Category: Japan

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Archives: No Stone Unturned – K2 Racing RX8

There’s nothing quite like seeing a chassis pushed to it’s very limit.  Regardless of make, model and drive-train, watching a car get transformed into a full fledged circuit machine is one of my favorite pleasures in this medium.  It’s not something that happens often, and a lot of times (based on a plethora of factors) people end up settling; believe me when I tell you, I know all too well.  So when a shop takes the gloves off on a build, it’s something I get excited about.  In the case of this RX-8, K2 Racing takes Mazda’s last rendition of the Renesis to it’s peak, and maybe just a little bit further.

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Locale: Tomisato, Chiba – RE雨宮

The amount of influence that Amemiya-san has in the field of tuning Mazdas, specifically the RX-7, is arguably untouchable.  The popularity of his designs and the overall originality of his creations are known not just throughout Japan, but the entire world.  Walking through the showroom of Isami’s flagship shop in Tomisato, Chiba, you’re given proof of how much weight the name carries.  Trophies from race events, car shows, and manufactuer recognition are plastered from one wall to the other.  Momentos of achievement past and present line the glass cases along the walls of the showroom, surrounding the beautiful blue, Super GReddy clad demo car sitting front and center.

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Editorial: Inspiration vs. Influence

Thursday morning Kayla and I set off to Tokyo via the Tokaido line out of Yokohama Station.  I really dislike going into the city with a car, especially to Tokyo.  I mean, I’m not the biggest fan of Tokyo in general, and it’s just further compounded when I’m driving there; it’s not so much the driving, but the parking really.  We were walking around Meiji Shrine when I got a message from Kubo at Garage Work.  He was asking if I wanted to stop by the shop that afternoon.  I was literally in Chiba the day before visiting Masao at Technical Motor, and from a fiscal standpoint wasn’t quite in the mood to be going back again, but honestly, I could never pass down a visit to the one shop that influences me in a way no others do.

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Event: NDF x FRS Invite Meeting V.3

As the rain faded away, and the afternoon sun burned off the remaining clouds over the Speedway, some people hit the road to head back towards Tokyo.  The little award ceremony we had towards the end went well.  I’ve never really had to judge, or rank cars before (although we all do it silently), but despite the choices being difficult it was still pretty fun.  Everyone was pretty stoked, and it was a good way to wrap up the meeting.  Before everyone had left, we were able to gather some of the main FRS members and take some photos closer to the track.  Hope you liked the coverage, and I look forward to holding a couple more of these in the next couple months.  Enjoy the photos ~

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Encounter: Naturally Aspirated S15 – Fuji

About halfway through our meeting, while I was across the lot taking some individual photos, I had heard an incredibly loud, distinct sound coming from off in the distance.  As it grew closer, I got up and turned around to see a white S15 absolutely screaming down Fuji’s access road.  I instantly knew it was a naturally aspirated SR because, well, there is really only one sound like that; it’s that perfect combination of awesome and obnoxious.

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Event: NDF x FRS Invite Meeting V.2

I’m finally back home, and had a chance this evening after work to edit another group of photos from our gathering at Fuji Speedway.  You can check out the first post here if you missed it.  Basically we wanted to try to create a more intimate approach to car meets; less hype, and more conversation.  I think it turned out rather well and am already looking to organize another one when I return to Japan in the coming month.  Like I mentioned in the previous post, getting the opportunity to chat about each build was pretty neat, and I walked away learning more than I’ve had in the past with hundreds of cars on the table.  This way it gave the opportunity to for everyone to play the host role, and made for an overall more fulfilling time.

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Event: NDF x FRS Invite Meeting V.1

It’s interesting to see how an individuals ambitions, and desires transform over time.  As we experience more and more of life, and slowly grow to accept who we are, it’s not uncommon for our thought process to undergo a change that not necessarily limits our goals, but makes them more specific.  It’s something I’ve been experiencing myself for the past year or so, and there’s a subtle satisfaction from it.  I’ve seen a lot of those new attributes show themselves on this very site; for me it’s predominantly been an increase in the value of time.  I suppose it’s common knowledge that the more time you spend getting to know someone, the more notable that time is.  I’m pulled in a lot of directions when I’m in Japan, and believe it or not, it’s taken awhile for that simple concept to soak in.