Green day…no school = a day off for me. Too bad I seemed to have caught a cold of some sort. But Chris has a stockpile of NyQuil and Tylenol so I was determined to go on about my day. I had to run down to Shijo-kawaramachi to pay back a freind I owed some money to, and decided I’d visit a few of my favorite place in the process. 1st on the list was my favorite cafe, right off of Teramachi, Cafe Lulu. Why I love Cafe Lulu? LocoMoco!


A`quick stop at the Kyoto Onitsuka Tiger shop:


Picked up a new wallet to replace my tired one (on the left) from Real Free:


A stop at one of the better cafe/vinyl shops in the area, Japonica:


Couple all these cool places with a ear-full of DJ Krush, and it made for a fun day despite my head cold.


So I was forced to “watch” the race via Formula1’s live time timing:


Another interesting race, but Räikkönen kept his lead and kept 1st, 2nd for Massa and 3rd for Hamilton. Sadly my boys Kovalainen and Bourdais both retired. You can see the full results, here.

The Jordan WRC rally also ended, with Mikko Hirvonen winning the inaugural Jordan round. Since Loeb retired, Mikko now has a 5point lead in the drivers’ championship. Read more, here.


And on to D1! 1st went to my old favorite, Koguchi! 2nd went to Daigo and 3rd to Tezuka. I’m really happy KO got a win, its his 1st D1 win to my knowledge, and the 1st podium finish since his win at last years D1SL at Ebisu in his JZX100. Congrats to him, I hope he keeps it up for a few more rounds.


Race weekend!

There are a ton of events going on this weekend! The one I wish I was able to catch on tv is the Spanish GP. Sadly I can’t seem to find a place to watch it here in Japan. After Saturday qualifications, current points leader Kimi Räikkönen sits on pole, the 15th of his career. My hopes are still on Heikki and Bourdais to do something special 😉


This weekend is also race weekend for the 2008 WRC season, in Jordan. The Jordan rally is new to the circuit, and Sebastien Loeb was looking for his 3rd straight win as he had taken a comfortable lead after day two, but his rally ended on day three when he “collided with a privately-entered Citroen driven by Zimbabwean Conrad Rautenbach on a narrow, blind corner after the 11th stage.” You can read more, here. The end of the rally for the 4time champion leaves a three way battle between Finland’s Jari-Matti Latvala, his BP-Ford team-mate Mikko Hirvonen and the remaining Citroen of Sordo. It should shape up to be an interesting rally.


This weekend is also round 2 of the 2008 D1 Grand Prix at Fuji Speedway. After Saturday, Kuroi is #1 of the un-seeded with a 100pint run at 185km/h (115mp/h) in his trusty one-via. He is followed by Daigo in his JZ100. The other big news, Taniguchi is back after 2 years in his HKS Altezza, so it should be an interesting event. Last round’s winner Kawabatta is the #1 seeded driver, but will be driving a 180sx fitted with new Gp-Sports aero and an OriginType2 hood. Take a look at more shots via Wrecked.



I can’t wait to see/hear the results of all these events. Oh, and to top it off, today is the 1st event of ClubFR’s 2008 season at USAIR….. I wish i could drive 🙁




Oh THAT car…

I just realized that the JZX100 I posted about (here) is actually the car that Robbie Nishida drove at Ebisu a few weeks ago in the 1st round of the 2008 D1 season. (pics thanks to Japanese Used Cars)




Wonder what (if?) he is driving this weekend at D1 Fuji? **EDIT** According to D1gp’s site, he drove a FD but did not make it to the main event.

Giza and Yakiniku

Chris just finished up our 2nd podcast, and this time we are heading to Egypt!


And the other night I ran back to Kameoka to pick up my atm card from the bank. After, I went and had dinner at my favorite yakiniku joint, Azi-sen! This is the same place all you TF guys came to with me when you came and visited my last year. Some of the best kalbi, yuke and tounge (yes, tounge) that I’ve had in awhile.


The below yuke, has to one of my all-time favs:


And kalbi to finish up!




I was browsing some blogs and ran across these shots of Daigo Saito’s latest JZX100….in less than perfect shape:


It seems on the way to Nikko the tire carrier was too high for a tunnel and..well you can see the aftermath 🙁 It’s a shame since this Chaser, compared to his past competition cars, is very clean and easy on the eyes.


I guess its ok, since Daigo and Mikami of 3UP can just laugh it off 😉


Anyway, in other news: the latest Sevendust LP has been released. Chapter VII: Hope and Sorrow, seems to flow and overall be a much better release than their last attempt, Alpha. I recommend giving this new album a few listens.

Kei Rally!

So in a last minute decision I decided to ride with Masa and Kuga up to the 1st K-Rally of the year, where they would be running their Daihatsu Opti. You can check out the full set of pics, here! Here is the beast, in all her glory!
In the morning free session they let me take the car out for 5 or so laps, and its actually the 1st time I have ever been wheel to wheel with other cars, not counting 5 car tandems 😉 But wheel to wheel grip is way harder than wheel to wheel drift, and for sure more intense! Although that cars don’t really fly around the track, its so much fun to always be full throttle.


Here is me getting in, aside from the dash slamming me in the leg over ever jump, it was some of the best fun I’ve had in a car. While the car was on gravel tires, they were quite old and didn’t offer much traction. It basically felt like driving an FF car in the snow. But with only 60hp its not able to power through slides just by putting your foot down.

The race itself consisted of A-group and B-group, that are decided by a one lap time attack. The top 11 were in A-group and the bottom 11 were in B-group. Masa qualified 4th overall, putting the team on the grid with A-group. The race itself is a 2 hour enduro split between 4 or 5 drivers. Sadly while still in 4th place about 30mins before the checkered flag, the pass side driveshaft broke, ending the day.

We plan to fix the driveshaft and replace the shocks all around, about 1/2way through the race they seemed to blow and the car was bouncing all over the place. The next event is in the 2nd week of June and I plan to be the 5th driver on the team! I can’t wait. Here is a quick video of me behind the wheel. While it doesn’t look so fun, I can assure you its a F’n blast!

Again, you can check out the full set of pics, here!

Podcast & good sounds

One of the projects here at school involves the students using an ipod touch (that we ask them all to buy) to study English. Along with making PowerPoint based flashcards they can flip through (like cover flow), we are going to be making about 10 or 15 podcasts based on their book. Here is out first, lol.

We plan to use a video camera in the future, but we need to get the 1st few done asap since the school year has already started.

Anyways, I ran across these shots of the RE 3 rotor and 2 rotor peripheral port motors. The 3 rotor is used the GT300 SGT FD3S:


And this 2 rotor version is used in their D1gp FD3S:


I think I posted this way back, but who cares, p-port motors sound so good! This is an example of what a n/a 3rotor p-port sounds like:

Home…for now

I was originally going to get a apartment similar to the one that I had last time I was here. Turns out it was taken like a day before or the day I actually arrived in Japan, so I had to find a new one. I found a good place, but it wont be open until the end of May. So in the meantime I am living with another one of the teachers from the school. Not in Kameoka but in the western part of Kyoto city. The place is huge, one of the biggest I’ve seen in Japan for the amount he pays. He used to live with his brother here (also a teacher at my school) but he recently got married and moved down to Osaka. So it worked out well for both of us; I have a roof over my head and he doesn’t have to go without a roommate for awhile with whom he can split the rent with. Click to see the full gallery.

As you can see, its almost abnormally large for an apartment in Japan. I would actually consider staying here, but on top of no parking spaces, and it not really changing the commute time even though its closer to work ,most of my friends are back in Kameoka so it’s an easy decision. I don’t really need all this space anyway, living alone and all.

Roast Factory….Touge Factory…..I can’t get away from the factories. At least with this behind my place it smells like coffee all the time, and not Kimchi 😉


So last weekend was the 1st round of the 2008 D1 Grand Prix season at the newly repaved Ebisu Circuit. Here are just a few shots from Hirota’s (Verota) blog. I’m a huge fan of seldom seen cars, and have always loved Hirota’s JZX110 Verossa. I do have to admit it looked way better when it has no stickers, and before it was even red, when it was black. According to his blog, in the qualifications he got judged a 98.8…..only good enough for 22nd place, meaning he didn’t move into the top 16. I think its insane that a 98.8 point run doesnt get you anywhere, thats like the top 4 or so in Formula D 😉