It was great to spend some time in Tokyo, explore the car scene and what not. We’d spent close to a week in Tokyo, but now it was time to move on! We packed our bags and headed down the country to Osaka on the infamous bullet trains. Sadly with only two nights there, it was going to be a struggle to fit everything in.
We arrived at Osaka’s main train station at around 3pm, not knowing how to get to our accommodation we chased down the closest cab. Of course we looked very touristy and found out that the taxi driver actually took us on a short detour later that night, very sneaky…
That evening was spent being passed out on our glorious double beds, we’d spent so much time on the move in Tokyo there hadn’t actually been anytime to rest. So we took the opportunity to collapse because tomorrow was going to be one of the longest days with my camera yet.
The next morning between 9am and 10am Akifumi-san picked me up from my accommodation in the Nishi Ward of Osaka in his sweet street driven S15. We made the short trip down towards Kobe where we would meet Takashi-san and his pretty famous S13 drift weapon.
Akifumi-san could speak a bit of English, more English than I could speak Japanese, it was great trying to converse in each other’s own language on the roadtrip. After arriving at Takashi-san’s garage I soon realised that Akifumi-san was one of the better English speakers in Japan and that I’d have to really try hard to communicate with Takashi-san.
He was still cleaning his S13 when we arrived, so I asked if I could have a nosy around the inside of the garage and take some photos. Heaps of trophies sat on the shelfs, spare tyres lined the walls, silvia parts galore in every nook and cranny.
As the S13 didn’t have any plates, we couldn’t go anywhere that required a public road. Luckily for us there was a nice little spot at the end of the complex, so we headed up there and waited for Takashi-san to drive the S13 and meet us.
Oh boy did it sound nice driving up the road, and it looked even meaner. It’s a weird feeling seeing a car online for such a long time and then finally seeing it in person. I don’t think it’s something that can be explained through just words and photos.
I felt rather lucky to have been given the treatment in Japan that I had got during the past week and a bit. The Japanese people are really very generous, Akifumi-san had a day off from university and just offered to drive me to Takashi-san’s garage which wasn’t that close to Nishi Ward in Osaka.
I think one of the coolest things about the technology today is the fact that you can add someone on Facebook, follow someone on Instagram or Snapchat, or email them and instantly start talking. All of the people I met in Japan, I had never met in real life before. A few people I had contacted online before heading over, and the rest I contacted while I was in Japan. I didn’t get one person saying they didn’t want to meet me.
Maybe it was because I was taking photos of their cars, maybe because I was white and could speak a small amount of Japanese, or perhaps they just loved meeting foreigners. Whatever the case I highly recommend stalking some people that live in Japan before you go over and just see what they are up to, maybe they have even a spare hour where they can show you something cool.
I think this photoshoot may have been the only exception for another funny thing that seemed to happen around me in Japan. I had a few situations where I was only suppose to be shooting one car, and then before I knew it I had another 3, 4, 5 cars lined up after that one. Don’t get me wrong, I loved it and all the cars were immaculate. It was just a bit different, like most things in the country I suppose.
Around the end of the shoot Takashi-san’s partner showed up in her modded Nissan March. Akifumi-san actually told me that she didn’t wanted it modded, but Takashi-san did it one day when she was out and she ended up really liking it! What a kind partner to have.
I didn’t actually realise Takashi-san had another silvia at the garage, or that he had another one at all. So it was a surprise to see it sitting in there, however when he said “Shall I bring the other one out” I could barely withhold my joy.
At this point in the trip I was starting to think it was all a dream, all of these amazing cars that were right in front on me. I actually had an interesting moment later on that day which I’ll share in the next article, showing you just how cool the Japanese people really are.
It was a great start to the morning! We had taken heaps of photos of Takashi-san’s pride and joys. Enough for two feature apparently. One for here and one for my friends at S-Chassis.
Before we headed off I handed Takashi-san an Omiyage which is a small gift to show appreciation in this case. Look out for our next article where we explore some truly amazing pieces of Japanese automotive culture.
Photos: Shaun Constable | Words: Shaun Constable
© Ambition Works 2015