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01/16/2007: "Yokohama Bridge Meet" mood: Excited

Every time I've come to Japan I've made a vain attempt to see a car meet or some night drifting. Everytime I fail. Either the language barrier, the lack of a car, or not knowing anyone with the same hobby led to never witnessing the nightime car culture in Japan. This time was different though. This time, Travis was able to show me the scene from his point of view. On our way home he made a few quick phone calls and lined up a small meet between his circle of car friends which would together leave over to a car meet and possible drifting.

Unfortunately, his R32's clutch pedal broke and we were forced to rough it in his race Toyota Hilux (oldschool 4runner in the states). We rolled up to a 7/11 not far from the Navy base and met up with his friend Ryo and his other friend with another HCR32. Ryo actually imported a car from America to Japan much like the swap of me imported a Skyline to the US. He was sporting a Roush Mustang (sorry if I'm mistaken, I don't know alot about Fords).

The funny thing is he mentioned paying upwards of 50k to get his mustang imported and legal to drive in Japan. People on the street were staring at it like it was some amazing sight. It was kinda weird seeing a car I see everyday in America stared at with such envy here. I suppose he would feel the same if he saw an American's reaction to a Skyline in the states.

Ryo decided to go home before we left due to girl reasons (being sleepy), so it left just us in the racing Hilux and the HCR32. We headed out through the streets of Yokohama and hopped on the expressway towards the Yokohama Bridge.

Expressways in Japan work very differently then Freeways do in the western US. Everywhere you go, it takes a toll. We probably spent $20 in tolls that night to drive to the bridge and back at at least five different toll booths. The expressways in Yokohama, as nerdy as it may sound, looked so identical to how they looked in the Japanese racer movies and Tokyo Extreme Racer video games I played when I was younger. It was a total trip to actually be on one just driving.

Once we approached the bridge, about half way through, it allows you to split off to a large parking area underneath it. You follow a large loop around that surrounds the total area of the lot. As we drove up all I could see was sexy car after sexy car. I must apologize though as my camera was mostly dead after the TAS expedition so I only got a few pictures. Below shows part of the parking lot with some of the cars.

The scene was also waaaay different then a meet back home. There was loud music playing from all over the place. Girls were dancing, guys were b-boying (if that's the proper term, I dunno), engines were being revved to redline non-stop, and the amazing thing was, the cops took it as normal. Cars were flashier, more people were there and talking with each other. Crews would roll in, show off their cars, then go park in a line. It seemed like a fantasy Fast and the Furious movie scene, but on crack. It was so surreal. Then, as I was wandering through the different cars, one of the navy guys asked me, " Hey a Lambo just rolled up, wanna check it out?"

Wow, I mean, wow. This was on a whole other level I never thought possible. When amateur car meets bring out lamborghinis, that's just unbelievable. It got weirder though. Another style of car culture there, the vans/scion looking things, had their own meet going. At that meet, there was this man dressed in all white with a white mask on who exited his car, popped his back with a sea of subwoofers blazing, then proceeded to pop'n'lock to the songs.

That was a little much for me so I walked back to the normal tuner cars and an immaculate bayside blue R34 Vspec parked. I talked with the Japanese owner a bit about his car and midsentence, a GTR only crew of about 10 busted into the parking lot with motors revving high with turbos spooling all up in my face like whoa. It pains me greatly that my camera died at this point, not allowing me to show you it.

I did get a quick pic of a 700hp RX-7 seen below

I also took a very short video of it shooting flames as it redlined.

I just about hit critical mass in my pants so it was about time to go. Travis also got word on the phone that the drifters were meeting at a convenience store somewhere in Yokohama. We jumped back onto the expressway with an S14 and that blue FD. The FD then did a series of drive-bys on our Hilux which was absolutely divine sounding.

We pulled into the convenience store to see another full parking lot packed to the brim with driftcars (s14s, to 180s, S15s, FDs, etc.). There were so many, they even had to park down the street and walk up to talk with the main group. I tried to get the camera to squeeze out a couple more pictures but all I could get was this last one.

Yea that S15 was hot. There was also a drift team by the name of "Team Sakura" who had a few members which obviously drifted pretty hard (drift damage all over the place) present and ready to go. After only a short wait, everyone left out of the area (sideways and loudly mind you) and headed out to the drift spot.

Most unfortuantely for me though, the cops arrived at the spot within minutes and broke it up. The drifters went to regroup but Travis and I were getting quite tired and decided to just come back another night to see more.

The next morning we planned to fix his skyline asap. While it took a bit longer then we were originally hoping, it finished up with no problems and he even let me test drive it!

Pretty much, this weekend kicked a lot of ass. First the Tokyo Auto Salon, then the car meet. Capped it all off with driving a skyline inside Japan for the first time. I'm looking forrward to the next time we head out, it's sure to be a blast!

I also put together a 72 picture gallery of the evening which you can view HERE. check out the pictures and let me know what you think.

Replies: 7 Comments

Friday, February 9th
> The one part about the hot chick with the FD... sweet.

> Then again a hot chick who's into cars is someone special I'd like to meet.

Ryan [e-mail]
Saturday, January 20th
Dude thats so cool. It's amazing just reading this through the eyes of someone with the same point of view as me...I can't even imagine just seeing that kind of meet, Sometime next month I can paypal you like $50 so you can get some extra batteries...lol

And the other times you stayed in Japan, what was the reason you were there? I really want to see Japan one day, it just seems like such a sensory overload.

Saturday, January 20th
this has to be one of the better posts so far, i laughed a lot even though i doubt you were aiming for humor!!

that's so funny, ironic, cool, and cute about their "car meets". it sounds so much more fun and DRAMA+STRESS free!!!! nice! glad you had fun!

Tomasz [e-mail]
Wednesday, January 17th
Awsome awsome. now i have to remove my jaw from the floor and try to glue it back to my face.

Spencer [e-mail] [homepage]
Tuesday, January 16th
sounds pretty freakin awesome to be over there. maybe tomasz and i will make a trip at the end of this year, be cool to hang out with you again, but in JAPAN!

JDMnick [e-mail] [homepage]
Tuesday, January 16th

And you said you where going to get lonely...

...oh and Rachel's on board to do some schoolin' in japan.

woot hopefully see you soon!!

Tuesday, January 16th
"guys were b-boying (if that's the proper term, I dunno)"

Yeah it is. razz That is friggin sweet.