Long before this website existed, when I had first started getting into time attack in the mid-2000’s, there was a name I came across often, usually in association with some of the fastest builds of the time. Whether those cars had these parts equipped, or had work done or engines tuned there, Garage Kagotani was a staple amongst the paddock.
One of the reasons I enjoy visiting Hayashi at his shop, Auto House Solid, anytime I’m in Gunma is that there is always a large variety of tuning cars on hand. Hayashi services a wide range of customers so there is guaranteed to be something interesting in the shop.
With the possibility of snowfall around Mt. Aso over the weekend, the likelihood of Autopolis Super Lap being cancelled loomed over me as I boarded my Solaseed Air flight to Aso-Kumamoto Airport.
Years ago I had the good fortune of befriending a couple of Garage Mak customers who have close relationships with the Miyagawa brothers; owners of the Nagano based tuning powerhouse, Garage Mak. Amemiya, Tsubaki, Seki, and others, have become good friends of mine, and have also given me the opportunity to meet, and work with, the two men behind one of Japan’s most comprehensive tuning shops. This last week I made the drive out to Nagano again to talk to Tatsuhiro and Kazunori Miyagawa about the upcoming Attack season, and get a better look at their new line of R35 GTR aero.
Tucked away in the Southern countryside of Gunma, situated on a corner just behind a beautifully scarce rice field, in a very cliche Japanese building, lies a haven of meticulously crafted engine bays that rivals that of any other shop in the country. In fact, if you weren’t looking for it, it wouldn’t be hard to pass it by, writing it off as just another unmarked building in the foreground. The unassuming tuning shop Auto House Solid, is owned and operated by Hayashi Kazuyaki; the foremost authoritarian on what a clean motor package should look like.
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.
Awhile back, if I recall correctly the day I was leaving Japan, I messaged Kaz to see if he was around the shop; I had 30 or so minutes to spare and was in the neighborhood. Things generally get pretty quiet throughout the summer in the realm of time attack, and I was curious to see if Unlimited Works had anything cooking for this coming season.
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.
If by chance you found yourself driving on the Hachioji Highway in Kitamachi, West Yokohama, there’s a possibility that you may catch sight of a bright red building in your peripheral […]
It seems like such a long time ago, although it was only a few months, that Sekinei and I made the quick drive up to the Misato area to visit Zest Racing. Zest is […]
Throwing it back to last year when Jay and I stopped by Kunny’z to say hi to Kuniaki-san and Masahiko-san, seen here rocking the Uggs. I had met Kunny-san awhile back briefly, but had […]
Yusuke Nojima. A man known for many things; his large part in Rauh-Welt, a love for Saber Tiger and Metal in general…but most of all, known for being a master of the 86. I […]
High Power & Save Energy. The words that make up the entire mission statement of Revolfe S.A.; a tuning shop most famous for it’s high power, wangan inspired builds. Earlier in the week, Sekinei […]
I make it a point to visit Spoon and Type One each time I go to Japan; actually, this is about the 4th or 5th post on NDF about visiting the shop! It’s such […]
One night in Yokohama, my friend and I went out to dinner to a restaurant in LaLa Port; a giant shopping center near Kamoi station. If you remember my last post about Advance, you’ll […]
A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of visiting a shop that I have had on my list for quite some time; Advance Flatout. I’ve known about this shop and it’s involvement in […]
Last time I was in Japan, which seems like ages ago, I stopped by ASM in Yokohama once again to check out what they had hanging around the shop. This time though, rather than just […]
Visiting Type One never gets old for me; there is always something new there to see every time I go. So I make it a priority of mine to stop in each time I go to Japan. Granted, without a car, it makes for a bit of a walk; but I had access to a car this time because I was with my friend from JDM Clips. I might add that having makes visit tuning shops so much easier. Obviously, you go to car shops because you own a car, so it’s not a big concern for shop owners to be close to train stations. If you’re just visiting Japan, going places not near train stations can be both difficult and expensive without an auto; especially if you’ve never been there before. I have absolutely no problems walking a few miles to get to clutch shops, but needless to say, having a car was a giant win. Like any typical foreign fan boy should, I like just walking around the shop and looking at all the stuff I’ve seen dozens of times already – it never gets old. Plus, the shop gets a lot of traffic, so chances are you’ll see different rides there every time you visit. I already featured that extremely cool matte black S2000 that I saw last time, which you can see here; but I never got around to posting up some of the other cars that were in the shop on that trip. I know there are many sites that post up stuff from Spoon and Type One once or twice – but who else posts new shots from the shop over and over! hahaha – hopefully the viewers share the same love that I do. Click past the break to take a stroll through the shop and check a few more of them out.
. I’ve been so busy attending events here in the US, as well as being in track events myself, that I still have quite a bit of material to post up from my previous time […]
. This weekend I took a drive up to Baldwin Park to visit Project G – one of the largest dedicated Miata shops in the Los Angeles area. The owners, Joe and Steve, have built […]
After two straight weeks of work, I finally managed to squeeze in a much needed day off. This past Wednesday I had plans to shoot my friends Z32 but, due to a scheduling conflict, had to cancel. Not being one to waste a day off, I sat down and thought of some other things to shoot for the website. I had remembered someone telling me last month that COBB Tuning had opened a new facility in Southern California; I had also remembered reading about an open house for their grand opening. Well, after I had looked into it, I realized their grand opening had already past on the 22nd. No big deal, I figured I’d go ahead and stop by because I had plans on going that direction anyway – and I’m glad that I did. The brand new, 10,000 square foot facility that COBB Tuning inhabits is extremely nice. Upon my arrival I introduced myself to Ronnie, one of the cool dudes in charge of sales & marketing, and they gladly showed me around the facility. Check out more past the break.
Happy New Year everyone! I’m happy to report that NDF has survived its first full year, and that we’re ready to take on 2012 head on. Let’s kick off the New Year with a little peak around M-Tec Co.’s headquarters in Saitama, Japan. JDM Clips went exploring the building and it’s surroundings on a trip to go see the Mugen RR Advanced Concept. It’s been over two years since Mugen has particiapted in Tokyo Auto Salon, and the RR Advanced Concept was their last display vehicle. With word that Mugen is returning to TAS for 2012, there is much hype building around what car they will have present. Here at NDF & JDM Clips all bets are on a RR modeled CR-Z! We’ll have to wait to know for sure. In the meantime, check out the pics past the break.
It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of UP Garage – if you’re a fan of JDM motoring, how couldn’t you be? I’ve been to several locations, and while you may not always find something that catches your eye, it’s almost guaranteed you’ll find a nice set of wheels. The new headquarters in Aobodai isn’t a wheel specific location, nevertheless I was surprised to see so many wheels and tires on site. Check out a few past the break.
One thing that continually amazes me about Japan is the sheer density of the place. You can spend a month contained in a one mile radius and still not see everything. I find myself in Yokohama quite often and was surprised that I had never been to ASM before. Under the arm of the Autobacs flagship name, ASM Yokohama offers not only specialized S2000 parts and tuning, but probably the best selection of Recaro seats you’ll ever find; short of catching a flight to Germany. I took a brief tour of the shop last time I was in the area – check out the pics past the break. “To the stage that no one could reach. Yes, we can!”
. Last time I visited Japan I made a point to swing by ASM to grab some pics for a Locale post. I’ve been putting it off, but I’ll get it up soon – their […]
In this post I’d like to both thank, and welcome Taka to the NDF Blog team. Taka runs the JDM Clips channel, and is now a contributor to Narita Dog Fight. He sent these pictures of the Beams Tokachi 24-hour endurance race car from the Twin Ring Motegi Honda collection hall. In 2003, when Honda became the sole engine provider for the INDY series, Motegi was added to the IRL schedule, and is famous in Japan for being the only oval ring circuit. When there are no events going on though, the Honda Collection Hall is the place to go. Many old and current race cars are displayed for the public to view; this Integra being one of them.
Thought I’d break up some coverage of JCCS with a little look at the Fly Rat used car & part shop in Machida, Tokyo. This is literally right next door to the Up Garage in Machida, so it was a no-brainer to go check it out. Fly Rat is part of the やまや山口株式会社, or the Yamayayamaguchi Group in Japan. The parent company of both Fly Rat, and Jon Flat; both used and new car dealerships and parts dealers. This location had a few cool looking rides, especially this pristine R32 rocking over-fenders on both the front and rear.
If you’re a Japanese car enthusiast, there is one thing you know you’ve always dreamed of doing once in Japan; and that is to visit as many tuner shops and stores as possible. I’m no different. I’ve wanted to visit an Up Garage for some time now, and a few months ago I finally got my chance. For as long as I can remember, I’ve had an affliction towards used parts. Maybe it’s the history that comes along with them; or maybe it’s because I’m fiscally responsible (read: cheap). There’s no better place to go bargain hunting for JDM car part goodness than at an Up Garage.