HIGHWAY TO THE DANGER ZONE: Osaka to Ebisu Circuit road trip

June 29, 2009 12:30 am Published by

Here are a couple of videos made by Jos Roder, an Australian guy who used to live in Osaka a couple of years ago.

I was on a short trip to Japan at the time, and wanted to go and see the Autumn Drift Matsuri at Ebisu Circuit. After working out the best way to rig my itinerary, it turned out that www.dr1ft.jp‘s Laurence wanted to go too, and so did Jos, who was kind enough to volunteer his drifter S14 Silvia to get there if we split the costs.

Osaka to Nihonmatsu is a fairly long drive by Japanese standards though, and the highway tolls would have cost 15,550円 according to the trip planner on the Nexco (highway company) website. We decided that this was money worth saving, so we took the low roads to get there. This seemed to be cheapest (but definitely not most stress-free) way of getting there.

Slow average speeds, no open petrol stations, traffic lights, stopping for roadworks and navigating in the dark made for a much more interesting trip than taking the boring-old highway. Laurence’s planning with the map was spot-on though, and we didn’t take a single wrong turn the whole way.

2007 Autumn Drift Matsuri Epic Road Trip (Part 1) from Jos on Vimeo.

Luckily, I wasn’t part of this next video!

My trip at the time had a ticket leaving from Narita Airport in Tokyo, so I caught a ride back with Shino in her truck.

Right at the end of the Drift Matsuri, a small amount of snow began to fall at Ebisu Circuit. Jos and Laurence thought that they’d be able to make it over the mountains and down to the coastline before any significant amount of snow fell, but Japan’s weather decided otherwise.

Very cold conditions and a lack of snow tyres made getting back down again an interesting procedure. Luckily, a certain someone came to their rescue!

2007 Autumn Drift Festival Ebisu Epic Road Trip (Part 2) from Jos on Vimeo.

Thanks for the videos Jos!

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This post was written by Alexi


  • Ben Comana says:

    Awesome.. loved it, cant the same for the guys going back… thanks for sharing.

  • hehehe excellent videos, the moped bit cracked me up! and at the very end of the first video, is that a previa drifitng?!?

  • Cronos says:

    holy shit!
    why Japan is too far away?
    why the culture is so different?
    why the language is hard?
    I want to live there!

  • Peter of A. says:

    Cool post. Nice story, funny comments in the video, keep it up !
    Was it Laurence with the famous yellow S14/white boot/black hood ?

  • Matt-AE86 says:

    Part 1 is now one of my all time favourites. Great Work Jos, Alexi and L.

  • kOOpA says:

    i laughed at “awww it’s a smoke show!” and i really laughed at “dyno tuning”

    XD good stuff

  • andylaurel says:

    Wow, that was an ordeal!
    I would never have considered driving from Osaka to Ebisu on the shitamichi.
    What a mission!

  • saha says:

    that is song 4:09 min?

  • Fury-S12 says:

    haha epic trip unlucky on the way back but the practice they got in while stuck could prove vital in the Scandinavian drift series 😛

    1.5 should be just as sweet?

  • Benny says:

    Awesome Alexi, looks fun, keen to see Part 1.5 of the skids 🙂

  • Jays14 says:

    Haha Random but good…

  • Ken says:

    awesome video!

  • z h a n d o s says:

    good story) i think it was discomfort to seat all way in a backside of s14)

  • Daniel says:

    Awesome video ! What the song name start from 0.14 seconds at Part 2 video ?

  • aleks says:

    Great vid
    whats the song at 3.37

  • Jos says:

    hi guys,

    thanks for the comments, it was an epic and it needed to be documented, but glad you all seem to be getting enjoyment from it also!

    as for the music as there is a few people asking so

    Part 1
    8 sec – ‘the adventure’ by Angels + Airwaves
    4.04 – ‘where are you now (demo mix) by DJ DLG vs Erick Morillo
    5.03 – ”T.T.C’ by Rank 1
    7.29 – ‘run with the wolves’ by The Prodigy
    7.59 – ‘blues brothers theme’ Peter Gunn

    Part 2
    8 sec – ‘only one time (sweet november)
    1.35 – ‘all along the watchtower’ by Jimi Hendrix
    2.32 – Indiana Jones Theme
    3.34 – ‘smile’ by Duderstat + Anita Kelsey
    4.48 – ‘paranoid’ by Black Sabbath
    6.07 – ‘my hero’ Foo Fighters

    Thanks to Laurence and Alexi for the memorable trip and Alexi, thanks for putting up the vids!

    Part 1.5 I will have finished on Wednesday. If its not up here, just check my Vimeo page.



  • saha says:

    Jos Thx for music

  • James says:

    Ah this brings back memories thanks guys