Continuing on from part one at Top Secret….. I didn’t really have any idea where I was in relation to public transport, no internet in sight. This is what I planned for in Japan, getting lost somewhere far from home and hopefully making the midnight last train. I had optimistically printed out maps to two Up Garages hoping to have time to make it to at least one.
In the background of some of the TS shots there is a service station and I was getting hungry so I went to grab a snack but like most service stations there isn’t much of a retail aspect, just fuel and sometimes tyres. I spotted this Toyota Chaser looking like the attendant had just given it a bath and asked if it was cool to take pictures, he proudly encouraged me.
Check the fitment here, Japan’s roads are smooth enough that you wouldn’t worry much about the guard eating chunks from the tyre or rim
Feeling like I’d experienced more then I could ever expect, I decided that it was time to work out where I was so I headed in what I guessed would be best. I could see a few hundred meters and it looked busy. Soon I learnt the Chiba area has a strong automotive presence, the streets were lines with car sales of every type.
There was a section of American car resellers, you could see wood grain panels, three meter wide bench seats and pick-up trucks on huge chrome wheels. Continuing on I found a 4WD shop, almost all had lift kits!
In the distance I could see the logo for Lawson’s convenience store, craving some steam buns and a drink I kept going until one of the most memorable cars of the trip passes by. At first all I could see was hulk green headlights, proper green bulbs not just a tint over the lights. A third gen Honda odyssey reveals itself in the streetlights, extremely low and with huge wheels somehow fitting within the guards
Being very obsessive about having my camera set at all times the ISO was up and it was on standby with continuous shooting on, in about five seconds about ten frames were captured. The lights ahead were red so I went for a quick jog to make sure I got a usable shot in low light. Check the guard work! This is building a car around a set of wheels. A giant set of Work wheels.
So many distractions along the way, a decent dekotora truck then a stock standard hatchi roku.
Almost at the convince store I passed the Hiace Pro Shop, one of many places here that you can purchase a late model Hiace lowered on wheels straight from the car yard
Unfortunately it seems like the vast majority had the exact same tyre and wheel package which explains why so many all over Japan are exactly the same.
Finally at the convenience store, two steam buns and a two cans of real gold and while I was there I asked for the closest bus. Luckily the staff that work late at 24hr stores are generally young and can get a grasp of what you’re saying without looking like you half way through a game of charades. I tried asking busu (bus-oo) station, he nodded and pointed straight across the road. As I walk I notice a bus turn the corner so I thought it was worth popping me head around the corner to get a grasp of where I was, then bam! Cleanest, hottest S12 Silvia ever (gazelle to other parts of the world)
Awesome styling, wheels with the right fitment and tyre size, OEM looking lip bonnet and rear spoiler, wind shields over the side windows which I think is a hot touch.
A quick snap of a Suzuki Wagon-R parked on the same street
I got to the bus stop and attempted to read the time table, thinking to myself “if I’m reading the correct section there should almost be a bus arriving”. I look up to see the light up sign on the front saying Toyokatsutadai station, not knowing where I was I figured this was my best shot at making back to the rail lines where I could use the maps to get an idea where I needed to go for an Up Garage.
Catching any public transport in Japan was a head turning experience, it almost like being the Exorcist, looking every way at once. Trying to see ahead and be ready for anything worth taking a photo of I looked through the front window to see a tiny bit of a yellow sign.
Like most of my walking journeys I alternated between main roads and suburban streets in an attempt to find some hidden gems. This dirty old golf caught my eye, fake dish wheels and small OEM flares is all you need for a stylish daily.
UP GARAGE! I had stumbled across a store, not sure if it were on either of my printed maps I pressed the stop button and went to the front to pay. In Japan when you board the bus via the rear door you take a ticket that has your stop printed on it, when you arrive at your destination you use the LED price board to work out your fare then drop the ticket and your money into the machine.
I snuck in this quick wheel shot, MKIII, Watanabe, Equip… a pretty typical line up for any Up Garage. AU$600 + for the Watanabe pair before shipping. I also got some Photo’s of an AMAZING! Zokusha Toyota Mark II Mx30 but that will wait till my next post.
With an hour before the last train and two to catch it was time to head home. Something common at the station on any night is drunk people. This guy was sneezing every minute so loud that everyone on the platform could hear, lucky the handrail was here to keep him standing.
Introducing Every Burger, chocolate mini burgers from a vending machine which got me through until my home station.
Thinking my night was done at my home station of Asagaya, I got this snap of another intoxicated person being helped down some stairs and decided it was time for dinner. Considering it was midnight I had two options, deep fried tempura or Burger King. It took two weeks to break my code of not eating western fast food but the experience was worthwhile.
For example the bourbon whopper jr. Meal with bourbon marinated meat and a glass of Four Roses bourbon or the 150Y upgrade to a can of Heineken.
I spotted a 24hr arcade and Walmart so decided to have a look. The soccer games were intense, each person had a set of player cards. When placed on the table it sensed who the player was then accordingly placed them on the field positions.
After an hour in the 5 level Walmart it was time for bed.
Thanks for making it this far on such a long post (thanks to my girl Em for making sense of my 2 year old english :P)