The drive from Osaka to Suzuka would take us a few hours and along the way we saw some pretty cool stuff. Unfortunately, it was raining and my lack of photography skills ended up killing many images. The good news is that you get to see more of the interesting stuff so I won’t bore you with pictures of grass and traffic.
We did a lot on this day, so this will be a fairly picture heavy entry… over 100 images.
We were headed out of Osaka, on the way to our first stop, Suzuka Circuit.
I snapped a ton of pictures of random cars that I saw, most of the weren’t usable.. some are. Fit Hybrid which is still not offered in the USA although it has been out in Japan for a while.
The mountains of Japan were beautiful, even in this nasty weather.
Saw this really cool Mitsubishi Evo Wagon. I had never seen one of these in person until I got to Japan, and it seems like they were pretty popular. I saw more of the wagons than I did of normal sedans.
Even though the Toyota Camry is one of the best selling cars in America, it is a rare sight to see one in Japan.
It was cool to see an American Jeep Grand Cherokee driving on the roads. Right hand drive and still huge compared to everything else on the road.
This nice Euro R Accord was in front of us for a while.
It’s hard to see in the picture but we are crossing over a neat bridge that was built over a valley. You can spot part of the mountain side through the fog.
Another white Honda Accord, but in Type S fashion.
Honda Legend, AKA Acura RL.
Mountains in the distance.
After a few hours of driving we stopped to get some drinks and to take a restroom break. This was a really neat, yet super busy place.
Vendors out selling random food, we were told to stay away from the green stuff.
If the weather was nicer, it would have been a nice place to sit and have lunch.
This was a cool traffic map that told us what was going on up ahead. Despite the weather, traffic wasn’t bad.
The entrance to the massive rest rooms. Seemed like we were in and out of these places too often. haha
A view of the parking lot, you can see the massive arrangement of trash cans. You would think it would be easy to find the right one, but some cans have specific size holes that only allow certain stuff which gets confusion.
Inside was pretty busy, I guess since it was raining everyone was trying to buy food or souvenirs. The place even had a concierge.
We needed lip balm so Tim was enlisted to explain to us which one to buy as nothing was in English.
They had many types of food available, as long as you wanted Asian. Some of it looked way worse than it tasted, but some looked way better than it actually was.
This blew my mind. Normally in America, we think of Japanese food as being Sushi. Well, this was the most I ever saw of what we Americans think of sushi. You can’t get “rolled sushi” anywhere in Japan. Tim mentioned that it’s not something that is typically made, and that you’d find it in the 711 before anywhere else. Now, there are tons of Sashimi places which is sorts of sliced fish, but nothing like this. Yes I bought a pack of these, yes they tasted great.
Weird sandwiches and Japanese yogurt.
Tons of pastries and breads with odd toppings.
This reminded me of a slice of Pizza, but with corn and what look like onions. I didn’t try the delicious bread. haha
Too many drinks to choose from!
This was a pretty interesting drink called Calpis. It’s like a yogurt type of drink with water; It was quite tasty and refreshing.
More fried goods and American Dogs.
Delicious ice creams and treats.
There were 30 or so people in this small little section of the store, these employees were killing it. Super fast service and they were happy to help you, unlike a normal 711 in America.
Heading outside we passed the concierge.
When we got outside, we spotted a super clean S2000 that parked a few cars away from our DC5. We went to inspect.
As we were outside checking out this S2000, the owner walked up. Instead of screaming at us and telling us to get lost, the owner was extremely nice and didn’t mind talking with us about his car. As a matter of fact, he was on his way to Suzuka as they were holding a members S2000 track day.
AP2 S2000 Type S (AKA CR) front lip and a set of gold Volk TE37s. The owner mentioned the car is a 1999 and he has completely changed the car and updated it to the AP2 style. He was excited to show us his work and told us to notice that he removed the side markers and added a set of mirrors with integrated blinkers. Not everyone fashion, but this car was functional… no huge wheels and stretched tires here.
AP2 Type S (AKA CR) rear wing and a nice exhaust system were added as well… notice the “2000″ on the number plate.
It’s hard to see in the picture, but the inside was equipped with a set of authentic Mugen bucket seats.
We talked with him for a short time and then got back in the car and headed towards Suzuka… we weren’t far away at this point.
As we were driving down the road, not far from Suzuka, the guy in the red S2000 pulled off into a gas station. As he was doing that, I noticed a place called Honda Auto Terrace next door. This was, for me personally, one of the highlights of the trip. I was floored by the beautiful line of Type R’s on the lot, for sale. We whipped the DC5 around and pulled in for a closer look.
The guy in the S2000 was pumping gas and watching us freak out over the cars on this lot. haha
The Honda Auto Terrace.
This beautiful FD2 caught my eye as soon as I got out of the car. I literally have about 30 pictures of this car… haha
The general manager walked out and introduced himself to Tim. Tim told him why we were there and that we wanted to check out some of the cars. They were so nice and offered to open up this FD2 so I could check it out.
I loved this car, it was the perfect color. The GM told us that this was his car and that he had recently bought it. He mentioned he did a few track days with it and then brought it back and put it on the lot to sell. He loved the power and drivetrain, but he preferred the feel of the DC5 which is what he races… in addition to his NSX Type R.
This black EK9 was here for a factory service… too bad it wasn’t for sale. It was also interesting to see that most of the cars in Japan had aftermarket driver seats.
This AP1 was also here for a factory service, equipped with Spoon wheels, Recaro seats and a roll cage.
Spotted a J’s Racing sticker.
Various Honda models lined up along the side.
There was also a pretty mint EK Ferio parked behind the FD2. This thing was super clean.
An FD Civic, but NOT a Type R. This car has the optional Modulo aero kit on it. This model Civic didn’t do so well in Japan, I saw far more FD2 Type R’s than normal Civics for sure. As a matter of fact, the Honda Civic isn’t even sold in Japan anymore, it was discontinued.
Fit’s were everywhere. And seeing that these cars have number plates on them, I’ll assume they were all here for servicing as well.
Honda Integra DC5 Type S. These cars look like the USDM Spec Type S, however they have cloth seats and use the “K20A” 160hp 2.0l engine.
A beautiful red Honda Accord Euro R.
Championship white facelift version DC5 Type R. One of my all time favorite cars.
Another Integra Type S in Nighthawk Black Pear.
Blue AP2 with a blue soft top. You don’t see that often in the USA.
Another Championship white FD2 Type R sitting on a set of gunmetal Advan RS wheels.
I absolutely love the FD2 in silver with the black interior.
Another beautiful Champ white FD2 CTR.
A row of Honda Fits, this red one is the newest version with the optional Modulo aero package.
Older Fit with the Japanese front bumper.
I wish they offered Fit’s in yellow in the USA… although the new Blue Raspberry color is gorgeous.
There was also a wide variety of vans and wagons. Japan loves their wagons and vans.
Really nice looking Honda Odyssey with the optional aero.
The Honda N Box!
A Honda Life maybe, I’m not totally sure what this one is.
The service department had their hands full. The general manager told us they were rebuilding that AP1 to use as a track day car at Suzuka. Looks like it has a set of Pro-Drive wheels.
B series Type R motor sitting nicely in the back corner of the shop.
While we were wondering around, I spotted an EG6 tucked away on the side. We grabbed the manager and asked if we could check it out and he informed us that it was also his personal car and he was planing to rebuild it to race at Suzuka.
Honda Beat parked in the back of the property.
This EG6 had seen better days, but was still in pretty good shape considering some of the haggard EG’s that are rolling around in the USA. The owner mentioned he did a 96 Spec Integra Type R brake conversion, putting the 4×114.3 wheels on it.
Hard to see, but this thing had a driver DC2 Recaro seat and an old MOMO steering wheel.
You can see the faded Project Mu and Spoon crane stickers on the side.
He was nice enough to open the hood and show us the engine. Old school Top Fuel intake in all of it’s glory.
I spotted these along the fence parked next to the Honda Beat. These were also the GM’s cars and he said he races both of them at Suzuka. I jokingly asked him if they were for sale, and he said no, but that they would sell for about $5,000 each in this condition.
Check out the holes on the bumper from what look like a previously installed set of front Canards. There was a nice Recaro seat with a Takata seat harness inside.
The back of this one was filled with a bunch of random junk and tools. I guess that is pretty normal. haha
Random Honda Fit on Enkei RPF01′s.
Random Honda Kei Cars parked out back.
There was an AP1 S2000 with a BYS front lip and badge on the bumper.
We walked back to the front to get the GM’s information… you know, if we ever wanted to buy anything on the lot. haha He was super cool and since he was a fellow racer, we showed him some of our parts. He was impressed with the FD2 shifter and said that it would have really helped the feel of the gear changes while racing. All in all, a really cool experience and I’m glad we got to stop in and meet some cool people and see amazing cars.
Check out next week’s blog to see what we saw when driving around the out skirts of Honda’s manufacturing plant, as well as our quick stop at Suzuka Circuit!
Thanks for looking!