The Chronicles 2014 Japan Trip Coverage… Part 5: Dinner with friends from Osaka and Day 2 of TAS ’14…

My adventures and experiences in Japan just would not be remotely the same without my friends from Osaka… I mean, I’d still be going to Tokyo Auto Salon and what not but everything that we do after the show would be significantly different if my buddies from Japan aren’t around. It’s crazy to see people tagging their friends in my Instagram posts saying “oh I can’t wait to see this in Japan” because honestly, not to be an asshole or anything, you wouldn’t have the same type of experience as I would. You can ask Mark from Fatlace or Sean from Narita Dog Fight and they would probably agree that their trips are significantly better because they know people there. I’m blessed to have great people around me and when I am in Japan, I am pretty well taken care of by friends. Ryan from Rywire always tells us about how different his original trip to Japan a few years back was compared to our recent trips. He originally went with another friend and didn’t know anyone. They didn’t even really communicate with anyone else during their stay there and felt like complete outcasts while they were there. Because the lines of communication have opened thanks to creating The Chronicles, our experiences are unlike any other. It is pretty amazing to know that we will always have something to do while we are there. Our stay in Tokyo is pretty business-oriented during the day. We go to the hotel, take the train everywhere, and just go to the TAS show and that’s about it. After the show ends is when the fun begins. Last year, we were honored to have dinner with the guys from USDM Magazine and USDM Freax magazine. Those dinners are kind of formal because you are meeting new people but they are also fun because you try different types of food and what not. This year, it was much more relaxed because we got to hang out with our friends from Osaka who also made the journey over to Tokyo for the show. Hiro Ueda is always with Ken from Wekfest during TAS because they are really good friends and also because Hiro is helping to organize the Wekfest Japan event that is set to debut this year. The Tactical Art guys just come to Tokyo to check out the show and to hang out with us. Keisuke Morita, one of the guys that I met initially when I first met the crew from Tactical Art, is one of the chief engineers at HKS Japan and very good friends with the Yasutaka and Atsuki. He’s there working for HKS of course but after the show ends, he comes along to chill with us as well. Our dinners are always entertaining because we try a lot of different types of food that we would NEVER try here in America. There is just something about being in a unique environment like Japan that allows you to live a little more freely and to try new foods. Beers are always flowing as well so it is always entertaining when people get some alcohol in them after a long day of walking around…

Most of my memories from my journeys to Japan are with these guys. I didn’t get to see Takeshi this time around but Takeshi is always here in America to hang out so I look forward to spending time with him whenever he can make it out. I’ll admit, it was a little weird not seeing him during that time but he isn’t exactly close to Tokyo so I totally understood why he couldn’t make the trip down. These trips are mainly about cars but it is great to be able to meet amazing people because we all share a mutual hobby. This hobby helps to connect different types of people from all over the world together. If not for this hobby, I’d never have met many of the people in my life that I consider to be my best friends today. I couldn’t even imagine what my trips would be like without my friends in Japan and hopefully I’ll never have to. I even extend my stays in Japan just so we can hang out because I only get to see some of these guys once or twice a year. Hopefully the photos help to tell that story but I am forever appreciative of the times we have together…

The food is very interesting. Again, there is some stuff that I ate in Japan that I would never even want to attempt to eat here in America. Things are just….different there. Food preparation is different, the meat is different because they don’t inject random hormones and chemicals into them, and you are just willing to be more adventurous because you know that the Japanese take pride in what they create. Here at home, it just seems that corporations are out to make money and people prepare food merely because they have to and it is their job to do so. You’ll see what I’m talking about in the photos when you see the cuts of meat and all the oddball stuff that we try…

To review any of the previous four posts, click the links provided below. Please make sure to view them all in sequence if you want the coverage to flow seamlessly…

The Chronicles 2014 Japan Trip Coverage… Part 1: An Intro, An RWB Meet, and TAS ’14 Coverage…

The Chronicles 2014 Japan Trip Coverage… Part 2: Tokyo Auto Salon Coverage Begins…

The Chronicles 2014 Japan Trip Coverage… Part 3: Tokyo Auto Salon Coverage Continues…

The Chronicles 2014 Japan Trip Coverage… Part 4: The End of Day 1 of TAS ’14…

Today, we’re going to be taking a look at our dinner after the first day of Tokyo Auto Salon ’14 and then move forward into some more parking lot coverage from day 2. The rest of the Tokyo Auto Salon is pretty short so it’ll probably just need one more post for completion. After that wraps, we will move onto our adventures in Gunma and then Osaka, Japan…. Enjoy…

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After the Tokyo Auto Salon show closed-up at 6 pm, we all met up and headed-out to dinner. We took the train to get to the Makuhari Messe in the morning, but the Tactical Art guys were kind enough to give us a ride to dinner. Hiro and Ken were already on their way so we wanted to make sure we got to the restaurant in a timely manner. Above is Keisuke Morita from HKS Japan who ended up driving us to dinner….

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Someone had mentioned that Keisuke was driving one of the HKS demo cars and sure enough, we all hopped into a brand new Honda Odyssey that belonged to HKS which had a really cool HKS graphical livery on it. I couldn’t get a good shot of it because it was so dark but this mini-van was really nice. I’d never been in a new Japanese market Odyssey before so it was cool to ride in one…

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The Tactical Art guys were cruising with us in a slammed Toyota Prius…

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Since these guys weren’t from Tokyo, they also had to map out the directions to the restaurant that we were having dinner at…

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It is nice to be able to get a ride through Tokyo in a car rather than using the train system. There is nothing wrong with the trains as they are incredibly efficient, you just don’t see any of the sights and landmarks of Tokyo because you are often underground. Above is the famed “Rainbow Bridge” of Tokyo. If you have ever played Tokyo Xtreme Racer on PS2, you’d probably recognize this bridge because it is an important landmark in that video game….

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During our highway cruise, I spotted this random Integra Type R…

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Once we arrived, Ken and Hiro from Wekfest Japan were already there waiting for us…

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Taku Kusugami aka “Japanese ATS Anh” joined us…

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Rywire Ryan enjoying a beer with our good friend and translator Ayako…

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Beef tongue and JBBQ was our meal for the night….

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Yasutaka from Tactical Art and Keisuke from HKS Japan…

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Fine cuts of Japanese beef..

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Cook it rare and enjoy immediately…

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Hiro Ueda from KC Trading, one of the key organizers of this year’s Wekfest Japan event set to take place in May….

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Just look at that marbleization….

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Beeyan Hamada reppin’ Rywire and [Hoonigan]…

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Horse Sashimi (raw horse meat) with a raw egg yolk on top…

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The horse meat was sliced up and you mix it up with the egg yolk before consuming. I was a little iffy about it but I gotta say, it was pretty delicious. Once you get passed that initial fear, it’s just like eating anything else. It is more of a mental thing…

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What was more intimidating was the beef sashimi, which is just a thin slice of raw beef wrapped around a small piece of Japanese rice. I’ve gotten pretty used to eating rare beef as I got older, I prefer it actually in my steaks, but eating a slice that was completely raw and uncooked was interesting…

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I tried a piece and that was the extent of it, but I couldn’t even tell you what it tastes like because it really doesn’t taste like anything, haha. It’s pretty bland to be honest. Again, it is just more of a mental thing that makes you not want to eat it because you’re so trained to not eat uncooked meat but hey, as they say “when in Rome, do as the Romans do”. In this case, it was “When in Tokyo, eat some raw ass meat and pray your brain doesn’t trigger you to throw it back up”, haha…Would I eat it again? Sure why not…I’m sure there are more than a couple different variations as to how to prepare Beef Sashimi that probably taste better than this particular style… If you’re wondering, no that isn’t how Ryan Der holds his chopsticks, we were just fucking around and wanted to make sure we got a good shot of the beef before he ate it…

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Taku was rocking his “1-2-3 Kid/Xpac” hairdo….

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It was also Ken’s birthday so Hiro surprised him with a Japanese birthday cake with candles and all…

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I was beyond full so I didn’t try any, but it looked really good…

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After dinner, we hung out for a little bit before we were dropped off back at the Shinagawa Prince hotel. Once I got back, I unloaded my goodies from the day. My favorite acquisition was this hoodie from Aimgain International. It’ll go nicely with my Aimgain aero kit once it comes in from Japan for my Y33 Q45….

It was a great first day at Tokyo Auto Salon and I can’t believe I took as many photos as I did. I mean, we are already on Part 5 of my Japan trip coverage and we are barely getting into Day 2 of Tokyo Auto Salon. Anyways, after I unloaded my stuff and put all my batteries in their chargers, I got some sleep. Day two was going to be a lot easier as I already got most of my photos that I wanted from TAS. There was a large section that I had missed that I wanted to make sure I captured, but for the most part, the hard work was done…

The next morning, we got ready and set off for the Makuhari Messe once again for Tokyo Auto Salon. The Ryans wanted to make sure they got some food in before the long day so we decided to grab some curry. Japanese Curry was the only thing we didn’t get to eat last year so we made it a priority to get some before we forgot….

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Here is the Curry Pork Katsu over rice that I ordered. The menu was all in Japanese and the guy working didn’t understand any English at all so it was basically a guessing game. I just pointed at something thinking it was chicken but of course, it ended up being pork. They had different levels of spiciness too but luckily I got that right…

After brunch, we walked over to the parking lot of TAS ’14 to see what we could find. I thought since Saturday was supposed to be the busier day that there would be more cars to see in the parking lot….and I was wrong… I think maybe we got there too late because it didn’t seem like there was much to see in the lot compared to the day prior. Still, we walked around capturing whatever caught our eyes….

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The first car that caught my attention was this R30 Skyline “Iron Mask” with fender flares and SSR Formula Mesh wheels…

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I fucking LOVE JZX100 Toyota Chasers so it was awesome to see this one with an aggressive aero kit. I’m not 100% sure, but I believe this is a BN Sports kit…

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Nice and simple Fairlady Z on RS Watanabes…

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Eunos Roadster on polished 2-piece Work Meister S1…

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Like the Chaser, I also absolutely love R34 Skyline 4-doors…I think I’ve always been a sedan guy so these always appealed to me, especially since you never saw them as much as the regular two-door coupes…

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Here is another Skyline sedan, this one with a full URAS aero kit…

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VIP-styled Honda Elysion mini-van…

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Honda Torneo Euro-R…

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Only in Japan will you see a hoard of kitted FD RX-7s just sitting in the parking lot…

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Mitsubishi Colt Ralliart with Wilwood brakes and bronze Volk Racing CE28Ns…

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Works-styled Suzuki Alto on Work Equip 01…

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Nissan Y34 Cedric on silver concave Enkei RP03s…

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Clean two-toned AE86 Corolla Levin from Auto Factory….

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Slammed 2nd generation Toyota Soarer flared on seated on black-faced SSR Formula Mesh wheels… Love the bent rear license plate, haha…

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Another vehicle that was pasted to the pavement was this Subaru Legacy on WED’s wheels. I actually saw the owner get into the car and wanted to see how he drove this thing but he took so long getting situated that I just couldn’t wait anymore and moved along….

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I really liked this R32 GT-R on bronze TEs…Love the bronze on white and the simplicity of the exterior. If you look closely, you can also see the cage in the interior….

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Junya Nakata’s R34 Skyline Sedan that I also spotted on day 1 of TAS ’14…

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FD3S equipped with full R-Magic aero kit and polished Advan RGII…

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RB1 Odyssey Absolute on WED’s SA55M…

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If you guys know me, you must know about my obsession for GTR-faced Advan RG wheels. I fucking love them and have always wanted a set. I’ve been able to find a couple sets in gold but the white ones have always eluded me. When I finally came upon a set on Yahoo Auctions, I just couldn’t afford them at the time. While I was scouring the lot, I finally got to see a set of white, GTR-face Advan RG1s for the first time and oh man, I wanted them so bad…

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VIP-styled Toyota Estima mini-van…

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Check out the bling in the headlights alone…some serious bedazzling going on in there…

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RE Amemiya-kitted RX-7 draped in orange….

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The last car that I captured in the parking lot was this EG Civic hatchback on WED’s wheels up front and Volk CEs in the rear. Also has a vented hood, roll bar, and a single Recaro bucket. Note the custom vent in the front bumper as well….

After not having much luck finding anything else cool in the lot, we made our way back over to the show so I could get the rest of my TAS coverage done…

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I kept seeing the Lexus Racing booth pop up on my Instagram feed so I went searching for it on day 2 so I could see it for myself. This was probably the best single display at TAS ’14. I just really dig how avant garde it is and how they took such a simple display and made it so eye-catching. I like how all the mannequins are wearing suits and how the walls were dressed-up with chandeliers. It’s a unique display that had everyone snapping photos of it all day….The whole thing is sort of random and doesn’t mean anything really but that’s the appeal. I guess it is their way of expressing the class in the Lexus brand and Toyota’s motorsports history…

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Nissan Y51 Cima from Rip-Laguna Niguel RK Design (I have no idea how they come up with their tuning company names) on MG-Forged wheels…

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Ferrari F430 Scuderia Spider from Auto Veloce…

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LB Performance widebody Murcielago…

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Auto Veloce’s Ferrari 458 Italia…

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R31 Skyline coupe on AME-produced Fatlace wheels…

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Closing it out for today with some shots of an incredibly rare Ferrari F40 LM at the Roberuta air suspension booth. For those unaware, Roberuta has long been considered the premier air suspension company in Japan so it only makes sense that they have an F40 LM on their air bag system. Their booth didn’t have flyers, merchandise, or anything. Just white carpet and an F40 on black centerlock Enkei wheels….

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The car was not only roped-off so that people couldn’t get near it, it was also the only car at Tokyo Auto Salon with its own private security guard on-hand at all times to watch it. You wanna talk about being a baller? Haha, you’re not ballin’ unless your car has its own security personnel….Fuck an alarm….

Thanks for looking. Part 6 coming tomorrow with the close of TAS ’14. Stay tuned!!….

8 thoughts

  1. Pingback: The Chronicles 2014 Japan Trip Coverage… Part 6: The Final Day Of Tokyo Auto Salon 2014… | The Chronicles© - No Equal Since 2008 | www.stickydiljoe.com

  2. Pingback: The Chronicles 2014 Japan Trip Coverage… Part 7: A Visit To Gunma To Meet The Guys From L2P And IB Complete… | The Chronicles© - No Equal Since 2008 | www.stickydiljoe.com

  3. Pingback: The Chronicles 2014 Japan Trip Coverage… Part 8: We Go To Arvou With L2P And Then Some Adventures On The Tokyo Highway… | The Chronicles© - No Equal Since 2008 | www.stickydiljoe.com

  4. Pingback: The Chronicles 2014 Japan Trip Coverage… Part 9: A Visit To Spoon Sports And Type One… | The Chronicles© - No Equal Since 2008 | www.stickydiljoe.com

  5. Pingback: The Chronicles 2014 Japan Trip Coverage… Part 10: A New Adventure Begins In Osaka… | The Chronicles© - No Equal Since 2008 | www.stickydiljoe.com

  6. Pingback: The Chronicles 2014 Japan Trip Coverage… Part 12: Winding Down In Kyoto… | The Chronicles© - No Equal Since 2008 | www.stickydiljoe.com

  7. Pingback: The Chronicles 2014 Japan Trip Coverage… Part 13 of 13: Closing Out Our Journey in Japan… | The Chronicles© - No Equal Since 2008 | www.stickydiljoe.com

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