Locale: ADVANCE Hello’s and Harajuku Strolls

Awhile ago, I had messaged my friend Masahiro that I was in the area and if he was at the ADVANCE, I would stop by to say hello.  Fortunately he was there, and while Sekinei made a quick trip to the DMV, I was able to chat with him and snap some pictures around the shop.  There’s always something new going on here, as many of the NSX owner’s (and other car enthusiasts in general) in the Kanagawa area know, ADVANCE is one of the most knowledgeable shops for their chassis.  When I arrived, one of the lead techs, Yagihashi, was working on a white NA1 but was able to take a break to chat.

 

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Turns out he is friends with the Miyagawa brothers from Garage Mak, and was telling me that his S15, equipped with the Mak Type 5 aero, was getting a fresh coat of red paint at the moment; his SR20 was actually sitting in the corner of the shop.  Small world!  (You can actually see a shot of his S15 if you check out our Instagram page @naritadogfight – shameless plug).

 

 

 

Coincidentally enough, as I was processing these photos, I got a message from Masahiro from ADVANCE, letting me know he put together a new Facebook page for the shop.  Check it out when you get a chance – but first let’s take a stroll around the shop again.

 

 

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This pristine Type R was sitting out front where Masahiro’s yellow NSX is usually sitting.  At the time, his car was getting a NA2 front end fitted on it.

 

 

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The oversize AP Racing brake kit filling every centimeter the wheels will allow.

 

 

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The gunmetal Volk CE28’s contrasting against the white very nicely.

 

 

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A peek inside the shop would leave most people breathless, but having these race prepped NSX’s strewn about is actually a normal sight here.  I’ve seen this customer’s silver Type-S in the shop before, and it is to date one of my favorite builds that ADVANCE has produced.

 

 

 

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Before we see more of that though, here’s a closer look at the other shop car; the FD.

 

 

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This Spirit R sports a bridgeported 13B with a Trust TD06 turbocharger that produces a little over 450ps.

 

 

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Masahiro was pretty excited about this Subaru wagon that a customer had dropped off for service.  A few weeks ago they had swapped in a STi motor; he mentioned it was very fun to drive.

 

 

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Another shot of the Type-S that was up on the lift.  The ADVANCE widebody looks great at this angle, not to mention that enormous rear diffuser.

 

 

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Like all their cars, this one is equipped with Endless pads.

 

 

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A mild splitter and canard adorn the front.

 

 

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This cute little GC8 was resting underneath.

 

 

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They certainly make use of their space.  I mentioned before that this shop is actually quite large compared to many others.

 

 

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GC8 looks like a fun street car.

 

 

 

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Yagihashi in that ‘working underneath the dash’ position we’re all way too familiar with.

 

 

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I like the white carbon weave on the rear wing.

 

After about 30 or so minutes, Sekinei returned from the DMV and we said our goodbyes.  Before we left though, Masahiro mentioned that later in the evening a customer was coming from Shizuoka (quite far), to drop his NSX off for some various work on the transmission (clutch, new LSD, etc.).  He invited us to come back and take a look at it around 6pm.  How could I say no?

 

So, in the meantime, I trained it to Harajuku.. There was a couple bicycle shops I wanted to check out in Tokyo that I had never be too, plus I wanted to get lunch with Matt.

 

 

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To be honest, I’m not the biggest fan of Tokyo; I prefer Yokohama much more.  Maybe it’s the heaviness of the city, or just that I’ve grown accustomed to being in Kanagawa, but really I don’t go there unless I have a good reason.  Train spotting near the station on the way to W-Base.

 

 

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Check out that cat…
This is the back alley that W-Base is located on.  It’s a really cool, tight packed, two story building that houses some cool bikes and parts.  The employees are super nice – if you’re into riding track bikes, or bikes in general you should check it out – as well as Brotures.  Brotures work closely with the dudes from Dosnoventa (Spain) and are doing a good job at sustaining the culture of fixed gear in the city.

 

 

 

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Cool storefront.  They were closed because they had gone to a photoshoot, so we came back later.

 

 

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The Audi Forum is one of the most unique buildings in Harajuku.

 

 

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Japan is full of these little, niche stores and restaurants that garner a lot of attention when they open.  It’s like a ton of hype that eventually deflates over time…something like that was happening here.

 

 

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This is a cafe that Matt frequents on the terrace of Tokyu Hands; we usually come here when I visit him.  I like it a lot; it’s quiet, and peaceful.  Let’s Terrace.

 

 

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My ILE bag – love this thing.  The owner, Eric, hand makes them in Berkley, CA.  This one in particular has Radio Frequency Welded seams so it’s completely water and dust proof.  Great for camera gear, or if you’re couriering.

 

 

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If you look over the fence on the terrace, you can get a glimpse of Shinjuku in the distance.

 

 

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Leaving Tokyu Hands we took a stroll down Cat Street.  Cool place if you like fashion; Pink Dragon is a cool store that sells Cream Soda stuff.  Good people as well.

 

 

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Eventually the sun went down, I said my goodbyes to Matt, and made my way back to Kamoi to ADVANCE to see the Shizuoka customer’s NSX.

 

 

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It was, as Masahiro said, a very cool car.

 

 

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The ADVANCE widebody looking just as common place as the OE panels; the red CE28’s contrasting against the dark black paint, not so much.

 

 

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I like the stripped out center console.

 

 

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Outside, the white Type R was still holding the pavement down.

 

 

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A friend of Masahiro stopped by in his silver NA1.

 

 

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We chatted for about another 40 minutes or so and said our goodbyes.  I’ve always enjoyed visiting this shop, and now I make it a point to at least stop by and say hello whenever I can.  Plus, you never know what you’ll see here!  Things are always changing at a shop who has such a large customer base, and that’s just the case here at ADVANCE.