The Chronicles Osaka 2015 Coverage…Part 1: A Visit To Impact Magic…

Looking back on all the posts now, you’d think that we were in Japan for like an entire month or something. In actuality, we were literally there for only 11 days. You lose two days traveling to and from and so all you’re seeing actually happened within the course of just nine days time. Crazy right? I think the best part of my trips to Japan is how we are always able to maximize all of our time, seeing and doing cool shit everywhere. I cut off the Tokyo coverage at seven parts total, along with video, because we eventually did make it over to Osaka and I felt it would be best to start fresh. The video blog will continue as is but consider the Osaka-side of things an entirely new series of posts. It just works out better because Tokyo and Japan is very, very different. I always compare it to New York and L.A., with Tokyo being the more preppy, NY-side, and Osaka being the slightly less-proper, a little bit more relaxed, Los Angeles. In Tokyo, we follow a very different set of rules and customs than when we go to Osaka. When we arrive in Osaka, it is almost like going to a second home where you have friends and you have more leeway to do whatever you want. Over time, I think I’ve done just about everything I can in Osaka, but it feels like home because I just seem to blend in easier there. Tokyo I feel out of place because I am definitely not proper and well-mannered at all times, I guess you can say….

So, to recap, we arrived in Tokyo Japan on Thursday evening of January 8th. We went to the show, experienced Robot Restaurant, did more show stuff, visited Spoon Sports on that following Monday and but Tuesday morning, we were off to Osaka. You’ll get to see more of what we did when we got to Osaka and how we immediately went off to Kyoto but for the photos below, you’ll be seeing more of what we did at Impact Magic. For those that are not aware, Impact Magic is a tuning shop in Kyoto, Japan that has long been known as probably the first shop to do a K-swapped Honda in Japan and their main affiliation is with the infamous Osaka LAW BREAK Racing Team family. You got to see some glimpses of some of the LAW BREAK cars previously in my other visits to Japan as well as in the collaborative video piece I did with BOWLS LA known simply as “THE KANJOZOKU“. If you haven’t watched that yet, I ask that you take some time to view it because it all ties in together with what you’re seeing today. LAW BREAK is one of the longest known and most respected (and dangerous) car clubs of the Kansai region. Many of their members are older guys who have stuck around to maintain the tradition of their secretive car culture. Not many people outside of Japan, or even Osaka, know of Impact Magic but through our adventures, we have come to know the owner, who also happens to own the LAW BREAK EK9. You last saw this Civic in my coverage of the LAW BREAK 30th Anniversary Event. That was the last time anyone got to see the EK9 out and about, whether day or night, because the car has been down since then. In fact, it is actually stripped right now as the motor is out for repair and they are doing other updates to the chassis. You’ll see why this car is important when I talk more about it in the new Vlog below, but to sum it up, this EK is a very significant part of Japan’s Honda community because it is the first Honda in Japan from years back with a complete, running, K-swap. And if you watched “THE KANJOZOKU”, you probably remember a man who has his identity concealed telling you about what the “Real JDM” is and where the influence grew from; well, that is the owner of the LAW BREAK car. His words are valid and we hold them to be true. What you know as “JDM” today with all the random new driver badges and Password this and that is a fallacy. That is not “JDM”, but I digress…we will save that conversation for another time…

We were lucky enough to be able to visit Impact Ltd. on this particular evening. It was incredibly cold and the shop was packed because that is just how Japanese shops are. They are incredibly tight on space because the buildings that they have to work with are not anywhere near many of the shops you see out here in the States. Things are compact so you are limited to what you have. They knew we were coming though and immediately moved everything around for us so that I could get photos and the rest of our group could get a good look at the EK9. Though it was pretty bare, without the K-series engine and the entire front end, there was just a feeling of awe there being in its presence. If this car could talk it would probably have some stories for you that you wouldn’t even believe. Just knowing the rich history of this car and its significance to this area made the trip to Japan worth it in itself. It was sitting in the corner on the lift, covered in dust with a hoard of parts sitting underneath it. We all just kinda looked at it and studied it. The key is to try to appreciate what the car stands for more than what you think is cool or what isn’t. The workers at the shop than moved all the parts aside and lowered the car, wiping it down to clean it up a bit even though it was completely unnecessary to do so. We were fine with just staring at it dirty. The imperfections are what really tell the story, you know? But the Japanese are forever respectful and classy so they felt that it was only right to make the car as presentable as possible. It was a pleasure being there, and being in the presence of important car enthusiasts who helped shape the Honda community worldwide in one form or another. Thank you to the guys at Impact Magic for having us. I look forward to the day when we can meet again and we can see this EK9 back together…

 The Chronicles Vlog #4 (Part 6): Arrival in Osaka, Kyoto, Impact Magic, and More… 

After you have had a chance to watch the video above, enjoy the stills below….

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The signature LAW BREAK logo still emblazoned across the side of the EK9….

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Now, after going through the photos and video, hopefully it makes a little more sense why you see the word “IMPACT” always on the LAW BREAK decal….

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I’m not exactly sure what happened to the motor but what I can tell you is that it broke at the LAW BREAK 30th Anniversary event and has been torn apart since. He has customer cars to tend to and so the chassis has just been sitting on the lift, just waiting for him to have time to work on it…

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The notable LAW BREAK dynamite logo…

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…and the “smoking bomb” is also a graphical representation of the car club….

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A single Recaro seat sits inside the cockpit with a red Sabelt safety harness…

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We didn’t even realize it had so much extensive chassis work done until we got to see it that day. The car is as raw and as bare as can be but the entire thing is stitch-welded top to bottom…

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A look at the passenger side shock tower area where you can see the K-swap mount and the stitch-welds on the wheel well and firewall…

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Love the Impact logo and their windshield banner…

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The “smoking bomb” once again on the FRP door of the EK…

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Spoon Sports brakes up front that have most certainly experienced so wear and tear….

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Once the car goes back together, these new Work Emotion CR wheels will find their way onto the car. They are a size-up from the Volk TE37 wheels that he used to run but now he can run a significantly wider wheel because Impact is producing these wide fenders for the EK chassis that are like 50mm wider. They are crazy looking but I couldn’t get a shot of them while there because they were getting painted at another location…

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It was a big surprise to see my decal on the car as I never ask anyone to put anything on their cars. Cool to see that there is mutual respect there and I appreciate the support….

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A glimpse of the cage inside the Impact EK9….

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A view through the hatch…

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Wide track Works…

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Der snapping some photos for his own collection…

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Stacks of authentic goods were piled-up all over the shop…

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Look at the man with no face inside an EF9 Civic from NO GOOD RACING…

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The newer updated NGR logo with the infamous gun hand gesture…

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Only those that know will understand…

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Car talk inside the shop with the Impact owner…

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DC5 Integra Type R with INGS+1 aero sitting just outside the shop..

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One final glimpse inside Impact Magic. The wider angle makes the shop look big but it is actually very small inside….

After saying our goodbyes to the people at Impact Magic, we then headed back to Osaka for dinner. On this particular night, we had set out to eat some Fugu, also known as poisonous blowfish. There are a few restaurants in Japan that specialize in serving Fugu and we wanted to give it a try. It had an element of danger about it that made it interesting but we trusted that we would be fine since you have to be licensed to even touch the stuff. I believe you have to have at least 5-6 years of training to be able to serve this dish. We had already eaten raw beef, chicken, and horse, so why not go try some dangerous seafood. At this point, we would almost be fools to stop our food quests now. They just keep getting more and more dangerous, haha. I don’t know what else there is to eat now but I’m sure we will find it in the future….

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Beer-u always on tap for dinner…

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Our good friend Yasu from Tactical Art and a representative of the Phaze2 family over in Japan…

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J.P. anticipating some poisonous Fugu while Taku and Deerail chatted…

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Not only was this a Fugu restaurant, but also one of those restaurants where you can fish out your own dinner. You saw us do this last year as well but at a much more refined establishment in Osaka. This one was smaller but equally as fun. Hiro and the guys looked on with smart phones ready to capture the moment…

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Ryan was the first one in….

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Robert trying to catch a good dinner while Yuri looked on…

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Der also got in on the action…

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…but somehow managed to get his line caught in the net above…

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One of our catches for the night…They also charge you by the type and size of the fish you caught too so Hiro got a little nervous because we were catching some pretty large fish which wasn’t going to be cheap to eat….

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Yuri eventually got in on the action too and caught her own fish…

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I Snapchatted the whole thing while they fished…. (“thestickydiljoe” if you want to follow in the future)….

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The owners of the restaurant even let us shove the GoPro into the tanks to get some footage. Der had brought his waterproof case just for these types of events and we made full use of it. I don’t know how many people would be cool with that here in America, but fuck it, when in Japan, do what you want to, haha…

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One of the fishes that we caught was then cut up and served fresh and raw. It was tasty but a little off-putting to see it sprawled out dead on a plate….

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Hiro Ueda in his signature pose…

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Our fish was served on a boat, staring right at us while we ate it…

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The thinly-cut, fresh and raw Fugu was then served as the main course… They are cut so thinly that you have to grab a couple pieces to really get the full texture and taste of it. The slight hint of poison gives you a little bit of a tingly feeling in your tongue but other than that, I can’t really say that it tastes like anything… It is one of those things that you just say you ate but don’t really remember it later on…

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Fugu, I guess, is just one of those things that you just eat once. It is a delicacy in Japan but there are so many other things that I would rather go back to eat….

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Der being a savage and trying to gnaw on the dead corpse of the fish that was still sort of moving… Just kidding, it was just for photos. We did eat the rest of it though…

Well that ends Part 1 of our adventures in Osaka. Make sure to keep up to date on all the posts and watch all the Vlogs. If it wasn’t cool or important, I wouldn’t bother covering it. Thanks for looking and have a great weekend!!!…

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4 thoughts

  1. Loving all the coverage from Japan, especially the video blog series. Do you think you’ll have any Chronicles decals (like the one above) anytime soon on the storefront?

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