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.
Now here’s something that could be very interesting.
Option have decided to start putting some of their content online as downloadable DVDs. Their system seems to requires you to download and install a program called “DVD Toaster”, which then downloads and burns a DVD for you to watch.
Each DVD, which is payable by credit card, seems to cost all of only ¥800! For a comparison, Option sells for ¥1905 at the shops.
I might give this a test-drive one day and see how easy it is to use, and if people in foreign countries can use it.
One can only hope they decide to put up old Options and Drift Tengoku DVDs…
How to effectively drift the car in wet and dry conditions.
A Chuubu region Ikaten competition at Mizunami Circuit.
How a LSD works, and talks by D1 mechanics on how they set theirs up.
Team Green’s Guinness World Record attempt for the most number of cars doing donuts at the same time.
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!