Our first automotive adventure in Japan! How exciting. I’d been waiting for this for a few years now and the time had finally come. I was in Tokyo – but without a plan. Luckily Dane from Motonerd was also in Tokyo, and due to his generosity I grabbed a seat in their rental car and we headed to Bee.R in Machida City!
With the help of the Japanese Nav system in the rental car, all of our Google Maps, and Pocket Wifi we made it through plenty of toll roads in excess of $40 and landed at our much anticipated destination. Bee.R located inside Machida City in Tokyo’s Prefecture.
We had a Japanese friend with us who asked if we could walk around and look at their cars, Bee.R were more than happy for us to do that! How cool right? I’d like to think you could do the same in NZ, but it’s just not the case most of the time. I spoke a little bit of Japanese to the owner and the workers trying to explain where we were from, what we were doing here and how amazing it was too see it Bee.R in real life. I think, I hope, they got the general gist of it.
While we were there this super clean Mazda rocked up. Owned by Igarashi-san who happens to work at Mazda (spotlight feature coming soon). So I conversed with him for a while about his car and what he did at Mazda as best as I could. For my first Japanese article i’ll let you know now that the Japanese are extremely accommodating and friendly especially the Japanese people in the car community, and to be honest you’ll probably hear about it throughout all the articles.
Casually hiding behind some tools was a group of four cars, which all looked to be race/drift ready cars collecting dust. Either promo cars, or customer cars. I think the yellow R35 GTR had to be my favour automobile currently residing in the Bee.R stables.
Up on one of their hoists looked to be a fully worked drift car. Although I could be wrong and it may just be getting parted out and sent to the scrap heap. It’s hard to know when you can’t ask that itching question you really want the answer to!
The Goodyear Racing R34 GTR that competes in the D1 Grand Prix was also sitting in the group of four cars.
While we were causing havoc in their shop with three cameramen, employees were still working even though it was the weekend. I love how they let us walk around their shop, and just stand beside their employees watching them work. Try do that in NZ, maybe it would be alright, or more likely you’d get told to leave.
Along with the four cars at the front, a few sat at the back under sheets of plastic. The long term residents by the looks of things. If you couldn’t tell from these photos so far, you’d be safe to assume that Bee.R specialises in Skylines.
Next to the Skylines sat a rather good looking Toyota Levin. A few parts were missing, but nothing a little bit of tlc couldn’t fix.
The other stand out car was this one. From the outside, it looks to be a fully fledged drift car. That’s because it was. I wouldn’t want to guess how much Yen is under the hood of that car.
I’d found (from FB while still in NZ) that most of these Japanese garages liked to have cool and interesting items lying around the workshop. I wasn’t disappointed, they had some sweet little RC cars and models sitting on the bench.
While in Japan, I made it my goal to work out what the number plates meant. In NZ they mean nothing, there is no meaning to them. In Japan, there is a lot of meaning, so I made this one of my goals. Read future articles to find out if I achieved this goal or not!
The cars hanging around the outside of the workshop were just as impressive as the ones inside. If you look at the exhausts here and match them to the previous ones, either the same owner owns both of these cars, or this sort of exhaust is popular in Japan.
Before leaving we handed each staff member ‘omiyages’ (gifts/souvenirs) that I purchased previously in NZ, although they were kind of tacky, the staff loved them! So… The first automotive experience in Japan (Bee.R) was incredible, if this was what it was going to be like for the rest of my journey I was in for a treat.
Thanks to Dane, Brandon, Igarashi from Mazda, and the generous staff from Bee.R.
Bee.R website: http://www.bee-r.com/
Photos: Shaun Constable | Words: Shaun Constable | Proofer: Chadd Davis
© Ambition Works 2015