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DISASTER AFTER: Ebisu is open for business, plus Volgas

By in 28-03-2011 5:06 pm

Thank you so much to all the people who sent in pictures of their “foreign” drift cars at such short notice. Some of the cars were pretty cool, but the weirdest one was an absolutely nuts two-door converted Volga smoking it up in the Ukraine. Drifting sure has come a long way! I’ll be responding to the last of all the emails shortly, and I’ll inform the people who made it into the magazine as soon as I know.

Also, you may have noticed there’s not a whole lot of original content appearing on Noriyaro right now. For this I have no excuse, so I hope you don’t mind the wait until I can get some new content together. Petrol isn’t as hard to find now as it was after the earthquake, so events should be starting up again regularly in the coming month too.

In the meantime, here’s a video from JZX90 drifter Tatsuo Akimoto showing what Ebisu Circuit looks like as of yesterday. The circuits themselves seem fine, but the thing that actually worries me are those big cracks on the expressway up there! Losing front aero on the Tohokudo would not be a lot of fun.

Speaking of Ebisu, the Sliproad Junkies have some Love Ebisu t-shirts and hoodies with proceeds going to charity. You may have heard that Kumakubo and the staff at Ebisu have been using their resources to get actively involved in the relief effort in their area. がんばっぺない東北!

For UK guys, don’t forget about Banzai Magazine’s charity meet at the 8 Ball Diner on the 7th of May. Details at the Banzai website.

Also, I received a message from Ben at Hampshire Jap Cars announcing that they’re having a Red Cross charity event on the 10th of April.

The Pray For Japan charity stickers made by some nice dudes.

Yuta Akaishi’s Heartbreaker stickers.

If you’re still not sure who to help out, you could always donate to the Japan Red Cross Society. Otherwise known as the Sekijuuji (赤十字) or “Red Ten”, they have a direct link to their donation account on their website.


BIG IN JAPAN: Own a non-Japanese drifter and proud of it? I need your help!

By in 24-03-2011 12:07 am

UPDATE: Thank you to all the people who sent in photos. I think I’m getting an extra two pages in the magazine this month!

A serious lack of petrol in the eastern part of Japan recently has meant that every single drifting event since the earthquake was cancelled. With nothing to shoot, workshops not opening and no way to get around, my camera has laid dormant in its bag, unable to take any new pics for the past couple of weeks!

So for those reasons, I ask the following question:

Do you drift an Escort, Mustang, or a Holden Ute? A Benz or a Beemer? A Ford, Holden, Chevrolet, Pontiac, Porsche, Volvo or even a Lada?

This month’s Noriyaro column in Drift Tengoku magazine is going to be all about “local and proud of it” drift cars.

This is a call to everyone in the USA and the UK, Aussies, Europeans, Enzedders and everyone else. Even if you think your car is fairly simple, as long as you get it sideways, I want to see it. From a work in progress to a circuit regular.

Conversely, if you’ve gone the Japanese body route, but have gone for a very local engine conversion, I want to see that too. A Volvo turbo, BMW V8, anything like that. In case you’re wondering, of course I still want to see your LS1 or LS8, no matter how blasphemous some might call the conversion! Don’t be afraid to stand beside your creation in the pic and do some JDM posing. Rope your girlfriend in if she’s blonde, they love that.

For every photo that gets chosen by Kawasaki-san and published in the magazine, I’ll send out a copy of the mag the pic is in, and a Drift Tengoku sticker.

What I need are fairly big resolution photos taken with anything other than a phone camera. Feel free to include a few different ones, especially action shots if you have them. Send them one or two at a time if your email can’t quite handle sending a lot at once.

If the photo was not taken by you, please make sure that you have permission from the photographer to use it. If you’re a photographer with some great shots and some details on the cars, please send them through.

Don’t worry about processing or cropping them. The mag designers will look after all that.

Make sure to include the owner’s name, what country you live in, some basic specs of the car, and why you like it.

Send the emails to alexi at

I know this is kind of late notice, but I’ll need the pics by early next week at the latest. If you don’t already have any pics, this weekend might be a good time to do it!

Even if this doesn’t apply to you, if you know someone that drives something like this on a local forum or your club, please send them a link to the site.


NOT A DYNO GRAPH: The latest from Japan

By in 15-03-2011 9:28 pm

This is a reading from a website that shows the readings of a Tokyo-based Geiger-counter. Unlike the rest of the internet though, I’m not going to pretend to be a nuclear scientist or claim to have an uncle who worked on the Manhattan Project or talk about iodine isotopes or cesium or microsieverts. All I know is that the little squiggly line has gone back to where it’s supposed to be, and my skin isn’t falling off just yet.

While there haven’t been any electricity cuts where I live on the outskirts of Tokyo, there’s still no petrol deliveries, which means no doing the thing I like most; driving around and making loud noises. A risk of earthquakes means I’m not about to lie under the car while it’s up on jacks either, so I’ll probably try and get some of the little jobs on the Toyota I’ve been meaning to do out of the way, and it’s been fun doing some maintainence on the house’s mountain bike. Pretty much every track event has been cancelled too. On the upside though, there’s absolutely no shortage of beer!

As for upcoming major events:

• The D1 Grand Prix event Odaiba to be held on the 26-27th of March has been postponed to an undetermined date in June.(website)

The next is the one most people have been messaging me about.

• Ebisu Circuit’s Spring Drift Matsuri is still going ahead as planned.

I have spoken to Team Orange’s Naoto Suenaga, and while there has been some major damage to pit areas caused by the earthquake (Kumakubo’s blog, Powervehicles’ Facebook photos), the circuits are still in good condition, and will be fully repaired by that time. “Tell everyone that we’re going to have lots of fun.” he said.

For those who’ve been asking about charity donations, the main one at work here is the Japan Red Cross Society. Otherwise known as the Sekijuuji (赤十字) or “Red Ten”, they have a direct link to their donation account on their website, so all you need to do is use the international SWIFT code to send money directly to the place it’s needed if you don’t want to go through your local Red Cross.

For guys in the UK, Banzai Magazine are running a charity meet at the 8 Ball Diner on the 7th of May. Details at the Banzai website.

You may have heard of the Pray For Japan charity stickers made by some nice dudes.

Yuta Akaishi is also doing some Heartbreaker stickers.

Also, if you’re running some sort of charity event or similar to donate to the tsunami relief, please let me know, and I’ll list it up here.


EARTHQUAKE: Today in Japan

By in 11-03-2011 8:16 pm

This picture is of the Option and Drift Tengoku magazine office in Shin-Kiba, right down near Tokyo Bay, which was swamped by a small tsunami is built on reclaimed land that liquefied and had a dramatic rise in water table after the quake.

Luckily I was at the house today, which is not in a tsunami-prone area, and most of the buildings are two stories or less. There was a lot of shaking, but fortunately not much else. After realising that it wasn’t a strong breeze that was rattling the windows, I grabbed a video camera and pointed it outside.

Hopefully everything gets sorted out here soon.

I’m not sure if it’s available overseas, but the TBS Youtube channel has a lot of videos and live streaming.


FLEX YOUR DRIFT MUSCLE: Dorikin’s new series has a schedule, and it’s on this year!

By in 05-03-2011 4:15 am

It turns out that Dorikin and GoGo Daijiro’s new breakaway drifting series will be held in 2011, with the first round just over two months away! Perhaps my Japanese isn’t as good as I pretend it is? Thanks to site reader Sergiogon from Portugal for pointing out that Dorikin has released some new limited information on his website. The name of the new drift series is:


Well, that part I did actually know, but I thought I’d hold off just in case they wanted to change the name.

Here’s the current logo.

Drift Muscle? Anyway, the two main classes are going to be “Muscle” for middle and “Super Muscle” for expert.

Probably of a bit more interest is the schedule!

Round 1: 8th May, Nihonkai Maze Circuit
Round 2: 6th June, Bihoku Highland CIrcuit
Round 3: 17th July, Nikko Circuit
Round 4: 10th October, Suzuka Twin Circuit
Round 5: 3rd November, Sportsland Sugo West Course

West Course at Sugo is the “extreme dirt drop” kart course that they used to use in the earlier seasons of D1. The first corner has been widened a bit since then though.

Dorikin wrote on his K1 Planning site that information about regulations and entry will be up on the website in “one or two days”, and finished by saying “It’s begun for the sake of all lovers of drifting”.

Also, Daijiro is here to remind you that even if you survive crashing and rolling the Stream-Z in the desert at over 240km/h, drinking too much and trying to walk down narrow-ass Japanese stairs can be just as dangerous!


NISSAN WEEK AND THE NEW D1GP: Some new info about Tsuchiya and Dai’s drift series

By in 02-03-2011 7:10 am

So, today is Skyline day (R32), yesterday was Cefiro day (A31) and Friday is Laurel day (C34), so do something nice for your car this week if you drive a Nissan. It’s also Mini day and Sunny day, as “3 2” can be pronounced “mi ni” or “san ni”. Unfortunately for me, there’s no zeroth of October, so I’ll just have to wait and see what date S.T. Garage set for the 1JZ Meeting this year.

Putting that aside for now, I heard some interesting things yesterday…