Wekfest Japan 2017 Coverage… Part 1…

Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine that I’d be going to Japan three times this year, and it’s only May. It almost feels like I’ve almost split my time there this year, half of it being home here in California, and the rest of the time in both Tokyo and Osaka. It’s crazy. I think it is really important to understand the difference between work and play however. The lines tend to get blurred quite a bit from an outsider’s perspective because traveling, most of the time, just sounds like it would be a vacation experience. While I find plenty of free moments to enjoy my travels, much of the time, it is work. I go to Japan because I love the country and all that it offers, but it is essentially an extension of my office. I’m constantly trying to figure out ways to collect content for the site. Updates are typically slow in the first few months of the year, especially after Tokyo Auto Salon, but things are definitely picking up. I wanted to hang out in Japan for a few extra days this time around but I actually had to cut my trip short just so I could make it back in time for the annual Eibach Honda Meet. The weekend before that, I missed out on attending Wekfest Chicago because it was literally just days apart from the Japan event. I like Chicago but there’s no way I’d miss out on being in Japan, you know? Tiffanie and I flew out on Sunday to Tokyo and when flying overseas, you basically lose a day traveling. We arrived Monday, hung out for a few hours, slept, and then hopped on a 3-hour bullet train ride to Osaka. Wekfest Japan happens on a Wednesday, so we were only in Osaka for a few hours before we had to leave at 2 AM in the morning to drive to Nagoya. If you’re not familiar, Wekfest Japan always happens during the midddle of the week because that entire week is a national holiday in Japan. Having the show in the middle of the week provides the best opportunity for people to attend the show because you don’t have to worry about people traveling into town or leaving town who would possibly miss the show. It sounds weird to have a car show in the middle of the week but it makes sense when you’re in Japan because that entire week just feels like a really long weekend. It’s crazy busy there too since so many people come from all over the world to visit Japan during this time, so busy, that it is almost a little difficult to get around Japan because of all the tourists. The weather is also great during this time because it isn’t too hot yet and the extreme cold has gone away.

I talk more about the show in the coming sections of coverage I’ll be posting but the coverage today will actually just consist of photos Tiffanie and I collected before the show. When we got to Osaka, we basically went straight to Exceed to watch Yasu and the crew finish up their builds for Wekfest. Most of you who are familiar with my site know that I like to cover a lot of BTS (Behind-The-Scenes) stuff and everything you’ll see today is all before Wekfest itself. I thought it would be weird to post the photos and title it something else since it directly correlates with the Wekfest event so I just called it “Part 1”, when in reality, there isn’t any show coverage here, haha… Sorry if you got excited about it but again, this is just BTS stuff. Sit back and enjoy the photos. Please come back for more because there is a shit ton of photos (and video) coming in the next few days. It may have seemed like there has been a lack of updates to the site but it is all pouring in now…

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After arriving at Narita Airport, we grabbed our suitcases and headed downstairs to wait for the train to take us over to our hotel…

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I always find Japanese lifestyle interesting and how everyone generally keeps to themselves, especially on the train which is often where you would be around the most people at any given time or day. This particular gentlemen hopped aboard the adjacent train and was enjoying a beer by himself while responding to emails…

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I used to stay in the Shinagawa area when I first started going to Japan regularly but now I stay closer to the Shibuya area because there is much more nightlife and stuff going on in this part of town. It is always cool to watch the hoards of people walking through the famous Shibuya crossing area…

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The following morning, we got on the Shinkansen (bullet train) and headed to Osaka, which is roughly about three hours away. Once we arrived, we grabbed some McDonalds before Yasu came and picked us up. He was pretty busy working on his car as well as a customer’s Integra so we dropped-off our luggage at his house and proceeded to his shop…

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Yuuki Matsuno from Horns & Co. detailing the Integra that Yasu has been building for a customer which was set to debut at Wekfest Japan…

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The K-swapped Integra had a very “U.S.” motif with the fully polished pieces like the valve cover, RBC intake manifold and front strut bar…

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The K20A also featured a host of U.S. Hybrid Racing K-swap parts…

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…including this custom “Exceed” Hybrid Racing fuel rail…

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Yuta arrived a couple days before we did and was already at the shop helping Yasu with the cars…

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Directly next door to Exceed is a bodyshop where Yasu was putting his EG6 Civic together…

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Yasu mounting his custom metal cowl…

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This too had a K-swap in it but featured a black chrome valve cover and red accent washers from Downstar Inc…

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It’s crazy to think that this used to be the same EG6 Civic that Yasu has always owned since I first met him…

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Mao taking a short break, leaning against his Voltex rear wing on his Nissan Skyline…

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I’m sure plenty of these were consumed at the Exceed shop in the days leading up to Wekfest Japan

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While tucked radiators are all the rage these days, for this Integra build, they chose to run a full-sized CSF radiator…

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Mao and Ikuto washing Ikuto’s S2000 in preparation for the show…

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Ikuto Kohara actually bought Yasu’s old S2000 and fused both his and Yasu’s together to have the ultimate S2K build…

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Mao with his signature ponytail and colorful Dickies pants…

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Ikuto’s Volk TEs and StopTech big brakes…

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If you guys have been following The Chronicles for any length of time, this engine bay should look pretty familiar, though it is now technically Ikuto’s HKS GT-supercharger set-up…

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Yasu and his EG, still a better love story than Twilight…

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I found it interesting that Yasu decided to keep his ASC strut bar in its raw finish since the rest of the engine bay seems so refined. Check out the intake arm that connects to the Password JDM carbon headlight duct…

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Yuta and Yasu spent most of the afternoon trying to get the car on the ground with the right amount of camber and toe…

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CCW LM20 wheels with custom red faces wrapped in Toyo R888R rubber…

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The signature ASC crossbones logo on their strut bar…

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Despite the cars being in pieces, they were actually way ahead of schedule with the builds compared to previous years…

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Fresh new “Chronicles” pins available for purchase soon on www.norivalnoequal.com!!…

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Yasu had to alter the knuckles on his EG a bit to get the most angle out them to fit the thick rubber of the Toyo Tires…

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As you’d expect the shop was in quite a bit of disarray with all that was going on…

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No matter where we are, work never stops, so we manage to find ways to get shit done while all the madness was going on around us. I continued to shoot photos all day while Tiffanie was shooting and editing on the spot…

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Yuta flashed a rare smile for a change when he realized that he might actually get some sleep before the show…

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The face of Mao’s Skyline sedan with the Wald front bumper. Eventually we found Tiffanie a seat to work on as well…

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We went back to Yasu’s house around 8 PM to take a nap before beginning our drive to Nagoya for Wekfest at roughly 2 AM. We stopped by an ENEOS gas station to fill-up and obviously you just can’t pass-up on shooting gas station photos…

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Originally Yasu had plans to put decals all along the side of the car but Yuta and I vetoed that idea, thinking the car would look best with just its fresh coat of silver and nothing else…

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If anyone is wondering, the front lip is from Purple Speed/Doobie Inc….

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The Integra wears a blue coat of paint from the newer Honda Fits…

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CCW Classic wheels tucked nicely into the wheel wells of the Integra…

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The Mode Parfume Phantom GaMu JZS161 Aristo that you saw come together during Osaka Auto Messe a couple months ago. The car still looks great and rides at this height on Exceed SSD coilovers…

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Ikuto’s S2000 all cleaned-up and ready for the drive…

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Yasu’s Aristo finally united with his long-time EG6 build…

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A couple hours into the drive, I was able to get a snap of Ikuto’s S2000 ripping down the highway on the path to Wekfest Japan…

That’s all for Part 1. The second portion of coverage and the parts to follow will cover the show itself so stay tuned for more!..

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