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stickydiljoe

'Stickydiljoe' aka Joey Lee is a freelance photographer, writer, and creator of The Chronicles.
Kansai Car Culture Is Absolutely Thriving!!…

Kansai Car Culture Is Absolutely Thriving!!…

You know what I enjoy the most about going to various car events in Japan? I’ll most certainly always come across something that is interesting or that I’ve never seen before. And I’m being completely honest. That’s why I’m open to seeing everything possible while I’m out here. There will be times when I go to a meet or show back at home in the States and I’ll genuinely ask myself, like why did I even come to this? Lol. That sounds terrible but I mean, you get so used to seeing what you see at home that traveling is so incredibly important to keep the creative juices flowing, you know what I mean? When I was planning out my trip, and I use the word ‘planning’ very loosely, I put together a list of events that were happening during my stay. That way I didn’t miss an opportunity to go see something new. It just so happened that while I was in Osaka, there was a Central Time Attack Challenge (CTAC) happening in nearby Hyogo. I had a great time last year when I went to Central for a Honda time attack event so I wasn’t about to miss this one. CTAC has some pretty fast, competitive, time attack cars at all their events. Most are Hondas but there are other makes and models competing as well like RX-7s, R35 GTRs, etc. There were a couple guys that we knew that were driving that day too so Yasu and I made a day of it. What I quickly came to realize is that car culture in this region is absolutely thriving in 2023. The parking lot was full of spectator cars as well as support vehicles, the paddock was jampacked with cars, and the sounds of straight-piped exhausts were bouncing off the walls as cars ripped through the straights of Central Circuit. What a fantastic day this was…

Massive Kyusha Gathering In Japan!!…

Massive Kyusha Gathering In Japan!!…

While I’m in Japan, I’m always looking for new stuff to see and experience when it comes to car culture. I know I’ve become known as more of a curator for Honda content over the years but my interests actually extend far past just Hondas and Acuras. I’m just exposed more to it than most and have built a strong following within that subculture. When my friend JC Pepino from Work Wheels informed me of a big Kyusha meet happening in Hyogo, I instantly knew that it was going to be a positive experience. I’ve never been to an old school Japanese classic car gathering before so I wasn’t going to miss this one. It just so happened that this meet was happening on Awaji Island where Sara wanted to go anyway so it all kind of worked out. I got to see some car stuff and she got to do her thing at Naruto land. What’s Kyusha and what is Naruto? Well, I attempt to explain at least one of those things in this episode…

Highlights from Tokyo Auto Salon 2023 in photos…

Highlights from Tokyo Auto Salon 2023 in photos…

Man it felt good to be back in Tokyo in January. After not being able to come the last two winters, for obvious reasons, I just felt like something was missing. Tokyo Auto Salon had become such an important stop on my annual calendar that I felt anxious to come back. Not being at the show threw my whole body clock off, lol. It’s just that old familiar feeling you know? When you have a routine and suddenly it’s broken or shifted, things just aren’t right. After coming back to Japan in late April of 2022, understanding all that was required for me to re-enter Japan, I knew I’d be back even if border restrictions continued to be in-place. This year, I decided to make my trip even longer than in 2022 when I stayed one whole month and a day. I had a couple of events that I had to attend here in Japan so I chose to stay a total of 40 days. Yes, 40 days in Japan. Before, I would fly to Japan for Auto Salon, stay for about 2 weeks, and then head back home because there was a Wekfest event scheduled in earlier February. Early February would usually have me in Hawaii for Wekfest and the NFL Super Bowl. The boys would usually make a fun trip out of it and have a BBQ at the AirBnB we’d stay at. When I found out that Hawaii was a no-go this year, it meant that I could stay longer. If Hawaii were to happen, that would mean that I would go to Japan, go home to California, fly to Hawaii for Wekfest, go home once again, and then fly right back to Japan. I’d make it back to Osaka just in time for the Auto Messe show and stay another week so I could attend Attack Tsukuba on the Tokyo-side. It sounds crazy but I did exactly that for the last two years before the pandemic. With no Hawaii Wekfest event this time, it saved me a lot of travel time and my body clock could stay consistent to one time zone…

Welcome Back To Osaka…

Welcome Back To Osaka…

So, we are back in Osaka for a few days, just catching-up with old friends and meeting new ones. I had a couple of friends from America ask me if they could possibly see some car stuff while they were in town. Hearing so many interesting stories and lore over the years from Osaka, they wanted to see if it was real. Is Civic culture as big as its been portrayed to be? I wouldn’t normally try to put anything together since I enjoy being lowkey while I’m here but Sara was in town as well, so it was a good time to get car enthusiasts together again. So, a meet happened very last minute on a Wednesday. Many of us haven’t been able to reconnect since the borders re-opened so it was time to pump some life back into the car community in Kansai! Everyone be safe out there and abide by all the rules and regulations please!!

Daigo Saito’s Fat Five Land is AMAZING!!…

Daigo Saito’s Fat Five Land is AMAZING!!…

I’ve been to some pretty cool places in my lifetime but seeing Daigo Saito’s playland in Saitama in-person was truly something unique. Over the past year or so, I’ve seen photos and video of his “Fat Five Land” completed but never thought I’d have the opportunity to see it. My fascination of Japanese drifting has always been more from the perspective of someone looking in from the outside. I don’t really know any Japanese drifters personally and I’ve only watched them on streams and in competition. Fat Five Land was a place I wanted to visit, but it never seemed like it was in the realm of possibility. When Sara hit me up to see if I wanted to go, I was honestly pretty surprised! Of course I said yes and here is another checkmark on a long list of places I have longed to see!…

First Time At Fuji Speedway & The Tokyo Underground Meet!!…

First Time At Fuji Speedway & The Tokyo Underground Meet!!…

Here we go! The day after Tokyo Auto Salon, I decided to skip day 2 and head to Fuji Speedway for a drift event. Normally I’d go to the show but I’ve never been to Fuji Speedway before so I wanted to get a look at the famed race track and see something I normally wouldn’t have the opportunity to. Sara is very much into drifting so she wanted to see what grassroots drifting in Japan was like. I’m always down to see new car stuff so off to Fuji Speedway we went. After that, we regrouped with friends down in Shibuya for the Tokyo Underground meet hosted by Sara and some friends from Level One Japan. She wanted to gather all the S2000s together so they were specifically parked in their own section of the meet while the rest of the underground parking garage was filled to the brim with both tuning cars and enthusiasts. It seemed like everyone from Tokyo Auto Salon gathered here after the show and the meet was an incredible success!

Tokyo Auto Salon 2023, But Chill…

Tokyo Auto Salon 2023, But Chill…

It’s the 2023 new season premiere! What better place would it be for our Vlog series to kick-off than in the tuning car mecca of Japan?! I’ve only been here in Tokyo for a few days so far but boy does it feel like a lot has happened. My focal point for the first part of my journey was to document the Tokyo Auto Salon event. It’s been two years since I’ve been able to attend TAS so I really wanted to do it right this time. In years passed I’ve always focused so much on doing both video and photography at the same time but I always felt like I didn’t properly cover the show in our Vlogs. So this year, I walked the show in a much more efficient manner and was able to cover most of what I wanted to see in one day! From experience, I always knew that the first few hours of Tokyo Auto Salon on day 1 was crucial. Those are the hours deemed for “media” specifically, which means that the show isn’t open to the public. No crowds equals less noise, and no models for all the weebs to gawk at. This was the perfect time to do coverage of the show because it wasn’t hectic at all. And that’s exactly what I did. That’s why this episode might feel like the chillest, most calm, version of any Tokyo Auto Salon coverage you’ll see. Those that don’t know might just assume TAS was like this all weekend. That is definitely not the case! It gets crazy to the point where you can’t even walk or breathe sometimes so consider this episode a relaxed, yet detailed, look at the show…

Grip Or Drift, WHO WINS???…

Grip Or Drift, WHO WINS???…

Just when I think things are winding down, even more events appear! Recently, the guys from Final Bout, a popular drift series, contacted the organizers of VTEC Club USA to see if they wanted to link-up to create a new one-of-a-kind event. They wanted to see if they could take their drift cars, set them up for grip, and take on some seasoned (and very fast) Honda time attack competitors. Would their skills and their cars stack-up against some of the best at the famed Willow Springs Raceway? I was intrigued myself so I wanted to see for myself! I’m sure this would present a pretty unique group of cars as well so I definitely did not want to miss out…

Stay Classick Sleighride 2022 Photos…

Stay Classick Sleighride 2022 Photos…

Just wanted to start things off today by saying a huge “thank you” to those of you who continued to support The Chronicles by watching the YouTube videos and grabbing merchandise from the store. It has been super busy lately here but in an incredibly positive way with so many orders to pack and ship daily. The last two drops have been super successful and I’m glad that The Chronicles continues to grow heading into our 15th year. Yes, FIFTEEN YEARS. How crazy is that?  I wasn’t even sure this thing would last two years when I first started it and look where we are at now. I still feel like I’m steadily improving in every thing I do here and I’m so very honored that many of you see that. I can’t always say it has been easy but through all the hard work and sacrifice, I have no regrets…