The Chronicles Wekfest Japan Trip 2014 Coverage…Part 8…Celebration Time…

Today is gonna be one of those days where I cover the personal side of our great hobby. In the last few posts documenting my trip to Japan for Wekfest, I showed you guys all the vehicles that were on display and gave you a sense of what WFJP was like from my perspective. Today, I’m gonna show you what went on behind-the-scenes, after the show ended. When we originally planned out our trip to Japan, we had planned to stay in Nagoya for the evening after the show had ended because we were personally invited to attended the WFJP after party. We figured we’d be tired so it was just easier to grab dinner and then sleep. Had we known how much drinking we’d be doing that night, it definitely would have been a better idea. What we forgot during the planning process was that we’d be arriving in Nagoya with the Tactical Art guys. They didn’t plan on staying in Nagoya because they had to head back to Osaka so we just decided to head back after dinner. Probably not the best idea after a long day of driving, then a full day at the show, and then tons of drinking but you know what? We like to live dangerously in Japan, haha…

This dinner was an important one to be at because it was held specifically for the Wekfest Japan staff and those who were involved in making the event possible. To be honest, it was an honor to be there to watch everything play out. I think we were all a little surprised to see how great the show turned out so everyone was in a celebratory mood. Though we were tired and worn out, there was really no other place we wanted to be other than with these people. After the show wrapped, we hung out at the venue for a little while until the clean-up crew came to go through the venue and then we headed over to a hotel near by where the party was set to take place…

Dinner was the traditional Japanese “Kaiseki” meal. I didn’t cover too much of the meal because you’ve seen it a couple times before already and also because we were too busy drinking. You’ll understand the significance of this dinner more when you read through the captions so make sure not to skip any of that. After the meal, I’ll cover our visit to one of Osaka’s most famous tourist spots and close it out with a Japanese BBQ dinner back in Osaka with an all-star cast of Osaka’s most well-known Honda enthusiasts. I know there isn’t much in terms of car content today but it still has very much to do with our community and the people behind the cars. Hopefully you guys take the time to read through it. Enjoy…

Here are the links to the previous posts if you missed any of it…

The Chronicles Wekfest Japan Trip 2014 Coverage…Part 1…

The Chronicles Wekfest Japan Trip 2014 Coverage…Part 2…FEEL’S Twin Cam and Tokyo Bay Dinner….

The Chronicles Wekfest Japan Trip 2014 Coverage…Part 3…#Wekfestprep With Tactical Art…

The Chronicles Wekfest Japan Trip 2014 Coverage…Part 4…WFJP Begins…

The Chronicles Wekfest Japan Trip 2014 Coverage…Part 5…Wekfest Japan Inside and Out…

The Chronicles Wekfest Japan Trip 2014 Coverage…Part 6…Even More From WFJP…

The Chronicles Wekfest Japan Trip 2014 Coverage…Part 7…Closing Out The Day At WFJP…

…and now, it’s celebration time…

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Hiro Ueda from Wekfest Japan and Kenneth Li fro Wekfest USA toasting to their accomplishments…

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I can’t even count how much Sashimi I had while I was in Japan and honestly, every time I look back at photos like this, I miss it…

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Dougie rockin’ the latest Stickydiljoe.com t-shirt….

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Two important reasons why we were in Japan; WFJP and Asahi…

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Yasu from Tactical Art…

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Our friend and English translator extraordinaire, Ayako Kawato. She’s been an important part in bridging the language gap between us and the Tactical Art guys…

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Cooked Salmon and fried sweet potato…

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Hiro got on the mic for his speech to everyone. It was all in Japanese so I don’t really know what he said, haha, but I’m sure it was somewhere along the lines of “thank you and I appreciate all of your hard work”…

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…and then the drinking began…

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Wekfest Official Spokesmodel Elissa Alva pouring some Sake for Tetsuya Yamaguchi of USDM Jam fame…

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It was an important moment for Yamaguchi because it was sort of a “passing of the torch” to Wekfest Japan as they would takeover where USDM Jam left off. After ten years, Yamaguchi decided to no longer continue with the USDM Jam series. He was pivotal in popularizing USDM style/culture throughout Japan and is a notable figure in the USDM scene overseas. Without USDM Jam, there would be a huge hole left for those who loved USDM style so Wekfest Japan landed at the perfect time. With the help of guys like Yamaguchi, the thriving USDM culture and now continue to flourish in Japan….

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In Japan, it is traditional for the host of the festivities to pour drinks for those in attendance so Hiro made the rounds to every table to drink with everyone….

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Hiro and Armando Flores Sr…..

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A member of the WFJP staff, who was also a lowrider enthusiast, stopping to chat with Flores, who was a member of LIFESTYLE C.C. which is one of the most well-known lowrider clubs in North America…

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Cheers to Yuusuke Matsukage, Taku Kusugami, and Keisuke Morita….

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Tetsuya had himself a little too much fun….

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Hiro then went around the room and said some nice things about every single member on his staff….

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Yasutaka Shimomukai was introduced to the gathering and, along with Tactical Art, was recognized as one of the many important people involved with the continued evolution of USDM car culture in Japan. I think that their builds, which won multiple awards at the first WFJP event, are the new standard of USDM-styled Hondas overseas…

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Of course, it wouldn’t be Wekfest without its official spokesmodel, Elissa Alva. Hiro had some nice things to say about Elissa and it was good to watch her get the proper recognition she deserves for all the work she’s done for the Wekfest series….

After the speeches, it was all kind of a blur…. there was a lot of drinking, more drinking, laughs, raucous cheers, and more drinking. Once the party ended, it was time for us to get back to Osaka….

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I’m not gonna lie, it was a tough drive home. Everyone was so tired and worn out that it was really tough to stay awake. I don’t even know how long it took since I was in and out of consciousness but eventually we made it back to the hotel to get some sleep. In all the days that I was there, this evening was the first night that I actually got the opportunity to sleep in. I think I woke up around 11 am or something but it didn’t feel like lost time since we all needed rest. We’d be mostly shopping the following day anyway so it didn’t require too much strenuous walking…

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Ryan and I had toured Osaka during our previous stays in Japan, but the rest of the guys hadn’t been before so our rest day was the perfect day to explore Shinsaibashi, which is a huge tourist area in Osaka…

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I’m sure you guys all recognized Osaka’s famous Glico Man sign by now. This is perhaps one of the most notable tourist attractions for those who visit Osaka. People love replicating the pose that he is doing in photos and I was standing there watching people do it the entire afternoon while the guys were shopping…

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Dougie also did his part as a tourist and took a ton of photos with his Canon digicam…

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The massive Asahi sign right across from the Glico Man sign…

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Dougie and Salem from Phaze2….

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Shinsaibashi is pretty huge so we spent most of the early afternoon walking around until we eventually got hungry and decided to grab some food. We weren’t sure what to eat but ended up at a local Izakaya spot buried amongst all the stores. An “Izakaya” is a type of Japanese drinking establishment where they also serve food. You can liken it to a typical bar here that serves bar food but is slightly more like a restaurant. We have some Izakayas over here too but the food is obviously better at an authentic spot in Osaka…

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Beer or “bīru” as it is called in Japan…

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Grilled beef steak…

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Yakitori, or grilled skewers….

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Random fried shit on a stick….

We finished our meal at the Izakaya and then the guys wanted to grab some sweets to snack on outside. Shinsaibashi has so much food to eat that you can’t even walk three steps without running into something else you want to eat…

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Some egg cakes shaped in the form of some popular Japanese cartoon characters….

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Japan even has Boba Milk Tea (Bubble Tea, Tapioca Milk Tea, depending on where you’re from) now, which is something I didn’t see too much of during my prior visits. Dougie missed home and had to grab one…

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Group photo with the dudes…

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I forgot to mention that it rained for most of the day, even in the evening, but it made for some cool scenery. It had been so hot in the days prior that it was almost relaxing to see some rain for a change…

Again, most of our day consisting of shopping for rare Nikes and other stuff so I didn’t document most of it. It’s all kind of boring so I saved the photos for the fun stuff. In the evening, we were set to have a Japanese BBQ dinner, or “Yakiniku” with the Hiro and the guys from Wekfest, Yasu and his crew from Tactical Art, Kazuhiro Furukawa from Osaka JDM, and some friends of ours from Hawaii. How we managed to fit so many people into one room for BBQ is beyond me, but it was a blast….

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Unlike most Korean BBQ places here where they use gas grills, JBBQ still uses traditional charcoal grills to cook their meats….

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Another thing that I miss about Japan is their premium cuts of beef. They don’t inject their cows with drugs and hormones so their meat is a completely different breed than ours here in the U.S….

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The meats also came with vegetables to grill as well…

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As usual, much biru was consumed…

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It was pretty hard trying not to smoke while in Japan. I am not a regular smoker of course but when you’re drinking and partying with a room full of guys/gals that smoke, it’s hard not to indulge…

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Hiro making his signature face…

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Kazuhiro Furukawa from Car Craft Boon!/Osaka JDM…

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I’m already hungry again…

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One of the coolest, and most adorable, things that we witnessed that night was watching Hiro’s 5 year-old daughter pour us beer. She had obviously been taught well because she did it with great precision and didn’t spill a drop. When we said “thank you”, she even uttered a quiet “you’re welcome” after every pour… Haha, too awesome and only something you’d see in Japan….

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Re-up on meat….

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Winner of the most bizarre moment of the night was by Yasu and Toshiyuki Yanagi. Yasu always fucks with Yanagi and somehow convinced him to eat a giant slab of raw beef covered in Wasabi. It didn’t look appetizing or healthy but Yanagi did it like it was nothing out of the ordinary. Something tells me that he’s done it before, haha….

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Phaze2 Sasaki cutting up some cooked beef for us all…

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The thing with charcoal grills is that they can eventually become too hot for noob cooks like Ryan and Doug. Unlike gas grills, you can’t simply turn them off so the fire got quite large….

They gave us some ice cubes to help cool down, but Dougie just decided to pour the entire bowl of ice onto the grill…

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…which helped put the fire out, but also ruined the meat….

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Hiro’s daughter pouring some more beer for Elissa…

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Uhhh, let’s just say that dinner was not cheap that night. Our bill came and I think we were all a little surprised to see that it totaled to almost 140,000 Yen. Converted to USD, our meal was right around $1400! We had a ton of people with us which made sense, but damn, that is an expensive meal, haha…

That wraps up Part 8 of my WFJP coverage. Tomorrow, we will move forward with the final concluding portion of our coverage, followed by Wekfest LA photos later in the week. Thanks for looking!!

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3 thoughts

  1. Pingback: The Chronicles Wekfest Japan Trip 2014 Coverage…Part 9 of 9…The Finale… | The Chronicles© - No Equal Since 2008 | www.stickydiljoe.com

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