*Quick note – there’s been people going around sharing pictures that they did not take and not even giving credit. Especially when it comes to specific cars and related topics, such as Kaido/Shakotan/Granchan style cars. Sorry to put the watermark in the middle.
After I left Hakata station, I jumped on a train headed for Nijo PA. Mitch (Showa Racing) said this is where Route 202 and Noguchi-san were gonna meet with me and also he was going to be there.
When I arrived to Shikaka station, Mitch was there to greet me. We have talked online and I wanted to meet his since the last few times I’ve been to Kyushu, but he lives far from Fukuoka.
We arrive to Nijo PA, small parking area next to the water and converse. Mitch translated some information to Noguchi-san as to what my intentions were about the red kaido leopard. We had some good conversations.
Then Misaki and Noguchi-san said they are going to Sasebo to a parking lot with other kaido race cars. Mitch said it was going to be about an hour drive. They asked if I wanted to go. This was my last “car related” night in Japan and to see some old Kaido racers.. I was down.
I did ask when the last train was because I would need to come back to Fukuoka.
Then we started to leave. Mitch did not come as he said it was an hour for him to go home as well. Thanks for the meet up!
I jumped in the F30 Leopard and we drove what felt like almost 2 hours to Sasebo. Once I got there… I started to go around and take pictures and video… but it was SUPER COLD. I was shaking pretty bad.
Near midnight, Misaki-san said he was leaving and left. I thought he was gonna drive me back to Fukuoka with him. I think there was a miscommunication.
Noguchi-san was surprised, but as always, he is a solid guy. We looked at the last train and it already left Sasebo station. So I asked him to find me a hotel near Sasebo station and he called a couple. One that he contacted was next to the station and they told him after midnight, it would be discounted. That was 15mins til midnight. So I did some final photos and video.
Noguchi-san said he will take me in the his Sunny, but there was no back seats, there was paint supplies and there is no suspension too. It was actually smoother than I thought.
We arrived at the hotel and when I got inside, Noguchi-san had made a reservation… so it all worked out.
So here is another lesson: Know where you are going, the last train and the time of that last train. While I had to stay the night in Sasebo, I didn’t get angry about it because I actually enjoyed seeing the cars and meeting the people. In that sense it was worth it. If I would have gone back to Fukuoka earlier (playing it safe) I wouldn’t have had the experience I did that night… and my trips are all about experiences.