The Chronicles© – No Equal Since 2008 | www.stickydiljoe.com

There Is No Rival, Because There Is No Equal.

Happy Friday everyone. We are now entering part 8 of our 12-part Japan adventure and will shift from heavy automotive content to the more personal side of our trip. It’s interesting because I didn’t think a whole lot of people other than our friends would care about what we did in Japan other than car stuff but the responses from you viewers have been overwhelmingly positive. There are even a lot of you who say that you enjoy seeing the personal side more than the car stuff. Back when I first started this site, it was a goal of mine to try to give everyone a behind-the-scenes look at what we do and to just show that we are your normal, everyday people and I think that others come to the site now because they gravitate towards that personal touch…

Even though there are only four parts left over, I promise you, there is still a whole lot to see. In real time, we were only in the middle of Sunday of our trip and we still had to make the journey over to Osaka, where we ended up staying for the last two days of our trip. Besides all the random stuff that we do, you’ll get an in-depth look at our visit to Tactical Art as well as a quick stop over at J’s Racing. Today, we are going to pick up right from where we left off in Part 7. We had just walked the paddock area of the legendary Twin Ring Motegi and were just about to take off to go grab a meal with our Japanese homies. Before that though, we wanted to go take a look at a small go-kart track that we had passed on our way to the paddock area…

Here are the links to each of the seven individual parts prior to what you’re seeing today. I know there are a lot of images so I’ve formatted the site to only show one post and because of this, you may have missed something…

The Chronicles 2013 Japan Trip…Part 1: Intro and TAS 2013 Coverage…
The Chronicles 2013 Japan Trip…Part 2: TAS 2013 Coverage…
The Chronicles 2013 Japan Trip…Part 3: More TAS 2013 Day 1 Coverage…
The Chronicles 2013 Japan Trip…Part 4: Dinner With USDM FREAX and Day 2 of TAS ’13…
The Chronicles 2013 Japan Trip…Part 5: The Last of TAS ’13 Coverage and Dinner With USDM Magazine…
The Chronicles 2013 Japan Trip…Part 6: Twin Ring Motegi and The Honda Collection Hall…
The Chronicles 2013 Japan Trip…Part 7: More Honda Collection Hall and Trackside At Twin Ring Motegi…

There are so many parts now that it might as well be a table of contents. I almost wish I could publish all of these together in a magazine or something, haha…

Anyways, let us continue now with Part 8…

As I said, we had hopped in our ride(s) to drive over to the paddock area of Twin Ring. The whole entire facility is huge so it is almost necessary to drive around inside, otherwise you’d be wasting a whole lot of time walking back and forth. On the way to the paddock area, we spotted a go-kart track. It was active and some people were racing around on the small track and the guys wanted to try to get some laps in on the track. After we did a little tour of the paddock section, which you saw in Part 7, we headed back to check it out….

In one of the small parking lots at Motegi where we stopped, I randomly spotted one of my all-time favorite dream machines…

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…a Gun Grey Metallic BNR32 Skyline GT-R. It was just sitting there in the parking lot with a couple of other cars scattered throughout. No big deal, just one of the best Japanese sports cars ever engineered…

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The only way to make an R32 GT-R better, of course, is to add the timeless combination of bronze Volk TE37s and the signature blue hue of an Endless big brake kit. This thing was just lovely. I think we were all in awe of it, even our Japanese friends who probably see cars like this regularly. We all stopped to take pictures of it and I’m sure had the owner appeared, he would have been a little shocked to see the crowd that had formed around his vehicle…

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Parked inconspicuously next to it was an FD2 Civic Type R…It looked to also be in “winter mode” as the stock FD2 wheels were mounted on it but the suspension had obviously been raised in the front compared to the lower rear…

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We made our way over to the go-kart track and the guys seemed to be excited about it…for maybe a good 5 minutes anyways. They went inside to try to get some details on how to get a couple laps in and I guess you have to go through some sort of introductory course and there just wasn’t enough time to do all that and race on the track after. It was already late in the afternoon and we didn’t want to wait around so we decided to ditch that whole idea and instead get some food in our stomachs….

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Takeshi getting some action shots while I downed a hot ass canned coffee from the vending machines. One of the best features of living in Japan has to be the ease of accessibility to hot and cold drinks. I mean, these vending machines were just everywhere. You couldn’t go a block without seeing at least one or two. Even in the countryside on our way to Twin Ring there were machines and it didn’t even look like there was any signs of life in those areas…

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A shot of May chatting with our Japanese friends on the way back to the car…

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Before it got dark, I had to get a shot of Wataru Oseki’s Honda Element SC. This thing was super clean. Kind of hard to see in the photo but seated behind the Advan RS-D wheels are a set of AP Racing brakes…

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I definitely couldn’t leave without getting another shot of Hatano’s beautifully-executed Honda S2000 CR conversion….

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Once we got back into the car, you could tell that everyone was pretty tired and in need of food. Being that we were basically in the middle of nowhere, we had to make a pretty long drive back to the city. In Tokyo, we had an opportunity to try a lot of different Japanese dishes but one meal that we knew we had to get in before we left was a stop at a good Ramen spot. We can get Japanese Ramen here in the states obviously but we had to try it out while in its country of origin…

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Akifumi Ikeda leading the way…

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Somewhere on our way to the city, at a random stop light, I snapped this photo of some Japanese car heads looking over their Nissans in front of a convenience store…

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Thanks again to Takeshi for driving us around in his Toyota Sienna. It honestly felt very weird to be in a left-hand drive vehicle in Japan. We were even listening to popular American radio stations streamed through Takeshi’s cell phone….

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After about an hour or so, we arrived in the city. Takeshi and the rest of the guys decided to take us to a local shopping mall in the area where the Ramen spot was in. Upon arrival I spotted this Honda in the parking lot on some TE37s. I am not very familiar with this particular model and I wish I would have looked closely to see what it was, but I was too hungry at that point to care. Oh, one other thing that I should point out is that in parking lots in Japan, it is customary to park ass-in. Everybody was parked this way and probably just done out of convenience. You couldn’t really do that here because people drive like fucking idiots and it would take longer for them to figure out how to back into a parking spot, causing even more parking lot congestion. Also notice the random Chevy Suburban in the background, haha…

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Hideo Shingu and friends inside the Ramen spot. It took a while to get seated since we had such a large party with us but it was expected…

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May looking at some specials on the wall and not understanding it because it was all in Japanese…

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Yosiyuki Hatano ordering his meal…

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These noobs went and ordered a special set meal, not realizing that their Ramen was missing the most important element: MEAT…Pork or “Cha-shu” Ramen is the most common and most delicious but these guys got meatless Ramen because they are noobs…

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Akifumi Ikeda taking a picture of us with his iPhone…

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The cool thing about their set meals was that it came with a plate of Gyoza (dumplings) and a scoop of delicious fried rice…

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Ikeda chowing down angrily on his hot ass Ramen noodles…

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Not gonna lie, it felt a little odd being on the other end of the camera, and there were lots of them…

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I let my Gyoza sit in the Ponzu sauce for maximum salty-ness…

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While those schmucks were eating their meatless Ramen, I was busy eating the Jenna Jameson of Ramen. I had fucking meat curtains everywhere… If the Jenna Jameson reference is a little too dated for you, please replace with your favorite current pornstar, i.e. Kagney Linn Carter, Lexi Belle, Holly Michaels, Asa Akira, etc…

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Random shot of Takeshi post-meal…

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Payment for our meal, coins and all. Coin currency is actually very important in Japan, unlike it is here where coins just sit in the gaps of our seats and all over our desks. There are only a couple of larger bills and everything else is in coin-form. And another interesting fact for those that haven’t been to Japan is that you don’t have to tip with your bill. Tipping apparently is a city in China because you don’t have to tip at any restaurant in Japan. You pay for your meal and leave with the satisfaction of knowing that your service is always an enjoyable one so you don’t have to pay them extra for a job that they are supposed to do well. Takeshi has admitted that the tipping system here in America is often a confusing one and that is why he doesn’t eat at sit-down restaurants unless he is with us…

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After we finished eating, we walked around the mall for awhile and just hung out. We also ended up at a book store where Joy was looking for a particular Hyper Rev issue that she hadn’t been able to find. It was getting late so they dropped us off at the train station where we headed back to our area. It was a great and I’m really happy that I had the opportunity to experience the Honda Collection Hall with good friends…

On our way back to Shinagawa, Der mentioned that Ken from Wek’Sos was hanging out in Shibuya. You guys probably remember Shibuya from Part 1 of the coverage. That is where the infamous “F&F” intersection was as well as the Don Quixote store with all the random stuff. We had heard that the night life there was pretty crazy so we wanted to go back and check it out. Since it was on the way back for us anyway, we stopped by to meet up with Ken…

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I can’t really say anything really exciting happened while we were there. It took us some time to get to Shibuya so by the time we got to that part of the city, we were hungry again. We met up with Ken, walked around the city for a little bit and them stopped at a local food chain to grab some snacks…

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Along the way, we also stopped by another book store, that was just hot as fuck. I know Japan is cold but the Japanese sure do love their heaters. They crank that shit up on full blast and every time I walked inside a store I started sweating. On our way out the door, I saw this Japanese book about “The Hills”… How do you translate “Fake scripted TV show about some lame white rich girls” in Japanese??…haha… Well that concluded our Sunday night. We hopped on a train back to Shinagawa and it was pretty uneventful after that. We weren’t all that tired yet so we stopped by to grab some beers at a local pub, but it wasn’t anything worth documenting. Just imagine us sitting in a small ass bar drinking Kirin in a room that was probably 90 degrees Fahrenheit because the heater was cranked so high…

End of Sunday and moving on to Monday where we woke up early to take a train to Osaka…

For those unfamiliar with Japan, Osaka isn’t exactly close to Tokyo. I know on a map Japan just looks like a small island but in reality, it isn’t small at all. Taking the train from Shinagawa to Osaka is right around three hours so we had to take off from the hotel early for the trip. If we left any later we might end up losing most of the day to just traveling and checking into our hotel so we did our best to leave by 9 am. Osaka is home to our friends from Tactical Art so it was important that we met up with them after they made the journey out here to the U.S. just a couple months before. Ayako, their friend and English translator, had become good friends with us after our SEMA trip last year and she went as far as to take days off of her work just to show us around Osaka….

I should mention that in the later photos you’ll notice an absence of Joy Abdalla and Salem from our group. Joy decided to stick around in Tokyo for the reminder of her time there since she had a ton of shopping left to do and Salem stayed behind as well to hang out with Ken. The two of them wouldn’t rejoin us until a day later when we met up for our farewell dinner in Japan…

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While it was fun taking the rail system everywhere, I honestly don’t miss it at all. It is super convenient but just the stress of always having to be there at the right time and waiting for the trains to come was kind of tedious. For our travel to Osaka, we hopped aboard a Shinkansen (Japanese bullet train). These trains were much faster than the conventional trains you take from stop to stop within the city and also provided individual seating where you can relax and eat. The above photo is Ryan eating his morning Onigiri on the way to Osaka…

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Something we did not expect was the heavy snowfall that occurred the moment we left Tokyo. It ended up coming down really hard in Tokyo as we took off on the Shinkansen. I was just discussing with May how it wasn’t cold enough to snow yet and then it started snowing like crazy, making me sound like a complete dumbass…

We didn’t do much for the next three hours. I think I slept or whatever and tried to rest my back. Since we were leaving our hotel in Tokyo, we had to bring all of our belongings with us. The shitty part of that was my heavy-ass rolling luggage broke and would no longer roll. I had to drag the luggage everywhere we went and I ended up fucking up my back pretty good…

Okay so three hours later, we finally arrive in Osaka…

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Waiting at the train station to meet us in Osaka as our friend Ayako Kawato. She is from Osaka so she knew her way around and would show us to our hotel. When we got to the Namba Oriental hotel, Yasutaka and Kazuya from Tactical Art were already there waiting to take us to lunch…

They wanted to take us out to try some traditional Osaka cuisine so we ended up down the street from our hotel at a spot that serves Okonomiyaki, which is a style of Japanese pancake popularized in Osaka. I liken it more to an omelette since they pack so much stuff into a bunch of eggs but hey, I’ll roll with tradition, so let’s call it a pancake…

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I don’t believe we drank a whole lot of water while we were in Japan. We either had drinks from the vending machines or we drank beer because it was basically free EVERYWHERE we ate…

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Again, beer was our version of water there…

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The way they serve Okonomiyaki was this; the waiter comes by and you tell them everything you want in it and then they cook it right in front of you on a grille at your table…In the photo are some of the ingredients from the Okonomiyaki that Ryan, Nick, Kazuya, and Yasutaka ordered…

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Our server tossing the ingredients onto the grille…

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Our Japanese pancake had all types of shit in it…bacon, cheese or something, green onions, some squid maybe, I don’t remember but it was fucking delicious…

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Waiting for the Okonomiyaki to cook…

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After some steady grilling and a flip…

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After both sides have been grilled to Japanese perfection, they then lay down some sauce and Mayo. Mayonnaise is huge in Japanese cuisine and they put that shit on everything…It’s like the American equivalent of butter, haha…

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Der waiting to take a picture of the Okonomiyaki…

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Ayako cutting up the Okonomiyaki for us…

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Kazuya Kawashima enjoying a smoke after his meal…

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After we finished eating, we went walking around the Dotonbori, which is a famous tourist destination in Osaka that runs along the Dotonbori canal…

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The Kani Doraku Crab…

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Giant Asahi sign located in the center of the Dotonbori. The interesting thing about that area was that it was once popularly known as the red light district of Osaka. That’s why you see brightly lit signs and all types of flamboyance everywhere. It isn’t like that anymore but the extravagance of the area remains…

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Here you can see the Dotonbori canal. In the distance, is the famous…

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…Glico neon sign that bears a running man on a blue track with some of Japan’s most famous landmarks in the distance. It’s a very popular tourist spot in Osaka for photos and has stood there since it was first created in 1935…

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May spent time at some of Dotonbori’s many shops while we hung out on the street and people-watched…

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That is pretty much a wrap for today. After we did some touristy stuff, we hopped on the subway to head back to the parking lot where Yasutaka had parked. Next stop….Tactical Art…

Stay tuned for more and thanks for looking…

10 thoughts on “The Chronicles 2013 Japan Trip…Part 8: The Meal After Motegi and We Begin Our Journey To Osaka…

  1. Jdmhondacivicfiend says:

    Awesome as usual. Can’t wait for more.

  2. eddie hanson says:

    dope coverage man keep up the extravagant work!! the coverage is ill-mac feels like im mobbin right along courtside witcha guys lol!!! cant wait to visit japan nd do some exploring as well…thanks for all your hard work nd dedication day after day!!! keep it sticky!

  3. nothing about the huge one piece poster behind the ashahi poster… tsk tsk

  4. Rudi says:

    haha i was about to say the same thing! straw hats!

  5. Denneth...VainzCustoms says:

    The honda on Te37’s is a Honda Avancier same specs as a US Honda Accord 1999 and on…Nice pics I enjoy this blog…Greetings from Curaçao

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