The Chronicles 2014 Japan Trip Coverage… Part 13 of 13: Closing Out Our Journey in Japan…

Man…what a journey it has been. Like I said yesterday, I can’t believe I was able to document so much of this trip and ended-up having to divide it into 13 different parts. Hopefully you guys have enjoyed seeing it as much as I have reliving the entire trip in photos. You guys got to see a little bit of everything; from the drama that ensued early on, to Tokyo Auto Salon, all the crazy shit we ate, and meeting friends from all over. Not to mention the visit to Spoon Sports/Type One and then the Kanjozoku meeting that was truly a once in a lifetime opportunity. I’m reliving it in photos and I can’t even believe I was able to do all this in such a short amount of time. I couldn’t have done it with some help from great friends in Japan so I must thank everyone that we encountered during our 10-day trip overseas. Many of these people are ones whom we have been able to forged great relationships with and I am happy to call these people friends. This journey would not have been remotely the same without these folks and I am beyond grateful…

To close out the coverage, I thought I would continue the theme of showing you guys a little bit of everything. The last few days we were in Osaka were just sort of random. We hadn’t really planned anything the entire time we were in Japan and just winging it anyway so we kind of just did whatever. The Tactical Art guys were still down to hang out as was Kazuhiro from Osaka JDM so we divided time between them to chill. The Tactical Art guys are family of course so we always like spending time with them but Kazuhiro is a homie of ours too so it was important to make time to see him. Though they are both from Osaka, they are from different areas so they don’t really associate with one another. I wouldn’t say there was a rivalry or anything but you won’t see them really side-by-side, if you know what I mean…

To kick off the final portion of the coverage, we will dive into some photos from our dinner with Kazuhiro from Osaka JDM and Noriaki Miyamoto from Common Snapper. I know Miyamoto because he is the creator of Barramundi Design wheels. Since I help him out with marketing with Steve Lam, we had the pleasure of meeting and having dinner and what not when he last visited California. He’s quite a character and an interesting guy so it is always fun to drink with him. When Kazuhiro mentioned that we were having dinner, I had no idea he was going to bring along so many friends. We even got to meet the owner of the Banzai Attack EF, which is an incredibly popular build here on The Chronicles. He’s a quiet guy and didn’t have much to say, but we did have the chance to talk cars and to get some beers together so that was fun. The most interesting part of this dinner is that we ate at this restaurant where we actually had to fish for our own dinner. I believe the place was called “Zauo”. Look it up if you’re ever in Osaka as I remember reading that it was one of the more popular “themed” restaurants in Osaka. It’s really cool. You can order food off the menu obviously but there is an area where you can actually fish for your own meal. It’s hard to explain but you’ll see how it all works in the photos…

After our dinner with Furukawa and Miyamoto, we head over to Tactical Art to see what is new with their project cars and close out with a dinner with them. The following day, we had to take the Shinkansen back to Tokyo to fly back home to the U.S. Enjoy the photos and thanks for looking…

If you want to take a look back at any of the previous 12 parts, 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…

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…

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

The Chronicles 2014 Japan Trip Coverage… Part 11: The Legendary Osaka Kanjozokus…

The Chronicles 2014 Japan Trip Coverage… Part 12: Winding Down In Kyoto…

And here…is the shocking (not really) conclusion to the epic 13-part series of The Chronicles’ 2014 Japan trip….

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Any time you go out to dinner with these Japanese guys, you know the beer is going to flow all night…

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Pitchers on pitchers….

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Mr. Banzai Attack himself…

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Banzai Attack, Noriaki Miyamoto, and Kazuhiro Furukawa love their beer. The first thing Miyamoto said when the beer started flowing was that we were going to be “ghetto drunkers” that night, haha…

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JC, who shoots for Work Wheels Japan, chatting with the two Ryans while we waited for our food….

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While in America, I can’t even remember the last time I had any sort of Asian hot pot meal but in Japan, it seemed like a nightly occurrence….

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Nothing beats the fresh Sashimi in Japan… one of the things I missed the most about being in Japan was all the great food….

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The grill got a little too hot at one point and began boiling over….

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We popped the lid open and were greeted with a freshly cooked seafood hot pot. Der couldn’t eat any of this because he’s allergic to shell fish so he just watched on the sidelines….

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The “turn-up was real” or however people say that shit these days…

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Gotta eat those fresh Oysters too with your beer and sake…

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I preferred the Sake myself since beer is so filling…

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One of the guys we were eating dinner with even came up with the great idea to cook the oysters on the gas grill with Sake….

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I didn’t try one myself but those who did said it was quite tasty…

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Vegetable and Shrimp Tempura…

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Fresh, raw, octopus… The texture of it was a little different but I gotta admit, it was good….

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After we finished eating the hot pot and sushi, it was time to head over to the fishing area to see if we could get some live fish. I didn’t do it as I was busy taking photos, but everyone looked like they had a great time…

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Noriaki Miyamoto loves fishing so he was more than happy to participate. The guy loves fishing so much that he names most of his car-related stuff actual fish names. Common Snapper, his shop, is obviously a fish and Barramundi is also another type of fish…

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Der dove in first while Ryan prepped his fishing rod…

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Look at that level of concentration, haha….

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Banzai Attack was the first to catch a fish…

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Ryan caught one but I think this one eventually got away…

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Miyamoto then got a bite on his line and caught his first fish…

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Ryan’s reaction here is priceless, haha. Everyone is all happy to see that Noriaki caught his fish and Ryan was totally concentrated on not getting wet…

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He eventually caught another fish and didn’t let this one get away. By the time he pulled it up it looked like it had been strangled to death by the fishing line…

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…and another one…

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JC ready with the fish net…

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Der eventually got one of his own and then we headed back to the dining area….

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To the victor go the spoils. Fresh fish and a little bit of lemon for that citrus kick…

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…and then the drinking resumed…

We hung out for awhile and then headed over to another spot to continue drinking. Let’s just say things got a little fuzzy after that. We somehow ended-up at a random nightclub and chilled for a couple hours before calling it a night. It was a blast. I couldn’t really have asked for a better night with friends and was happy to meet some new ones as well…

One of the guys (who wasn’t drinking) decided to say good-bye with a random burn-out on the streets of Osaka. Yet another random thing that you’d unlikely get away with here in America. I thought it was crazy how nobody even turned to look or paid any attention to it. Some girl even rides her bike by like it was completely normal, haha….All we could do was turn to eachother and shrug our shoulders in bewilderment…

And that was a conclusion to our Thursday night in Osaka. Kazuhiro took us home after we ate some late night Udon noodle soup and we got some rest. I don’t know if you remember, but during most of our stay in Osaka, both Der and I were still sick from when we were in Tokyo. We felt better but I honestly didn’t get over the flu until I got back to California…

The next day, Friday, was our final day in Osaka. We hadn’t really been over to Tactical Art yet though we saw them practically every day we were in Osaka so we wanted to cruise over there to see how the cars were doing. There wasn’t really anything that was near completion as the cars were being prepped for Wekfest Japan later in the year but I wanted to see how they were progressing. Yasutaka and Ayako came by our hotel, scooped us up for some Japanese Curry lunch and then we headed down to the shop. Atsuki was hard at work trying to finish up Tomoyuki Sasaki’s Ferio but stopped to allow us to get some photos…

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Before heading to Tactical Art, we stopped to grab some anal bead donuts from Mr. Donut, a popular chain in Japan… They aren’t really designed to resemble anal beads of course but if you’re a pervert that was probably the first thing you thought…

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Arrival at Tactical Art. Outside was Yasutaka’s S2000 and Atsuki’s DC5 Integra Type R….

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One of the best-looking small car shops in Japan…

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The first car that greeted us was Sasaki’s Ferio, which Atsuki was trying to finish up in time for the HKS Premium Day event the following week…

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The car was mostly ready as it was redone early in 2013 but Sasaki wanted to completely overhaul the engine bay. They’ve really taken to the attention to detail and cleanliness of Honda engine bays here in North America and you can really see the evolution of their bays since we all started communicating….

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Sasaki’s bay was resprayed in their signature “Tactical Art Grey” tone and the brake lines were tucked away along with the addition of a Rywire engine harness….

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Love the custom air intake that Atsuki made and the repolished Mugen header…

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One of the more “USDM” style elements that they wanted to include was running a catalog of Skunk2 Racing products…

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Tucked over in the corner was Yasutaka’s EG6 Civic that should be ready in time for Wekfest Japan in May. On top of Yasu’s EG is Taku’s EK, which has remained the same since it was featured in Super Street magazine a couple years ago…

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Here’s a sneak peek at Yasu’s custom roll cage….

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Outside, we got to finally get a better look at Yasutaka’s S2000 build…

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We noticed that it had an intercooler peeking through the front bumper so we popped the hood and discovered that he had recently installed a HKS GT Supercharger! We had no idea since he didn’t mention it to us but apparently he had installed it the day after he got back to Osaka from Tokyo Auto Salon…

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Yasu also installed some new aero to the car which gave the AP1 an entirely different look than when we last saw it….

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The interior of his S2K…

After looking at the cars, we hung out upstairs and chatted before heading out to our final dinner in Japan. We had eaten pretty much everything Japan had to offer so the Tactical Art guys took us out to eat some traditional Japanese skewers…

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Foamy beer as usual….

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Random shot of a lantern…

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Pork skewers…

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Fried stuff on sticks…

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Some fried fish…

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Ryan holding up one of the Yakitori fish skewers….

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Fried cheese is always good…

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Some fried veggie skewers…

Once we finished dinner, the Tactical Art guys took us around town to explore some more parts of Osaka that we hadn’t seen before. We even got to see how the whore houses looked in Osaka, no lie, haha… Shit is weird out there. They just put these girls on display and you drive by and pick what you like. Kinda like Amsterdam but instead of them being behind glass, these girls are just sitting in a room with their Mama-sans (Female pimps) and wait for you to pick them. It’s fucking strange as hell, haha, but again, we had to experience the culture and see how everything works. We didn’t participate but I mean, now we can say that we saw Japanese whore houses, haha…

That pretty much wrapped up the trip. Overall, it was an incredible life-changing experience. I can’t believe we saw and did so much in such a short time. I plan to go back in a couple months to be a part of the first ever Wekfest Japan event so we can do all this all over again. I love Japan and all that it has to offer. Hopefully you guys got a good sense of what it was like and got to experience Japan through my eyes. Thanks so much for looking and thank you to everyone that made this trip as great as it was; from our family at Tactical Art, the ever helpful and kind Ayako Kawato, Keisuke from HKS Japan, Arvou Motor Sports Service, Street Metal, our new friends from L2P Maebashi, Kazuhiro Furukawa and friends from Osaka JDM, Noriaki Miyamoto from Common Snapper, Hiro Ueda, Spoon Sports Japan, Aaron from Go Tuning, IB Complete, NO GOOD RACING, CLUB WHARP, TOPGUN RACING, LAW BREAK, etc. etc. etc. THANK YOU.

And thank you all for taking this ride with me. Reliving this trip through this photos really helped me put this adventure into perspective. It almost doesn’t even seem real. Thank you for the continued support…

5 thoughts

  1. ive also followed your blog for some time now, especially your trips to Japan. ive never considered crossing and ocean to tour a foreign country high on my “to do” list, but Im sure I would really enjoy visiting Japan. thanks for documenting more then just cars. I thoroughly enjoyed your recent trip and im stoked to see another one soon.

  2. That damn Tactical Art!!! Gotta love those guys work cause everything is so pristine +functional at the same time! Simply incredible indeed…

  3. glad to have been a part of it! great coverage as always. really conveys a sense of what Japan is like to those who haven’t been. especially like how you mention people shouldn’t expect the same experience without friends and contacts there 🙂 seems many people don’t realize that haha

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