first time I was able to check out his Y31 and it was SUPER CLEAN!!!
I had a blast hanging out with everyone again and was very interesting talking about cultural differences. It was the first time meeting Suenaga san and Himura san. Good folks!
Suenaga san dropped me off at the station and made talked to person about getting back to Kami Igusa station. There would be a train switch at the next station.
This is where the night took a wrong turn… or in my case, wrong direction.
The black maker is where I started and I was suppose to get to the red maker on the far bottom right of this map. At Higashi Hanno station, the guy pointed me to the wrong track and I ended up at Higashi-Agano station (indicated by the yellow maker).
Now this was the last train and this was past midnight!
My phone was nearly dead and it was a small rural station. I didn’t know what to do, so I started walking. In all honestly, I felt safe as it was Japan. The cool thing was a bunch of FRS (86) guys doing runs up and down the street. I later came to a Family Mart.
The guy at Family mart called the taxi and also called the hotels to see what was available. Once he secured these, he ask if I had cash to make sure I could pay for the taxi. He had limited English, but he did a great job of tell me that the Heritage hotel at Hanno Station had a room for 11,000 yen.
I hate that price, but at 0200 am, what can I say?
I took it and the taxi was about 3500 yen to get to Hanno station.
I’m not bitter about it at all because I feel it was a great day and this particular experience taught me to never take the last train! LOL. The guy at Family mart did everything he could when he did not have too and I gave him a gift for that. I learned a lesson from him as well that I will pay forward.
I set a massive amount of goals for the day, in which 1/3 of it was accomplished. Again, I didn’t expect to spend more time at each shop conversing with people. It is what it is and next time, I’ll do more to spread out the plan.