JR IN JAPAN: Video #4 at Ebisu Circuit

May 29, 2009 4:32 am Published by

Before you click “play”, can someone tell me what the hell is that course on the lower left? Damn, they’re letting people drift through the safari park now?

Nope, someone in the editing department just screwed up. Ebisu does have eight “tracks”, but they left out Kurukuru Land, which is actually a small skidpan, and not really a track. If you move your mouse over the timeline until it says 2:45 and look up until you see that second little dark patch just below the gooseneck on Nishi Course, that’s it.

This might be a good time to point out that I’m available for freelance consultancy on these kinds of matters. Hourly rates start at ridiculous and end at obscene, but as long as you throw in gas money, I’m happy.

Anyway, I was still driving up to Ebisu the morning most of this was shot, so I don’t have much else to add.

The next video is a bit more interesting though.

You can see me a little bit in this one during the dinner scene, wearing that same stripey Element hoodie I seem to wear in every photo.

Damn, they really should have made this video longer and shown some of the food we were eating!

Suzuki-san (the lady in the kimono) is the third-generation boss of the Azumakan Onsen, a huge hot-spring hotel about fifteen minutes from Ebisu Circuit. She already knew about Kumakubo and drifting, so she was actually really keen to come out and go for a ride in JR’s car. In the kind of style you’d expect a big hotel manager to have, she turned up right on time, went for a ride and left, only to come back wearing a completely different outfit and some souvenirs to give to the crew!

When we arrived at the onsen, most of the American crew freaked out about the fact that we were all staying in group rooms instead of one person per room. Sleeping in a big room on futons is the traditional way to do things at an onsen, since it’s all part of getting to know the people you’re with and enjoying each other’s company rather than everyone disappearing into their respective rooms and watching CNN because that’s the only thing in English.

While they all ran back and forth freaking out, Tokyo Drive’s Kenta (JR’s translator) and I sat down and tried the complementary spicy ginger tea and pickled burdock root. Not exactly the usual “mint on the pillow”!

I’ve stayed at the Azumakan before, and was looking forward to going downstairs and sitting in the outdoor hot spring. I only managed to convince Gay Andy (Drift Alliance’s camera dude) to go downstairs and try it though, but he enjoyed it.

These videos really should be longer. So much more happened than what they’re showing!

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This post was written by Alexi


  • SoSideways says:

    I was getting scared that no more of those JR in Japan videos were coming out anymore, since the last one was over a month ago!

    Good news good news!

  • zack says:

    suppper rad alexi! so awsome!

  • andy says:

    Kumakubo’s English translation was interesting.
    These videos are great though.

  • Kevin says:

    As usual, thanks for this one Mr. Nori Yaro.

  • Jamezu says:

    Haha I’d love to see these guy’s reaction when they realized you cannot wear anything in the onsen. It’s always funny to see how westerners react to Japan’s communal bath ideology.

  • ilia says:

    Maybe I’m the only one that sees this, and maybe I’m totally wrong, but Ford is trying WAY too hard. It’s insulting to me.

    Ford does not care about drifting, and these weak attempts at “viral marketing” just add insult to injury. Someone in the marketing department thought “hey, I guess drifting is the hot new thing, let’s ship a mustang overseas and show that we’re legit!”. Of course Ford could use just about any good idea by now, so they went for it.

    “Although helmets are not required by law for drifting in Japan, Ford recommends that you always wear a helmet”

    Disclaimers?! Legal warnings? Thanks for sucking the fun out of it, Ford.

    By the way, JR looks like a Nascar driver in those Bosch ads. Really cool. Racing suit full of logos, driving a prepped racecar. Totally sweet. That’s exactly why people like drifting.

    Sorry if that didn’t make any sense, it’s just sad and insulting to see Ford’s attempt to do something legit turn out so crappy instead.

  • zach says:

    are they making this into a dvd and all of these videos you have posted just trailers for it?? thats the way it comes off to me

  • Slappy says:

    I actually read all that. Awesome stuff. I’m jealous. Why do i keep hearing that Andy’s gay?….lol

  • BlueSlug says:

    i saw you four times in there 😛

    maybe when you’re rich(er) and famous(er) you could get that element zip-up signed by all sorts of drift stars and sell it on ebay or something 🙂

  • Alexi says:

    Yeah, it put a few of them off.

    I think you’re trying too hard to be cynical at this one.

  • MeZ says:


    I love it, alexi you free in august?

    *taps nose*

  • Alexi says:

    I reckon something could quite possibly be arranged, mum’s the word, wink wink nudge nudge, say no more.