PHOTOS OF THE YEAR 2012: The good, the strange and the weird

February 4, 2013 1:02 am Published by

It’s time again to have a look at the server statistics and see which photos were the most popular last year.

So, here are the top twenty-five photos from Noriyaro in 2012!


#25 FR Forester

A common theme of these lists are cars that you don’t normally see done up in a certain style, like this FR-converted Forester drifter.

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#24 Circuit-spec Townace

The same goes for this Townace that I saw at Honjo Circuit, complete with some rather old Advan Neovas on equally old Hayashi Streets.

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#23 Some guys at Tsukuba

As far as I know, the Himawari Racing AE86 has been retired and replaced with an equally ostentatious S13 Silvia. I need to catch up with Kazuya sometime soon and get some shots of that.

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#22 Sports Land Yamanashi wallpaper

Sports Land Yamanashi is an awesome touge-style track hidden up in the mountains of Yamanashi Prefecture, and it’s really easy to take rather pretty photos there, like this wallpaper.

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#21 Kawashima Celica

With links to the photos of the Kawashima Celica appearing on dozens of websites and forums and with close to three million views of the video, it was kind of obvious that it would make it into this list.

Does that mean it only ranked in at #21? Don’t believe it! Keep scrolling…

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#20 Team Orange at Odaiba

The fact that they are such a big team in D1 means they are rather interesting to shoot.

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#19 Soarer plate swap

Soarer people tend to get very excited when Soarer stuff appears. This was at a Soarer-only event, but the rest of the pics never made it to the site. I might put them up sometime.

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#18 Kawashima Celica

It’s back again at #18! Will it appear again down below? Keep scrolling!

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#17 Drift with a smile

It’s probably easier to drift with a smile when you’re so damn good at doing it, like Naoto Suenaga.

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#16 Jake Jones in Japan

This was the first post I put up of Aussie drifter Jake Jones’ D1GP adventure in Japan. You can read all about it on Yokohama Australia’s website.

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#15 White on a Monday Night

Stuff like this just randomly appears in the Daikoku parking lot if you wait around long enough. even on a weekday. This pic is also available as a wallpaper.

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#14 Tezuka’s JZX100

Tsuyoshi Tezuka’s personal JZX100 Mark II drifter at YZ Circuit. Unfortunately, it’s since lost the trademark Tezuka-pink and been repainted in white! There’s also a short ride-along video on the original post.

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#13 Battle Wakamatsu

I took this in the middle of some fun rain battles with former D1GP driver Yasushi Wakamatsu at the wheel.

You can also watch some in-car video of this on the third Noriyaro Raw video. Here it is cued up and ready to go.

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#12 Nagoya Exciting Car Showdown preview

This post probably got a lot of hits because it really did have a lot of great stuff in it, even if it was shot at the last second because they were telling everyone to get out.

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#11 Darth Mark X

Not too sure why this ranked as well as it did, but it’s a nice pic nonetheless.

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#10 Agent K at Ebisu Minami

Agent K events at Ebisu are as crazy as this pic implies.

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#9 Painted lines

I only had a few seconds to guess the exposure and set up this shot, and it turned out pretty well.

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#8 Corona at Fuji

This was in the parking lot of Fuji Speedway after the Hellaflush event held there. This is also available as a wallpaper.

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#7 Naoki Nakamura at Meihan

Pretty much anything with Naoki in it will be popular. This pic is available as a wallpaper too.

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#6 One man’s trash…

I was late going home when I took this shot and only took one, so I’ll need to go back to this location and get some more.

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#5 Itasha meeting on the Kan-Etsu

There’s not much more to be said about this one than it’s amazing what people can do with printed vinyl graphics these days!

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#4 Smile Sakamoto

I think this one became popular because it ended up on lots of meme sites as the “ridiculously photogenic drifter”.

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#3 Skinny vanilla grande

Is Jesse Streeter’s Capuccino really cool enough to be number 3? I guess it is!

Should I do an entire feature on it?

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#2 First 86 crash

I think this was the first pic to hit the internet of Hibino’s 86 after it crashed at on its debut at Odaiba. He looked really uncomfortable with the car that day, and it unfortunately ended up like this. At least they had it back out the next morning ready for competition.

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#1 Kawashima Celica

If you hadn’t already guessed, the Kawashima Celica was the most viewed picture of 2012.

That makes it the most popular car on Noriyaro not just once but two years in a row. It was the most popular single picture last year as well.

After sitting idle for a while after blowing the engine, Kawashima has begun working on the car again recently. I heard that some of the original concepts will change slightly to make the car a bit more useable, but other than that, it’s going to be just as crazy as you might expect. I’ll head over to the Drift Tengoku headquarters soon, present Kawashima-san with a prize for winning and hear what he has to say about how the car will look in the future.

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This post was written by Alexi


  • 6330 says:

    Painted Lines wins in my opinion, but the Celica is awesome though.

  • Azka says:

    I dig Streeter’s Cappucino and Kawashima’s Celica!

  • Sean says:

    I’d wondered what had happened to that celica! Can’t wait to hear his plans for it

  • I love how when the photos of the Celica first began to come up people were were like D: But now people are like C:

  • Jennes says:

    Awesome shots! And i would love an entire feature of Jesses Cappuccino! I don’t know much about these cars but one of my japanese colleagues told me that he used to own one. So i think think this will be even more interesting for me 🙂

  • devin says:

    would be rad if you could show us the all soarer event.

  • Izzy says:

    Just look at that camber on celica!!!!

  • watson says:

    The little bit of commentary on each pic, and the personal feel to all your photos make this whole post (and all of noriyaro) a winner.

  • Tom Doriyume says:

    “everyone’s” hating on kawashima celica because he pushed the boundaries further than anyone else did. I don’t liked his car in the first place, but i dig the man behind it, doing it for himself!

    The most photogenic drifter ever is awesome though!

  • Sebastian says:

    “Painted lines”

    i love it ! in fact, it’s my wallpaper on: iphone, ipad, netbook, laptop jajaja

    awesome job and photos =)