The Chronicles 2014 Japan Trip Coverage… Part 7: A Visit To Gunma To Meet The Guys From L2P And IB Complete…

It’s pretty wild that we are already on Part 7 of this series and in real time, we are only covering the Sunday of my trip to Japan. If it seems like we did quite a bit in just three days time, believe me, it felt the exact same way while I was there. After Tokyo Auto Salon had ended, it had already felt like I was there for more than a week. I wouldn’t say I was homesick or anything, I think it just had more to do with mental and physical exhaustion from walking around so much and taking it all that TAS ’14 had to offer. It wasn’t really a problem though because I know that it is one of those once-in-a-lifetime things where you are there to build memories that most would only dream of doing…

As I mentioned early on, the rest of our time there in Japan was pretty much a toss-up. We didn’t really have anything major planned so we just kind of winged it. There were certainly things that I wanted to do, but it wasn’t like I would have objected if we didn’t actually do it. I just kind of wanted to take in whatever Japan had to offer and just let things play out however they will. A week or so prior to my trip, my Japanese friend Takeru Tojo contacted me about a possible meeting. Takeru is a member of a Japanese car club, Lowered 2 Perfection (L2P), and many of their members wanted to hang out. I had never met them personally but you’ve seen their cars multiple times here on the site as I’ve always documented their cars at various events. One of the guys that is a regular contributor to the site in Japan is Shota Mori, and he too wanted to come out and meet up. Mori is a huge part of this site and is responsible for covering whatever Japan has to offer during the times when I am not there and I am greatly appreciative of all that he does for me. I wanted to make it a point to meet him so it just seemed like a good time to do it since I was already in Japan for TAS. The only problem with that was that we had to arrange a meeting time during the weekend because I was set to head to Osaka the following week and would not have time. The L2P guys were out in Maebashi, which is out in Gunma and we had to take the bullet train to get there. It is relatively far from Tokyo so we had to leave really early to ensure that we would have a full day with these guys. Takeru set everything up and was even willing to pick us up from the train station when we arrived in Maebashi. I had no idea how many people were actually going to show up but we ended-up with a pretty large group. It was a really cool experience to meet all of them, even though it was difficult to communicate with the language barrier and all. I also wanted to take the time to finally see some of their cars in person. After seeing them multiple times in photos, it was nice to be able to see these cars for myself…

Though we were meeting in Maebashi, a lot of the guys came from different parts of the region and some had to make a long drive to meet us, which I am always appreciative of. Some of the guys also lived in areas where it was snowing and so they even switched out their winter wheels just so their cars looked good when they met us. I didn’t mind either way but it was a good feeling knowing that people cared enough to make a proper presentation upon meeting us. Not only were guys from L2P going out there, a couple guys from another car club, IB Complete, were also coming out. You’ve also seen the IB Complete guys’ cars on the site before. Below are some photos from that day. This is just the first half of it as later in the day, we all headed over to another area to go visit Arvou Motor Sports Service, which is a popular shop that deals mainly with the S2000 chassis. Hope you guys enjoy the photos and all the random things we did that day…

With so many nice Honda builds in this post, you’re bound to see some people take these images and re-post them on their IG feeds or whatever without giving any photo credit and redirect to this site. PLEASE DO NOT TAKE MY PHOTOS AND CROP MY WATERMARKS AND CLAIM THEM AS YOUR OWN. That is copyright infringement. If you are going to post them, at least provide a link to this site or provide original photo credit. If you see them elsewhere and the photos have been edited, they were stolen from STICKYDILJOE.COM.

To see the previous six parts of my Japan trip, click the links below…

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…

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

The Chronicles 2014 Japan Trip Coverage… Part 6: The Final Day Of Tokyo Auto Salon 2014…

…and now, we go to Gunma!…

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As stated, our day started out pretty early. I think we woke up around 8 am and got going right away. We stopped by the 7-11 by the hotel and grabbed some snacks and then went on our way to catch the Shinkansen (bullet train). I don’t remember exactly how long the train ride was but it was probably about an hours ride from Tokyo to Maebashi…

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A good thing about riding the Shinkansen as opposed to the regular train is that it was incredibly comfortable. The seats are huge, they recline, and you can even turn them around if you wanted to to face the row behind your…

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While it was Sunday in Japan, it was still Saturday afternoon back at home which meant that the NFL Playoffs were going on. Since Der is a huge 49ers fan, he decided to pull his laptop out to watch their rival Seattle Seahawks play. By now, I’m sure you guys already know the results as Seattle moved passed the Divisional Round, the Conference Championship by defeating the 49ers, and are now in the Super Bowl…

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I spent my time on the bullet train just enjoying the sights of Japan. We rarely get to see regular life in Japan so I just took in the view….

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Some areas that we stopped off at were pretty abandoned. Sunday is usually still a work day for the Japanese but some areas were just dead quiet…

To get to Maebashi, we actually had to get off at a main stop and then take a smaller, local train. Because we are still fairly new to Japan, we got lost for a little bit and had to back track just to get off on the right stop. By the time we got to the right stop, Takeru Tojo and L2P President Nori-san was already waiting for us. Der and I hopped in Tojo’s Element SC and Ryan got a ride in Nori’s USDM FA5 Civic Si sedan…

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Mr. Takeru Tojo, who deserves all the credit for arranging the meeting and for everyone to come together to hang out with us in Maebashi…

We took a quick drive over to an empty parking lot inside a strip mall where everyone was set to meet-up. We were the first ones there so we drank some coffee and chilled…

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This is Takeru’s Element SC. I’m sure many of you have seen it before online as it is a pretty popular build from Japan….

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Nori’s Civic Si that was imported from America. His Black Edition Volk TE37s were also from the U.S. which meant that he placed the order, waited for the wheels to be manufactured in Japan, shipped to America, and then shipped back to Japan. I think the entire process took about 7 months. You want to talk about our obsession here with all things “JDM”, the Japanese are equally as obsessed with the USDM culture….

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Tojo’s Mugen RR engine cover and custom valve cover which looks very reminiscent of SSR’s “Spectrum Silver” finish…pretty cool…

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Der, Takeru Tojo, and Rywire Ryan get together for a photo…

A couple minutes later, everyone started to show up. After a meet and greet, I decided to get some shots of their cars, which should look familiar to many of your Chronicles regulars….

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Kohei Taguchi’s Honda Integra Type R with BackYard Special front bumper and Sprint Hart CP-Rs. Always been a big fan of this car since I first saw it so it was nice to see how clean it was in person. He also has an OEM ITR front bumper with Spoon Sports carbon lip on it as well but he told me that he uses that only when he tracks the car. The Spoon lip hangs pretty low so he doesn’t really risk driving it around on the streets…

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Daisuke Ito’s Honda Integra Type R on bronze Mugen MF10s…

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Tomohiro Chujo’s FD2 Civic Type R with USDM FA5 rear trunk conversion and bright red Advan RGIIs…

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You guys may remember Akifumi Ikeda’s Honda Integra SI-VTEC from last year’s Japan trip coverage as he was the one that accompanied us to the Honda Collection Hall inside Twin Ring Motegi. From what he told us at the meet, he actually blew his motor and got the car running just in time to drive out to chill with us….

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Shunichi Hatta rolled up to our gathering with his winter wheels still on his Integra sedan. He also took his JDP front lip off for the winter season…

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Touma Kaga’s white on white EF Civic hatchback on Work RSZ-Rs…his car was probably the loudest one of the group…

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ES Civic from IB Complete on aggressive white Work Emotion CR wheels…

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Slammed Honda Accord Euro-R from IB Complete sitting on Work Emotion XD9….

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This EJ coupe from IB Complete looked like it had some rear suspension issues as the owner was making repairs to it shortly after he arrived…

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Front overhead shot of Taguchi’s ITR…

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A couple of the guys played with their R/C cars while we hung out and waited for more people to show up…

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Thanks to the guys from IB Complete for making the drive out….

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It’s always good to meet new friends, especially on the other side of the world…

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Chronicles’ Japanese contributor Shota Mori recently picked up this CB Accord with really low miles and decided to put on some 96-spec ITR wheels right there in the parking lot! Haha, never seen anything like it. He had coilovers for it too but I don’t think they were trying to put them on that day. Mori is a huge Accord guy and had to get this car after the motor finally died on his CA Accord…

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Masami Shibata and Shunichi Hatta….

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All white everything in various generations; Kaga’s EF9 SiR, Chujo’s FD2 CTR, and Taguchi’s DC2 ITR…

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Love the RSZ-Rs on Kaga’s hatchback…

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Masato Muraki’s U.S.-themed Honda NSX with red Status Racing seats and Avant Garde wheels…

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My heart skipped a beat when Masaki Fukuda showed up in his timeless Spoon-themed EG6 SiR…

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A group shot with everyone. It was a pretty awesome feeling that this many people showed-up just to meet us. Stuff like this is a reminder how just how far I have come and how much the site has grown over the past five years….

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After the group shot, we headed down the street to grab some quick lunch at a local Udon spot. This spot is a little different than what I’m used to as I’ve only had soup-based Udon in the past. This particular spot had soup-less Udon which I’ve never had the pleasure of trying before…

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Der and I were total tourists inside and tried to capture the Udon workers doing their thing…

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Here one of the employees is pulling a fresh Udon noodles from a hot water base…

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The noodles being prepped and put into a bowl to be served. We had no idea what to order since everything was in Japanese so we just let the guys from L2P order for us….

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Udon noodles being strained of water…

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A giant bundle of Tempura vegetables that one of the guys ordered along with their Udon…

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I’ll be the first to tell you that I prefer Ramen over Udon any day of the week, but this soupless Udon was actually quite good. You just eat it with soy sauce and top it with fried crunchy stuff and green onions. All in all, it was a great experience and I got hungry while I was going through these photos after I got back to the U.S….

While we were eating, Takeru got a phone call from one of the other guys who notified him that the police showed-up to break-up our meet in the parking lot. It’s not often you hear the police in Japan involved in anything so it was surprising to hear that they were kicking us out of the parking lot. We finished our meals and then walked back over to the lot to get the cars. They gave me the option to choose whichever car I wanted to ride in so of course, I picked Fukuda’s EG6….

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We had to find another destination to hang out in after we got booted so we drove down the street to a massive Costco parking lot to reunite with the others…

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Fukuda’s Civic on Spoon SW388s posted inside the Costco parking lot. For those that are unaware, yes, Costco does exist in Japan and it is quite popular…

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Koji Yonekawa showed up later in his EM1-inspired Civic coupe with BYS front bumper and silver Volk SE37Ks….

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Wataru Oseki’s Honda Element with AP Racing big brake kit and Advan Racing wheels also met up with us at Costco….

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Many of you are probably wondering why Fukuda’s SiR has no side moldings. That’s because he opted for a U.S. Civic CX-inspired look and had the moldings removed…

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Happy to see that Fukuda is a supporter of The Chronicles…

Once everyone regrouped at Costco, it was time to head over to Arvou. Not everyone went with us so we said our hellos and goodbyes before leaving….

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While I was in Fukuda’s EG, I was able to get some rolling shots of Taguchi’s ITR….

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There’s just nothing better than listening to a Buddy Club Spec II exhaust screaming on the highway at high speeds….

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Der actually took this shot with his camera while he was riding with Fukuda later but it seemed appropriate wedged in here during my ride along, haha… Thanks to Masaki Fukuda for the ride in his immaculately well-kept Civic…

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I didn’t realize how far Arvou actually was from Maebashi. During our drive we stopped over at a rest-stop and waited for everyone to catch-up….

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Touma Kaga’s EF once again…

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A rear quarter shot of Ikeda’s Integra on white TEs….

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Tomohiro Chujo’s FD2 CTR, which Ryan ended up riding in later….

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Really dig the OEM EK sides on this EG….

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Takeru Tojo’s Element was probably the lowest static Element I’d ever seen. Thing was firmly planted on the ground with the rear subframe constantly in range of the pavement…..

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We decided to switch things up a bit at the rest stop so I hopped into Kohei Taguchi’s Integra Type R… I can’t say I’ve ever been in a running Japanese ITR before so it was a cool experience…

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Tojo’s Element on the move with Shota Mori in the passenger seat snapping rolling shots…

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Ito’s DC5 Type R…

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…and we close out Part 7 with some rolling shots of Fukuda’s Spoon EG6…

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That’s a wrap for today. Our journey continues tomorrow as we finally arrive at Arvou Motor Sports Service, which ended-up being in the middle of absolutely nowhere. Stay tuned for much more content! Thanks for looking!!….

9 thoughts

  1. Woah. Excellent stuff, can’t get enough of Fukuda’s whip. I’m trying to keep desktops of this whole entire post (Udon and all), but clicking on the photos gives me a flickr 404 and the right-click save as method gives me pics that are 1024×560 or something in that range which is no bueno. Any help on that would be appreciated.

  2. 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

  3. 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

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

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

  6. 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

  7. Whenever I see JDM cars with USDM parts on them I think to myself there should be a 1-for-1 exchange for both Japanese and American car enthusiasts. Cut out the middleman and just make a swap of parts no muss no fuss. 🙂

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