☆Up the hill to Sagamiko AE86 Festival – Part 1☆

Continuing on with the story from last week.  Gary dropped me off at Osaki Station and I lagged up the stairs while surfing through aimless apps on my iPhone.  I called up my buddy to see if he was going out and sure enough, he was already in Roppongi.  After basically missing the train to my house, on purpose I decided to head on over to meet up with him.  I caught one of the last trains which happened to terminate one stop before Roppongi so I walked from there all the way to him picking up a cold alcoholic beverage along the way.  The summer heat has faded in Tokyo and I had an enjoyable walk to the crossing where we met up.  In Roppongi we didn’t feel like going into any clubs really so we just idled outside talking to random girls and people watching.  A couple of my other friends were in Roppongi as well and came by to say hi.

Time rolled around and I said my good bye’s.  It was about 5.15 and I headed down to the Oedo Line to catch the first train to Shinjuku to meet up with Park.  Park had told me to meet up at Shinjuku station to catch the train at around 6.45 but I was already there and it was 5.45…what to do.  Well, I went across the street and did what any Japanese salary man does at that time of day after a long night out.  Eat a bowl of Gyudon and cabbage at Yoshinoya.  Ahh, the relieved feeling of food in the belly.  Soon after I had finished eating and rested for a slight moment I received a message from Park.  He was on his way so I sucked down the last half a’ glass of water and headed back to the station.  He showed up a little while later and we  both hustled to the platform to catch the first leg of the trip out to Sagamiko.

We arrived at Sagamiko after a short train ride through long tunnels up into the mountains.  Going through one of these tunnels almost cost Park his favorite “Toyota” hat as well.  The blast of air as we whizzed into the tunnel shot his hat through the train car into some ladies lap a few seats back.  We bust up laughing!  After exiting the station Park was telling me about how last year he showed up and there was an 86 just sitting at the station, perfectly clean and in pristine condition.  Not 10 seconds later did this little Hachi Roku pull up around the corner and turn on his hazards.  It was the same one.  The guy must have a friend from the city that he picks up yearly for this meet.  Unlucky for us, we had no car and were in for a nice long walk.

It was nice to get out of the city.  Sagamiko is a quiet little town built on the side of a sloped hill leading up towards the mountains you can see in the back of this picture.  Above the train tracks, close to the mountains however not visible in this picture is the expressway that leads to Nagoya.  At the foot of the town is a big lake that doubles as a water reservoir for the surrounding areas I’m guessing.  As we walked the small streets to the mountain road leading to the meet we could constantly hear the buzzing of ae86’s echoing through the town.  It was pretty cool!

One one occasion we happened to be walking down the path and saw a bunch of guys in the conbini parking lot.  We hurried our pace and tried to get there to snap a few pictures but just as soon as they had arrived, they were all back in their cars and pulling out back on to the road.  I managed to snap this before the swarm buzzed off down the road.

A few cream colored Hachi Roku’s rolled through, they were probably my favorite.  Not the typical white but also didn’t stand out to much.  There was a surplus of white Corollas and the craftsmanship was high as usual but the creme just had an edge on my tastes.

At the conbini I met two of the local pooches who were super excited to be out watching the latest and greatest Hachi’s roll in and out of the parking lot while their owner talked with his wife/girlfriend and relaxed.  Everyone was out for a good time!

A little ways up the road it bends at a sharp 90 degrees and heads straight across this bridge which makes for pretty nice shots.  I kept thinking about Initial D as we walked up the road further and further.  It was like the Akina Speed stars went out and traded all their cars in for Corollas.

And then what do you know, Takumi shows up in his Dad’s car.  Haha, well not quite but this was an exceptional example of a Initial D styled Trueno.  As I watched him zoom out of view I felt like I was one of those kids on the guard rail as Tak slid down the mountain, so epic!  Real life Initial D!

And then there was this guy.  Sweat pouring down his face, super serious high tension unicycling maniac who almost ran us over as we turned the corner onto this path.  He literally was just racing back and forth along this path as fast as he could.  I give him props for being a badass old dude on a unicycle but it would have been nice if he had given us a warning before scaring the crap out of Park and I.

Park and I had a lot of time to catch up after he had been away from the car scene for a while.  Spending time with his recent visitors and allotting his other time scanning awesome old Bosozoku Style magazines for everyone on the glorious world wide web to see.  Pictured here is Park in his natural environment, and this expression is the “WTF Doctor Trax?” expression that I happened to capture for Casey.

It truly was a beautiful sight as the sun peaked through the clouds.  It is so green, something I sometimes can’t get over after living in a dessert where the greenest thing around was my illuminated dashboard or the mile markers on the side of the highway.

The buzzing bees made short work of this small “half tunnel” or rather.  It was quite cool to see such a variety of cars of the same make and model.

As we climbed higher, Park and I were able to glimpse around and spot people participating in other local activities.  These guys were out on the lake practicing dragon boat racing.

As we walked up the hill we got lots of different reactions to our cameras, for the most part there were a bunch of thumbs up like this couple.  Glad to see that the wives are down to hang with their motor head husbands way into their gray haired years.

Some guys from the base came up.  Sturdy and loud but well maintained, these guys probably take these two little Hachi’s to the track once in a while.  I’m quite sure they were also doing some sort of film on the event, I saw them walking around later with a bunch of cameras and sliders.  Glad I wasn’t doing that, it got pretty hot later in the day.

One of my favorite shots of the whole day.  I sat and watched for 5 minutes or so.  These two guys were fishing and maintaining what looked to be a floating garden.  I impressed myself with this picture, I was super stoked to see it on the big screen when I got home!

This bamboo was insanely tall.  It surrounded a small lunch house that overlooked the small area of water in the picture above and out onto the bigger portion of the lake.  Next time I definitely want to stop there!

Classic functional fitment and minimal styled Ae86 rolling through one of the straighter portions of road leading to the top of the mountain.  Just to the right of this picture is the driveway to the small lunch and cafe I mentioned above.

No one really hauling up the hill that morning but the low steady sound of the exhaust on these two cars were quite nice.

At the top, we were greeted with, “How are you?”. Well, we were pretty tired, lacking in sleep, and quite sweaty.  The walk took probably around an hour but it was well worth it.  We had a blast!

Part two will be out hopefully tomorrow evening Japan time if I get around to it.  I’m also working on some exciting stuff from Hella flush but I won’t expect that until maybe next weekend.  Second semester of school starts today and I spent all night, again, editing and writing because for some reason, I work really well at night when I know I should be sleeping.  I guess its just a weird quirk.

As always, thanks for reading and please, if you decided to share, please link back to my site.

~Matt

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