I’ll start off the first entry of the new year with pictures of me creeping on people standing on the sidewalks.
We were pretty high up and since it was so effin hot in the room we had to sleep with the window open. The street lights make sounds for the blind people walking so it was dinging all night. If you look at the different color lines on the sidewalk, that is so blind people can cross the street and know which direction they are going. Right after I put my camera down a guy with a cane came walking down the line and he used it to stop and wait for the sounds and then walked across the street with everyone else.
We stayed at the Utsunomiya Port Hotel, near the train station.
You can see the large station in the distance.
Our room was really spacious. You could walk between the beds and didn’t have to carry luggage one piece at a time through the doorway.
Our room was also equipped with a state of the art control system. What we have here is AC controls, 1, 2, 3 and 4, AM/FM radio, alarm clock and one outlet for each bed. -__-
Well… good to know.
We headed downstairs and to the train station to get some breakfast. On the way we walked through this park area… apparently it’s a Jiaozi (Pot sticker) park. They serve all sorts as well had some Japanese anime statues for kids to play with.
Can you find the Pokemon?
I have no idea what this is.
A place to stick your face… inside of a Pot Sticker’s mouth.
Don’t judge us.
Come here and get all of the pot stickers that you can eat.
Looking behind us, you can see the Port Hotel.
Pictures of famous Japanese people that have been here.
Ready to go! Only like $6 to get a tray!
Pot sticker anime guy statue.
We made it into the station and found a place to get some grub. I was also thinking about going to J!NS for some stuff. haha
Cheese Garden perhaps?
Tim went into Newdays to get some gum.
We ate and headed back to the hotel to gather our things. We would be checking out and then driving out to Nikko tonight after we left Twin Ring Motegi. This chick set up a stand an all and was playing the guitar as people walked by.
R34 Skyline sedan.
We grabbed our gear, checked out of the room and then went down to get the DC5.
A few minutes later the DC5 emerged from the garage door.
FD non-Type R Civic in traffic.
Beauty to all the people.
After leaving the hotel we noticed a pretty loud rattle coming from under the hood of the DC5. Upon further inspection it turns out some bolts on the exhaust manifold heat shield had managed to wiggle themselves out. So we headed to the closest Honda dealership to get some replacement bolts.
In the back of the service dept I spotted a Honda Inspire with the JDM front bumper and grill.
Insight with a Mugen wing!
Newest and previous generation Honda Fit’s. The white RS was brand new.
This dealership was also a Mugen factory shop. Meaning that if you bought a Mugen edition CR-Z or the Mugen RR, ect you would bring it here to have the Mugen mechanics come and service them.
If you wanted a little model of the car you just bought, they have them here. Of course, they are all stupid little N Boxes and other Honda cars that no one cares about.
I took a ton of these brochures. haha
While Will and I were inside snooping around, Tim came in and told us that the service dept wouldn’t help with bolts and that he couldn’t buy any. They suggested we go to the hardware store. -__-
You can see the Honda engineering plant in the distance.
Who says all cars in Japan are small? This is proof that they have land yachts just like in America.
We went into the largest store that I have been in since I arrived to Japan. This place was about the size of a normal Home Depot or Wal-Mart. They sold everything here… except food.
Driver badges everywhere!
JDM dog coat? We managed to find some bolts and head back outside to fix the rattle.
We drove by the parking lot of the Honda engineering building and peeped in to see all of the employee’s cars.
We passed another Showa factory.
So many Honda cars on the road! We love it!
We were getting out of the city and saw more of this, as well as American style homes.
We were getting closer to Motegi but this huge truck wasn’t helping us get there any faster.
More rice fields and hills were around here. I don’t think it was as nice as Nagoya but the weather was certainly better.
These guys were repairing the side of the hill… I guess it came crumbling down.
We are getting into the town of Motegi.
We have arrived!!
I have included an aerial layout of the track for those that aren’t familiar with the facility. Twin Ring is not just a racing circuit, it’s also home to the Honda Collection Hall, which stores many of the most significant historic achievements by Honda Motor Company. For those that want to brush up on Twin Ring history and knowledge, check this out. In short, TRM was built by Honda in the late 90′s to bring the Indy Car series to Japan. They also use the track to hold their own testing and development, just like Suzuka. The track also has a cafe, kids park, karting track as well as a super kart track.
We rolled in to the main gate.
Tim got us park tickets passes so we headed to the collection hall!
This looked like a motorcycle track.
Inside of the gates the roads are pretty long. This is certainly the largest racing facility I have ever been to in my life. It’s massive.
This is right in the front near the super speedway and main grandstands.
We parked and walked into the Honda Collection Hall which is where we decided to go first. I didn’t take any pictures of the front of the building because I wasn’t sure how cool they were about photography.
Once we knew they were cool about taking pictures, I started snapping away. Right when you walk in, you’ll see some of the first machines that Honda ever built.
As it says, this is a 1924 race car, named the Curtis Special. It is powered by an air craft engine and was built by the founder of Honda, Soichiro Honda.
This beautiful Honda S500 was also on display in the main hall. This was Honda’s first production sports car and grandpa to the Honda S2000.
This also one of Honda’s first racing cars build by himself in the early 20th century.
After looking at the cars in the main room, we moved to the right where all of the major historical advancements in Honda’s robotic technology. The Honda FCX Concept was also on display in the back.
It might be hard to see without clicking on the pictures, so I’ll type the year. These project started in the early 1980′s.
I took a few more pictures of this one than the others because of the shear craziness of how it was put together.
This thing was creepy looking… Honda must have been inspired by Robo Cop’s ED 209.
It also looks really, really heavy.
Finally, the latest generation Asimo. It’s funny how you can look at the robots and translate their manufacturing into a generation of cars. The 2000 series robots remind me of the first Honda Insight.
This is a table demonstrating the difference in materials that have played a part in the evolution of their robot technology. Left was steel, middle was aluminum, on the right was magnesium.
The Honda FCX Concept car.
I’m not sure if this is a functioning concept, if it is it certainly isn’t street legal. The headlights and most of the interior were for show only.
The craftsmanship on the inside was great, too bad all of their production cars don’t come with amount of detail.
Cafe and the library to the left.
Before we went upstairs we wanted to check out the ASIMO demo show that was about to start. In the mean time, we went to the little library and looked through some of the books.
This book was for EG Civic’s and showcased some of the aftermarket parts that were available for these cars in the early 90′s.
JDM books are weird. They read them back to front.
Hey, we’ve been there. It didn’t look much different. ^_^
Vision parts. I remember a time when solid amber Vision corner lights were the thing to have and were extremely expensive. Now you can get fake ones for $10. -__-
These were some of the popular wheels for the EG Civic, they listed them out like a catalog.
We attended a cool ASIMO demo show, along with 30 other small school children.
After the show, we headed upstairs and discovered the JGTC special exhibit.
This NSX was pretty gnarly… twin turbo over 700hp.
You can see the exhaust as well as the waste gate dump tubes.
VTEC Twin Turbo… said by Honda only once in history.
Notice the side stickers, the man himself Tsuchiya himself piloted this car back in the 90′s.
The engine compartment in this car was super compact. The giant air scoop took up most of the bay.
This is what a diffuser should look like.
My favorite one out of the bunch… the famous Castrol NSX. I don’t know how many laps I’ve done in this thing on Gran Turismo. haha
JGTC cars use Takata harnesses. It’s only logical that street cars do as well. ^_^
Some of most famous drivers had their helmets on display.
Next week we go deeper into the Honda Collections Hall and look at some of the most factory and pristine original cars I’ve ever seen.
Thanks for looking!
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