The Chronicles 2014 Japan Trip Coverage… Part 10: A New Adventure Begins In Osaka…

Okay, so after the epic visit to Spoon Sports and Type One, we all got rested-up and though Der and I were both still very sick, we decided to move forward with our journey to Osaka. Going to Osaka isn’t like visiting Gunma or anything where we would just return to Tokyo afterwards; it is actually a couple hours away so we had to pack up our luggage and take the Shinkansen (bullet train) where we would stay in a hotel. We plan our trip out this way because Osaka is more of a hang-out for us while Tokyo is usually more business. Most of our friends are in Osaka so it just makes sense to pick up and relocate to that area for the rest of our trip. There we could hang out with the Tactical Art guys and pay a visit to our friend Kazuhiro Furakawa from Osaka JDM. The entire feel of Osaka is different from Tokyo. It is much more…ummm…”urban”, I guess you can say. I don’t know if that’s the right word but it just seems much more relatable to us because it is much more relaxed and the people there aren’t as business-oriented as Tokyo. There seems to be a lot of rules and customs there that just don’t apply in Osaka. We don’t have to worry about offending people if we are drinking something while we were walking or worry about what side of the escalator we are standing on. It’s just hard to explain unless you are actually there. Anyways, I just dig the entire feel of Osaka and I feel like the Honda presence is much heavier there…

Today we are going to be taking a look at our arrival in Osaka and meeting up with the Tactical Art guys. After that, I will preview something that many of you are highly-anticipating, and then we will close the day out with a visit to Osaka JDM. There is still more to come so make sure to prepare yourself for a ton of photos and more reading…

We are now TEN parts into this series of coverage. If you missed any of the content prior to this post, I highly suggest you click the links below to view it all…

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…

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

The Chronicles 2014 Japan Trip Coverage… Part 9: A Visit To Spoon Sports And Type One…

Now, we go to Osaka!…

Though we are now ten parts in, this is actually still just the fifth day of our ten-day stay in Japan. Again, it seems like we’ve been there forever with all the stuff that I’ve shown you guys but that was all done in just four days time. Monday in Japan was a holiday so getting around with the train system is relatively easy. Last year, we left to Osaka on a Monday so we didn’t realize how crowded it would get early in the morning during their rush hour. This year, we decided to leave for Osaka on a regular work day and well….I’ll let the photo below speak for itself…

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…to say that it was a bit crowded would be a gross understatement. In fact it was so crowded that it was almost one of those instances where they had to bring some workers out to push people into the train. I haven’t experienced it before but holy shit it was busy….We almost lost Ryan in the process but luckily he is the only white person in a sea of Asians so he stood out…

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There wasn’t a whole lot to report on our train ride to Osaka. It was a couple hours long so I just fucking slept cuz I still felt kinda shitty…I don’t even remember taking that photo above. Shit, I thought I was dreaming that but it turned out to be a real photo, haha…

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Upon arrival, it was a bit of a mess to get to our new hotel. I mean, for normal people it wouldn’t be a mess but of course we like to get lost randomly so we had to ask for directions to get over to the hotel. We even tried getting a cab ride TO the hotel and the cab driver wouldn’t take us because it was too short of a distance for the ride to be worth it. He just kinda pointed in the general direction where we had to go and we walked. The photo you see of the double beds is by Ryan Der. He took some good shots during the trip and he helps me fill in some gaps where I missed taking pictures…

The rooms, as always, are pretty small in Japan. Especially at these cheaper locations. We didn’t need a nice place to stay because we didn’t have any women with us nor did we plan to bring any women home. I mean, you can’t even fit two people on these beds and if you were trying to bang a girl out in the bathroom, half your fucking body would not even be in the bathroom anyway. The bathroom was so small at this place that my fucking knees were resting on the wall while I was trying to take a shit. I almost fell into the toilet after getting out of the shower because they were so close to each other…

After getting settled into our rooms and stock-piling our luggage into whatever space we had, we had a couple hours to kill before Yasutaka from Tactical Art was coming to pick us up so we ventured off to grab some lunch. Since most of us were sick still, we didn’t have much of an appetite like we usually do so we weren’t in the mood to try anything crazy. We wanted to stick to something simple so we decided to try out the Yoshinoya in Osaka. We’ve always heard that Yoshinoya is significantly different in Japan and that is certainly true. The menu is completely different, and every non-Japanese ethnicity you can imagine was not preparing your food for you. They had a wide range of options and you didn’t get the bland ass vegetables either…

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This is a regular beef bowl there that had green onions on top and a raw egg where you strain the yolk into your bowl…

Nothing much happened after lunch. I think I went to go to the currency exchange place to get some more spending money and by the time we got back to the hotel, Yasutaka was there to pick us up. We hung out for a bit and did some random shit at the local mall in Osaka before heading to dinner. We had had raw beef, raw chicken, raw horse, sushi, Japanese bbq, etc. That first night in Osaka, it was time to eat some traditional Japanese cuisine in the form of Sukiyaki. Sukiyaki is a soup style, hot pot, dinner where you take thinly sliced beef and other condiments and cook them over a stove. It all comes together in a hot pot of goodness and you eat it…

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If there is one thing about Japan that I miss other than the friends I’ve met over the years and the cars is the fine cut of beef that they have. Beef is amazing there and every cut seems to be prime choice….

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This is the raw egg that you take the cooked beef from the hot broth and dip into before consumption. It’s a little unconventional for Americans but in Japan, this is quite common. Probably because you’d get the runny shits after dipping beef into a raw egg here, haha….

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The hot pot prior to the sauce and broth being poured into it…

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“Dat sauce doe”…

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Cookin’up the beef and veggies….

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Tactical Art boss man Atsuki and our friend Ayako….

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You just can’t beat that marble-ization in that cut of beef…so good…

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Tactical Art Yasutaka forever smoking….

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…and our first night in Osaka was also the first time we finally got to meet Mr. Tomoyuki Sasaki, who owns the orange EK Ferio sedan that you’ve seen a couple times before here on The Chronicles….

After dinner, we were invited to go along for an adventure of a lifetime…

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I know this in particular is a segment that many of you have been waiting for…

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…but I’m currently still waiting on the video footage to be cleaned-up and I was just not happy with how the edits came out for the photos so I scrapped it all and am redoing all of it…

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…so it’ll have to be a story for another time….I’m excited about presenting it to you as well but I wouldn’t put out anything that I wasn’t happy with so it’ll just have to wait for now. When you see it, you’ll realize that it all seems kind of other-worldly so it almost doesn’t fit into the current timeline of events. Stay tuned, I promise you, it’ll be worth it…

So, anyways, the next day, it was time to visit our friend Kazuhiro Furakawa from Osaka JDM. Furakawa is about 30-40 minutes away from where we stayed so we mapped-out the day and hopped onto the train. Where Car Craft Boon/Osaka JDM is located requires that you take a smaller local train to arrive at the right exit. After the local train ride, Kazuhiro was nice enough to offer to pick us up so we didn’t have to walk over to his shop…

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Once we got off the train, it was surprising to see how desolate the area was. It was almost like a ghost town…

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The train station was so small that it only had one exit and entrance. We normally have to show our train passes to exit the station but at this one, nobody was even there to check it….

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It was kind of amusing to go from a massive hoard of people in Tokyo to a ghost town in a small part of Osaka…

We heard some exhaust rumble coming towards us and we knew that it had to be Kazuhiro. When he said he would give us a ride, we had no clue that he would be arriving in his turbocharged Honda Integra….

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Greetings to Mr. Furakawa….

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Der captured this shot from the backseat of the Integra while I enjoyed my JDM-sized Red Bull…

…and for those who were wondering what it was like to get a ride in the Integra, peep the quick video clip below…

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Though I’ve seen it many times in photos, this was the first time I had ever been to Car Craft Boon….

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This was the boosted Integra that Furakawa picked us up in….

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Der, Kazuhiro, and Ryan got together for a photo….

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Orange anodized Barramundi Design Elevens on the Integra….

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The heart of the beast, a turbocharged B18C….

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It’s a very similar look to that of his old Civic Type R that he had which was also turbocharged…

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Thanks to him for representing The Chronicles, ATS Garage, and Super Street so well…

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Interesting that he opted for blue Recaro seats instead of the traditional red or even the yellow SRDs….

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Nice meaty tire on the BMD wheels…

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Mugen Gen. II rear spoiler….

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Inside the shop, it had all kinds of goodies to look at. Above is an immaculate Mugen CF-48 wheel and beside it is a SSR Type-X and a Osaka JDM Loop 5 wheel that came off of his EA-T race car…

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Hiding behind the stack of car parts was his new CR-X project that is set to debut at Wekfest Japan. It is far from finished so I didn’t want to take any photos of it….

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Ryan was talkin EA-T Civics with Kazuhiro so I walked by for a quick snap of the engine set-up in his race car…

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Like Ryan’s, he also has individual throttle bodies on his AT Civic…

They continued to chat about possible custom engine harnesses and what not so Der and I stepped into the office of his shop where Kazuhiro’s girlfriend greet us with coffee. It was nice to sit down and just take in all the toys and collectibles he has. I had no idea how big of a collector he was but most of his shop was filled with cool stuff…

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Nice collection of No Good Racing decals on the wall of his office…

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Work Wheels-produced Osaka JDM Loop5 wheels with polished face and bronze step-lip…

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Various chassis-specific Osaka JDM windshield banners…

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He even has The Chronicles license plate frames that I don’t even have anymore of….

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Kazuhiro presented me with this good luck charm for my new office which was much appreciated. Luckily I was able to bring that thing all the way home without damaging it at all. It is currently displayed by the couch in my office…

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Der using his new JDM finger-pointer thing…

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Original Osaka JDM coilovers….

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Der capturing a small section of Furakawa’s many toys….

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When I mean there was a lot, I meant A LOT…

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Among the stack you’ll find a Spoon Sports Integra Type R, Mugen Integra Type R, and even a more rarely seen scale model Integra SiR-G…. I didn’t even know they made a scale model of the SiR-G…

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Here’s a slammed E-AT inside one of his display cases…

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Ryan chatting with Kazuhiro. He was in-charge of translating duties that day because Kazuhiro didn’t really speak very much English. Ryan did most of the communicating via a translator app on his iPhone and for the most part, it worked. After awhile, it didn’t even seem like we really had a language barrier and communicated just fine with one another…

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Kazuhiro listening to one of Ryan’s many stories, haha…

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I really liked this decal featuring an outline of the Osaka Kanjo “loop” and all the Kanjo crews that once used the loop as their nightly playground….

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A shot of the Osaka JDM E-AT circuit racer before we set off for a Yakitori dinner with Kazuhiro….

We had tried basically everything during our stay in Japan but hadn’t really had some good Yakitori yet so he brought us to a quaint local spot that looked very traditional…

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Foamy Japanese beer is a must whenever dinner takes place….

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Our Yakitori chef putting skewers over the charcoal grill…

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The Yakitori there was so good that I still get hungry every time I see these photos again…Above are traditional chicken skewers…

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“Tsukune” aka chicken meatball skewers….

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Kazuhiro snapping a shot of us while I snapped a shot of him…

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Here’s the opposing point-of-view….

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Chicken skewers wrapped in seaweed with a hot sauce spread on top…

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It seemed like there was an endless flow of skewers coming but I wasn’t complaining. All my meals in Japan were good and this was definitely a memorable one…

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I had my translator on my phone working too so we could all communicate easier. I don’t know what we were talking about but the topic of “perverts” came up and somehow I was getting my translator app to speak the Japanese translation of it which was everyone’s favorite Japanese term “Hentai”…haha…

After dinner, Kazuhiro was nice enough to take us all the way back to our hotel so we didn’t have to take the train. Overall, it was a nice, relaxing day and a perfect way to help us get over the flu. Thanks to Kazuhiro for the hospitality of course, and always thank you to Ayako and the Tactical Art family for taking time out of their schedule to spend time with us. I appreciate it more than they will ever know and I’m happy to have these guys be a part of this great thing that is life. That’s a wrap for today…More content to come very soon so stick around!!!….

15 thoughts

  1. “We almost lost Ryan in the process but luckily he is the only white person in a sea of Asians so he stood out.”

    Ahahahah!

    Osaka JDM looks like a fun shop. Can’t wait to see the video!

  2. This just made me want to go to Japan even more dope posts keep them coming son
    P.s
    (We’re you able to go to seeker while you were there)

  3. Good write up and pictures dude! We visited the shop when we went over to Japan last year. Kazuhiro and his girlfriends hospitality is fantastic i agree! Such an amazing place!

  4. Just the part Ive been waiting on. So in on the CCB! Great shit going on all in here joey! Was the shop pretty big? Compared to others it looks like it contains much as American shops.

  5. Never visited the shop but I bought an osaka JDM wing for my EF project and it was broken. Nengun.com the company i bought it from talked to Furukawa-san and he shipped a brand new one that he had just finished along with a poster and some stickers. I emailed back and forth with him a few times and I will say with confidence he is the kindest, most accommodating shop owner i will ever meet. I hope to go to Japan in the next couple of years and will have the honor to meet him personally.

  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

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