If you’re in Japan and you’re an obsessive type, like I am, then sitting on the train isn’t a chance to grab some rest between stations.
It’s funny in the motherland how rare it is to come across what we see as a common “imported” model. Things as boring as a stock R32 or S13 are common at home, but with the huge restrictions on emissions and regular shaken inspections it’s quite hard to justify owning a road driven performance car.
I was the only person standing on half empty rail cars, holding the handle by the door gazing through the glass on both sides simultaneously while salary men and old lady’s watched in confusion.
Eyes darting around you can regularly see a medium size van with a minimum of wheels and probably a kit to match. After a few days I found my brain automatically blocking out these sights in search for something more along the shakotan and zokusha blood lines. Slim chance in reality. Still, no reason not to keep the dream alive.
After travelling over 1000km by rail and with only a couple of days remaining I wasn’t giving up. Our last location change was from Yokohama to the western outskirts of Tokyo city.
About an hour into our journey, BAM! Well more like a quick flash of blue between a bunch of houses and small winding roads… I instantly felt closer to the goal. We transferred trains and almost an hour past the biggest possible sighting in my books we arrived at our destination.
We had three days before our departing flight and a list of options of what to do, all in the opposite direction. It came down to the last night and I still hadn’t taken the time to work out if what I saw was actually a discovery or just a wreck hidden under some tarp to keep the neighbours happy. In the process of carrying suitcases, camera bags and guessing the station to transfer at I missed the name of the station closest.
4:30am, no sunlight and about six degrease above zero my alarm buzzed. One last ditched effort was in store. Just before bed there was a failed Google maps attempt at tracking down where I originally saw the car. I walked a short distance to the station we called home, jumped aboard the ever frequent train and studied the rail maps trying to look for anything that jolted my memory, nothing.
All I had was remembering which side of the train it was on and which lines we travelled, I transferred lines in reverse order to the journey days prior and scanned without blinking. I’d expected that if I could locate the spot I would have to back track a station to minimise wasting a second of the few hours leading up to our flight.
With the train slowing for the second station along the line I was in luck, an only a few blocks from the station. Eagerly, and to fight against the cold I travelled quickly in the direction of my target. Without a wrong turn I was standing at the bottom of the driveway. Blue with silver designs, works fenders and a tarp covering the top half, I’d found the real deal.
Just like some tacky TV series you’ll have to tune in next time to see more up close…..