The Chronicles 2014 Japan Trip Coverage… Part 8: We Go To Arvou With L2P And Then Some Adventures On The Tokyo Highway…

Good to know that everyone seemed to enjoy last night’s update featuring the guys from Lowered2Perfection. I know not everything I cover will always be universally popular with everyone, but when going on trips like this in other parts of the world, I try my best to capture everything that I see. The variety is what makes this site unique and though I am a dedicated Honda-based site, I am a car lover at heart and love to see everything. Tokyo Auto Salon was fun but it is more for those enthusiasts who enjoy cars that may otherwise seem unattainable to most. The guys that really enjoy the content like yesterdays are the ones who are into things that they relate to with modified cars that are definitely attainable. The food stuff and random things that I cover are more for my friends and for those who really care to see the more personal side of what I do. That entire package is what has helped the site to grow so much over the years. You see a lot of other sites trying to attempt to be more personal but it just doesn’t always translate. You get a deeper sense of who we are because you’ve gotten to see these people regularly here on the site over time so they seem like people you would just hang out with on the regular. For my friends and family, they just like to see what kind of bullshit I’m up to when I am off in some random place. This is life through my eyes and I’m overjoyed that so many of you people care to be a witness to it…

For today’s update, we continue forward with our visit with the Lowered2Perfection guys. Not only were they nice enough to treat us to lunch and grace us with wonderful gifts, they also decided to take us for a visit to Arvou, located in the Tochigi Prefecture. When they first offered to take us there, I thought it was because it was relatively close to where we were meeting up. It turns out that that was not the case at all. Arvou is actually located in a mystical forest in the middle of nowhere in Tochigi, which is maybe 40 minutes to an hour away from where we were at in Maebashi. Those of you who saw the update yesterday got to see our meet with L2P and IB Complete before some of us set off on our drive to Arvou. The photos you will be looking at today consist of our arrival there. If you are unfamiliar with Arvou, then you are probably not a diehard Japanese car head. Arvou has been around for years now but isn’t necessarily as big a tuning company as the familiar names like GReddy or HKS. They primarily deal with the tuning and modification of the S2000 platform but also dabble with the Lotus brand and with many other Japanese tuner vehicles. Their demo car for a long time now has been a Honda S2000. The car has participated in many different types of events but has recently been upgraded with an HKS GT Supercharger kit. Maiham Media put together a great video on it that you can view below.

Once you get through that great piece of video, I invite you to check out the photos from our visit below. The white S2000 you see in the following photos is the same S2000 you see in the video. Everything else is just as new to me as it was to you since I too have never actually seen any other photos from around their shop. As expected it wasn’t too big of a location but it was in a very picturesque location so it provided for some cool shots. After the Arvou coverage, we move onto some spontaneous adventures in Tokyo as we visit a car meet at Tatsumi PA, which is located on the side of their highway system….

Before we begin, I would just like to personally thank Takeru Tojo, Masaku Fukuda, and the rest of the great people from L2P and IB Complete that we had the pleasure of meeting that day. It was an incredible time and one of those moments that I will hold onto for a very long time. I am deeply appreciative of their efforts and look forward to seeing them again in the near future. Thank you so much guys!…

Today is just one of many adventures I went on during my ten day stay in Japan. To see what else I’ve been up to up until this point, 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…

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

…And now, S2000 heaven at Arvou Motor Sports Service…

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We arrived at Arvou just around the “golden hour”, which made for some great natural lighting for photography. You add some beautiful cars to this sunset and you got some good content on your hands…

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Here’s what the outside of Arvou Motor Sports Service looks like. It’s not terribly big but much bigger than many of the other shops that I had seen previously. It only stood on its own lot too so there was a lot of cars outside and old scrap parts laying around….

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The first thing that I became obsessed with was this old GAB Sport sign posted outside of their front door. As a car nerd, I love stuff like this and wanted to offer to buy it from them but had no real means of bringing it back home. Old stuff like this would definitely be great as a collector’s item in my office…

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Parked in their lot was this retired EK9 CTR race vehicle adorned in Walker Japan aero. You’ve undoubtedly seen the Air Walker front bumper many, many times over the years…

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…but even for me, it is rare to see an Air Walker rear bumper. Crazy how the front bumper became incredibly popular but the rear bumper never really made much noise over here in the states. Not sure why as I always felt it looked much sleeker and better designed than the more popular C-West rear. As mentioned, this car has probably seen better days and just kind of sits out here at Arvou now a ghost of its former self. It didn’t even have proper wheels on it. Makes you wonder if it is just a cruiser now on some winter tires. Nonetheless, it was great to see in person…

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Thought this decal was cool sitting on the rear pillar of the EK9. Looked like someone tore the head off at one point and put it back on….

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An overhead shot of the Air Walker EK9, parked right in front of a huge tire rack display with tires just out in the open with no security. Again, the Japanese are different and respect private property. I don’t imagine they have very many people coming by and stealing tires from their rack…

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Across the street from Arvou was a Eneos gas station that was eerily quiet…

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I didn’t look around inside the shop very long as I was anxious to see the cars but they had some cool stuff. There were a lot of old wheels and racing seats just laying around….

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On display was this Arvou Blade-R titanium exhaust that I’m sure many S2000 owners could only dream of owning… It can be your’s for a price tag of just under $2000 USD….

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Der seemed to be a fan of Arvou…

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Their work space not only consisted of their own S2000 demo car, but also customer cars and a wrecked S2000 that they were salvaging for parts….

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Laid out near the cars were a hoard of stock S2000 exhaust systems and a couple damaged, trashed, or old aftermarket exhausts. I liked this Kakimoto exhaust in particular and snapped a shot of it that turned out to be one of my favorite photos from the entire trip….

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It was cool to finally see this S2K in person after seeing so many photos of it online. I really like the Powerhouse Amuse Legalo Face aero kit for this platform, especially the front fenders and how it flows into the front bumper and canard….

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Here is the HKS GT Supercharger that was spotlighted in the video that you saw above. I mentioned to HKS engineer Keisuke Morita during TAS ’14 that we were planning on going to Arvou and since they work so closely together, Morita actually called Arvou to let them know that we were coming. Way better than just popping up at their shop randomly and expecting a tour or whatever….

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Notice the duckbill rear spoiler mounted to the trunk along with the huge GT spoiler….

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Nestled behind the beefy Advan RGIII wheels were massive AP Racing brakes….

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As I mentioned, Arvou deals with the Lotus Elise/Exige chassis extensively and has their own line of products for them…

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I was lucky enough to score one of these Arvou decals and brought it all the way back home without damaging it. Not sure what I’ll do with it but I’ll probably hang it up somewhere around my office….

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Taguchi’s Integra Type R and Tojo’s Element S/C in the makeshift parking lot at Arvou…

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They were working on S2000 that looks like it’ll be pretty incredible once its done. It had ASM aero and widened front fenders…

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…and under the hood, it had a set of TODA individual throttle bodies complete with the carbon air box and all….

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Their shop was tidy but pretty crowded with tools and what not. They even had a dyno there for tuning…

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The other side of the shop was pretty empty. You can see an black EG in there that turned out to be pretty stock….

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Shota Mori and friends taking a closer look at the engine bay of the Arvou S2K…

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A better look at the engine bay with the supercharger installed….

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Some more friends of L2P arrived while we were there, including a guy who drove this DC5 Integra on 17×9 Enkei RPF1…

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The rear of the AP2 Arvou demo vehicle….

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Some more S2000s showed up soon after so there was more cool stuff to check out…

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I really liked this AP2 with mis-matched Volk Racing wheels. I love this look, especially when both wheels are in the same finish but have completely different faces…

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Great color choice as well and suits the Volk bronze finish perfectly….

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Pulling straight into the bay of Arvou was this white-on-white AP2 that also featured the Amuse Legalo Face aero and fenders….

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Unlike the HKS supercharged one, this had ASM over fenders added…

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Voltex rear spoiler and ASM rear bumper that flows into the rear over fender….

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In the little parking area, I caught a glimpse of this CR-X on Hokuto Racing wheels….

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Tojo told me that Norifumi Kobayashi was also coming by to meet us and so I finally got to see his Accord Wagon in person for the first time. This is one of my favorites from Japan because I love the execution of this build with the Work Emotion CR-Ultimates and green accents used throughout…

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The rear of Kobayashi’s wagon….

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…And one more of his Accord Euro Wagon parked next to Tomohiro Chujo’s FD2 CTR….

I forgot to explain just how cold it was out there in Tochigi. I mean, Japan in general was pretty cold but man, Tochigi was fucking COLD. We hung out outside of Arvou for awhile and just chatted before the guys took us to the train station. We didn’t want to risk missing the Shinkansen back to Tokyo so we rushed straight from our drop-off point straight to the train. With all the cold and then running around the train station and getting all hot, I think I got sick from it and was just fucked up the whole day after that. It’s not unsurprising to have a runny nose or something while in Japan but I’m sure I caught a bad flu while we were out in Tochigi. My body was sore and aching, my nose was running uncontrollably, and I developed a flemmy cough. I think this point was when Ryan Der got sick as well. We were both pretty messed up but marched on as we had a meeting with some other friends in the late evening….

While we were walking around Tokyo Auto Salon, we ran into two guys (they were white) who recognized us. Richard Ikeman and Andrew Bannister were followers of both The Chronicles and Rywire and were in the military. They were stationed out in Japan and had become pretty familiar with the Tokyo automotive community and offered to show us around. One of the spots that they wanted to take us to was the famed Daikoku Futo parking lot. This lot is a big gathering spot for Japanese enthusiasts and since TAS was wrapping up that Sunday, there was supposed to be a lot of cars heading out there after. We had never been and it was one of those things that was on our automotive bucket list so we were happy to go check it out with them. They seemed like good dudes so we were about 75% sure they weren’t going to take us to a cheap motel and rape us. If they did, our adventures in Japan would have gone in a completely different direction but we were willing to take the chance. I mean, there was only two of them and three of us so they really couldn’t hate-fuck all of us so at least one of us (hopefully me) would be able to come back to the U.S. to tell you this story. In all seriousness though, it was really nice of them to offer to take us around so we got the directions to take the train out to their area where they would pick us up….

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Andrew aka Highwaystarandrew on Instagram came out first to meet us in his S13 coupe project he had recently started. Soon after, Richard (@garagespec on IG) pulled up in his wife’s Honda SMX and we headed out to Daikoku Futo. Richard was re-locating to Washington and went into length about his Skyline build that he was bringing with him to his new home in the U.S. The car had recently been featured on Speedhunters as well so for sure he wasn’t going to rape us. You can see his feature HERE…. At that point, I was sick as a dog and was literally just laying down in the back of his wife’s car. I honestly felt bad because I wasn’t a more gracious guest but I was just not in any condition to really talk. I think I actually left like a lot of money in the back seat of that car too because most Japanese currency is in coin-form and that shit was just following out of my pocket as I laid there dying of a flu. It’s okay though because I didn’t know how to use those coins anyways….

So while Der was chatting with Richard, Ryan was in the S13 with Andrew. We pulled up to Daikoku Foto only to realize that it was closed for the evening. Maybe the cops had gotten word that there would be a ton of cars out there that night and just shut that place down. There were smaller meet-up areas along the Tokyo highway and so we regrouped and headed to a different spot known as Tatsumi PA. Tatsumi was much smaller in comparison to Daikoku but it was a regular hot spot for Japanese enthusiasts to meet up at. There are often a variety of really cool cars that and this night proved to be no different. The moment we got there, it was car porn Japan. If seeing all these cars together on the side of the highway wasn’t cool enough, we also had Tokyo as a beautiful night backdrop. It was perfect…except for the fact that my nose kept running and I felt like shit but I perked up, grabbed my camera, and walked around….

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The first car that caught my attention was this orange R35 GTR with complete AB Flug aero kit. I have never seen this kit in person and had scarcely seen it online so I stood there and studied it for a good 15 minutes (I lied, I didn’t time myself. I did stare though)….

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Seeing all these wild cars was a stark contrast to the really clean, simple Hondas that we had seen just earlier in the day. This above is a Z33 Fairlady with full VeilSide kit, which was a kit that I didn’t even know existed until that night….

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Up in the very front of the Tatsumi PA lot were a row of FD3S RX-7s that were all built differently with wild aero. This crazy-looking RX-7 that you see above is the RE Amemiya “Genki 7″…

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Parked right next to it was this FEED Afflux Ver. V FD on gold Advan Racing RS….

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VeilSide Fortune Model RX-7, which is a kit you’d probably recognize if you watched The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift….

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Not 100% sure which kit this is but it almost looks a little mild compared to the other three…

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Check out the rear bumper of this R34 Skyline GT-R, haha…Richard had seen this Skyline a couple times before and from what he said, this thing is a fucking beast…

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Anytime I see a black Porsche in Japan, I can’t help but think of the Wangan Midnight series. If you aren’t aware, a black Porsche was a central character in that series and it was known as the “Blackbird”….Fitting that I see one while actually in Tokyo…

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This one looked really good on Tokyo Time Attack TE37s…

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There was so much more to look at that night but I just couldn’t muster enough energy to take more photos, and I apologize for that. I ended up drinking some hot coffee from a vending machine and sitting in Richard’s car the rest of the time until Der gave up as well and decided to get out of the cold. Let me remind you that this was on the side of the highway so the wind was just really strong and it didn’t do anything but make me more sick. I really wish I had captured more because there was such a huge variety of cars there but it is just one of those things where I had to look out for my health since I still had another week in Japan. Again sorry to Richard and Andrew for not being more talkative and taking the time to really get to hang out with them more. I’m sure we will reconnect somewhere down the line in the future. Thanks to them for making the effort and being gracious enough to drive us to check out all these cool cars and then drive us all the way back to the hotel after. It is always great to meet new friends who are car guys, especially in another country where it was at times hard to get past the language barrier…

That’s all for today. I hope you guys enjoyed the content this week and there is still much more to come. Of course we have my visit to Spoon Sports and Type One but that is just the tip of the iceberg, or however that saying works, stay tuned!!….

10 thoughts

  1. I really dig that a lot of these shops that are kind of famous to us are really small. There really is no substitute for the desire to achieve and passion for what they do.

  2. 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

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

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

  5. 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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