So yeah, the wind is insanely fucking strong today! It’s been rattling my outside shutters. I wouldn’t say it’s scary but it is unnerving and scares me every 10 minutes or so.
A friend of many people and local visitor of the touge had set up a small event for a handful of people to attend. Mainly to gather friends and have a blast before the un-drivable snow covered roads of winter came. However, this event also marked his last day or night on the mountains with a specific car.
That car, a big body sedan, a Crown, and with various splashes of personal touches, lately had became quite popular on the internet and in magazines.
Recently the guys from CircuitSoul visited HTF and I here in Japan. Our first meeting and adventure started on a fairly overcast rainy day in Tokyo. Taking a short trip up to Harajuku from my house HTF and I headed out to Chiba where we met up with the CircuitSoul Car Boys. The long train ride gave us some time to get super excited and when we stepped off the local train the clear skies of Chiba greeted us. The sun was out and the town had a much more relaxed and quiet atmosphere to it. We waited around at the station for them to pick us up and headed out. After walking to “X”‘s house who owns “X” we held a small meeting to plan out day out. The boys were hungry so an obvious first choice was food. That didn’t quiet go down as simply as it is said. Finding a ramen shop took us almost an hour and 6 km of walking. After eating though, everyone’s cranky moods were eased.
A few hours before my planned departure, my ride called and let me know that tires were taking up too much room. No room, okay. “Now what?” I thought to myself. Well, right after reading that text I rushed out to the living room to inquire with my room mates about the Shinkansen. I had packed about half of my gear earlier in the morning, so by this point I was just about done. I figured out where to take the Shinkansen from and headed out the door. I made sure to grab a few extra pieces of clothing in anticipation of the cold in Fukushima.
Luckily, there is a Bic Camera at one of the stops along the way, so I paused my journey quickly and hurried to the bottom floor to pick up some rolls of film and a new filter. I saved a bunch of money with my point card, like a boss…and then scrambled back onto the train platform to catch the short jump up to Tokyo Station.
At Tokyo Station I bought a reasonably sized BLT from Beck’s Coffee. I think the cute girl behind the counter gave me an extra big portion. Stoked on the meal, I sat in the waiting zone and chowed for 30 minutes until it was time to get on the Hayabusa Shinkansen. It’s the greenish one with a bubbly looking nose. Side note: Hayabusa means falcon in Japanese.
I took a window seat on the train, even though it was dark, and relaxed a little. I think it is the possibility that I might see something that attracts me to the window seats. At the second stop my aisle seat was taken by an older man, who I found out later had a hobby for flying gliders. He had been to America to fly them and spoke a little English, however, we talked mostly in Japanese. After what ended up being around two hours, I arrived at Koriyama station. A new town, and I had plenty of time. For starters I walked to the nearest convenience store to find a rain overcoat just in case the slight drizzle turned for the worst.
It was around 11:30 a.m., and I spent the next hour and a half wandering around searching for a family restaurant to relax in, or something hospitable. Turns out Mr. Donuts doesn’t stay open 24 hours, so that was a no go. I wasn’t expecting my ride to pick me up until four or five in the morning, so becoming a little desperate I turned to a stranger and asked for a recommendation of a place to rest until the early hours of the morning. The guy I asked turned out to be super cool. He told me about a place and even offered to walk with me to the place, which turned out to be a massive manga cafe. He helped me register and we parted our ways.
I slept on the couch in my cubicle until 4:30 a.m.. Larger manga cafes have areas where you can rent a small cubicle with internet and Tv, there usually is a drink bar which you have full access to and thousands upon thousands of manga to choose from. If you are ballin’ in a budget while traveling in Japan this is definitely one way to get some rest for around 15 bucks per night. Might not be the most comfortable but enough to get a wink of sleep. I woke with a slightly kinked neck (as mentioned, not always so comfortable depending on where you go) and headed to get a bite to eat at local 24 hour beef bowl chain restaurant.
Just as a before hand note: Part 2 is actually after Part 1. I had to post in a weird order so that the way I wrote this post would make logical sense. If you are waiting for part two please scroll down past part 1, you will see it there.
Before actually going on this adventure I had been talking to Tomo-san for a while about it. We originally planned to go earlier but the schedules of everyone involved hadn’t intersected at the correct time. Plus on one occasion Nakai-san was out of the country. Definitely not happening then.
Shinji-san, Tomo-san, and I made arrangements a couple of weeks ahead of time and it was totally worth it.
I quietly left the party for 30 minutes to photograph one of the most amazing parking lots I’ve ever seen. Full of Porsches that are gems of one mans fine hard work. The only thing to trump these internet sensations would be a meet of RWB Porsches, which I hope to see eventually one of these days. Continue reading