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Rudi's Honeymoon In Japan - Went To A 'few' Workshops! Still Married!

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So I'm back from my honeymoon, i got to see quite a few workshops, some nice cars, and more zeds than you can poke a stick at! and believe it or not, I'm still married! Don't worry, for all the suffering i put my wife through, she dished it back 10 fold, i think we visited every hello kitty and miffy shop in Tokyo! 

So to start, YES, it wasn't all car related, we saw a lot of these:






we also went broke eating copious amounts of wagu beef:





And i have to give a shout out here, yes seeing all the car related things were awesome, and once in a life time, and we will get to that, but i must tell you what our best experience was in Japan...


We went to the samurai Museum in Shinjuku, Tokyo. It was nice, they have original samurai armour there some that dates back 800 years. we did a tour, we watched a demonstration and it was all around a good day. I then went to buy a some souvenirs at the gift shop.

In Japan everyone loves to hear where your from, what you do and what are your plans are in Japan. So i got talking to the Owner of the museum and one of his workers. I say I'm a mechanic, we are going to Nagoya for a tour of the Toyota forklift factory organised by upper management back home. Turns out the other worker was also a mechanic who worked for RE Amemiya. I show him pics of my zed, he pulls out his phone and shows me pics of his Mazda Cosmo he is restoring. Then the Museum owner shows me his old Cressida, he loves vintage cars, amazed that someone from Australia loves Japanese cars and loves how i am restoring mine. We all end up talking for about 1 hour in the gift shop.


Then the owner invites Jackie and I out to dinner. He takes us to his favourite restaurant, orders for us, we ate like kings, and when it came time to pay he said, you are my guests, its my shout. We were blown away, we couldn't believe the kindness and hospitality of him. Nicest guy ever. Turns out his life long dream was to open this museum, he is a one man show, not some government run museum, he had been buying the pieces for the last 30 years slowly, then took the plunge 10 months ago and opened the museum.

So if anyone is in Tokyo, go visit my friend Mr Koyano and say Hi!










So now the formalities are out of the way lets get to the good stuff!

Here is one for you Gav..... saw it on one of the first days:






On our first week in Tokyo we went down to the Toyota History Museum near Tokyo Bay. Toyota Mega web is there too, worth going to see, but nothing really note worthy to post picture wise:










And no George, i unfortunately couldn't buy this old girl!








She was definitely a lot worse for wear.... Much like most zeds, fresh paint on top, on closer inspection.... 














( Posting in parts cause knowing my luck, my computer would crash 30 seconds before i make the post if i spend 3 hours getting 80 photos ready at once in one post...)

Edited by CroS13

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After we were done at Mega Web and the Toyota History Museum, we got back on the subway, took one stop over and checked out Super Autobacs in Tokyo Bay.

What i have discovered about japan is that everything is so convenient, They tend to bundle multiple shops/services that are related or simmilar together opposed to being all separate like in Australia.


For Example, Super Autobacs is like supercheap auto.... but not crap. There is no low quality bargain basement brands like SCA there, its all top of the line stuff. Its supercheap on steroids!







They also have service centres downstairs, to get all your components fitted etc:





and even have some old cool classics getting work done too!




saw this tucked away in the corner of the workshop:





No bob Jane T mart wheels here.... only quality gear.... It really isn't fair....and neither are the prices!






See now this one wasn't fair..... I have to drive 4 suburbs away to Revolution race gear to get some decent seats.... here, its all in one place! starting at around $1200, and that black and red leather Recaro bad boy in the background was about $4000!






Need an exhaust for your Subaroo?




Even if you dont have a scooby they have you covered!




Coilovers anyone? They literally had all and any performance parts you needed in the one place, a true one stop shop.






Unfortunately i mainly only bought stickers, and a few magazines on Silvia's, and a few nostalgic car mags too. Don't think the coilovers or exhausts could come on carry on!

So we went outside..... and um.... excuse me sir, is there something heavy in your boot?





Then as we were leaving, a gaggle of hoons rocked up. It seems Autobacs Tokyo Bay is the local meet for everything under the sun.... and well..... i could truly say "only in japan for this one"



Modified Scooters! These things were LOUD! they are nearly the same height as a pocket bike the way they are modified. Slammed, stretched and loud. Pretty different, only in Japan can they make a scooter "cool"
























And speaking of American cars.... quite a bit of old metal driving around, hard to get photos because they are always on the road moving, however i did manage to snap a few:










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So i waited until our last week to make this trek. It was about a 1 hour train ride, then a 20 minute walk from our hotel. And to top it all off it was raining. I didn't know if they were open, i could only hope. It truly was a miserable day, until i walked around the corner and saw this:






yeah..... i think the wife captured the moment perfectly:




how much awesomeness can you have in one photo? 

The longest zed in the world, a G nosed 2+2, a Hakosuka, a Ken Mary and the black thing was a Galant.





This thing was pretty cool, very RA28 Celica like, but no, a Galant.









This thing was in quite a bad shape, im pretty sure it was just being used as a parts car:



and next to it were more cars that look like they have been sitting for years:














Then back over to the main cars. To think, these girls didn't make the cut to go into the workshop, left outside!


Hakosuka, Not sure if it was a genuine GTR, i doubt it, because i highly doubt they would leave a $300 000 car outside.




Ken Mary next to it, and then this tucked in the corner:





she was in rough condition, wasn't a full restoration. Rust in the usual spots from what i could see, but it was tight and wet there so for once, i didn't feel like laying down next to it.









looks to be bad rust in the boot, nearly splitting the skin:





Inside was were the quality cars were:






This thing was wide, and Shoji was going to add even wider wheels, he showed me the rims he was going to put on the back, they were nearly square! 15x10 -78 offset.


we both started laughing when he showed me the plate on the wheels







Now this thing was MINT! 


Not sure of the year, but it had vents in the rear hatch so must be a early girl. US import, it looked like it had rolled off the showroom floor:




It had a standard L24 with twin SU's and the factory airbox, all looked brand new under there, i forgot to snap a pic, in hindsight, i forgot to look at a lot more minor details and take more photo's, i guess i was just a wee bit overwhelmed!






a work in progress, perhaps the next demo car?





These wheels are Mr Shoji's own product, Glow Star wheels. They are on par with new Work or Watanabe's price wise. I think he quoted me around $3000 shipped for the offset I'd need for my "narrow body"





3.2L, 50mm solex carbs and when i said horsepower, he said 400. Is that HP or PS, wheel or engine? I don't know.












Mr Shoji Inoue was a awesome host. Let me start the cars, showed me around. We had a very difficult chat over google translator, but i was able to hang for about 3 hours and he was more than happy to talk to me. I took my tablet with me like a looser and showed him all my build photo's.


He was exited and impressed to see everything i was doing, and was really happy to see a foreigner who loves their Japanese cars, and happy to see i was taking the time to restore a Japanese car. 


It suxed that it was raining, because he said if it was dry he would take me for a spin in one of the demo cars.




Tucked in the back of the workshop were more cars, this was getting alot of work done to it:





This was immaculate, a full body off restoration, well actually all the cars inside the garage were like this, every nut and bolt replaced, every door gap perfect:









Ken Mary getting work:




And another back from the painter:







I must say i was very impressed with the quality of cars here, i ended up getting a few T-shirts, and about 20 stickers all up!

When we were ready to leave, Mr Shoji asked how we were getting home. When i told him we were walking back to the train station, he took us in his car, and we did a pit stop at a famous temple near his shop, which was on the way! 


Again, awesome experience, and blown away by the hospitality of everyone in Japan.


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I also went to a few Up Garage's hoping to find hidden treasure, in reality i found mostly crap that was of no use to me (i was looking for anything for my S15 Silvia, i am well aware you will never find vintage parts here)





So many awesome wheels:







Work equip 03's, hell yeah!




nothing really else noteworthy to post about UpGarage, although i did see a lot of these on the street, looks very mini like. Oh, and this road reminded me so much of Parramatta road in the Auburn area, swear i was back home:






Finally, in the last few days i went to check out a Flex Auto, i cant remember if this was Setagaya or Kawaguchi:





First thing i notice, a nice challenger, duel headlight so if its anything like a Cuda she is a 71, which means rare and expensive:




I actually chose this Flex auto (there are 3 in Tokyo) because i wanted to see this 2+2 i saw online, and look at the long champs on it and see the offset, i could get the front, but couldn't get the back, either way they are a bit too small, i would want to to a tag more aggressive with mine:






Like half the cars here, and all the S30 zeds here, this thing was rough, It had a full strip of stone chip down the bottom edge, which i can only guess is covering ALOT of rust. Rust in the slam panel, the roof, the fuel door had been bogged and wasn't  nice, the antenna area had bog in it, the paint was rough as guts, they just sprayed everything black, bumpers and all. and no, that isnt 199 000 yen ($2500) it is 1.9 million yen, or 25 grand for those playing at home

















Don't like the price of zeds, look away now, a 4 door skyline for 45k....... and to think we were binning these and paddock bashing them because they were garbage....






this thing was cool, a datsun sedan ute thing?








This was pretty clean, anyone? all yours for only $36 000.















Some of the loot i brought back home:





My sticker collection:




And that was pretty much my trip to Japan!


Now to get back in the garage and back to work!!!!



Dam... its 3am.... It took me over 3 hours to fix all the photo's, upload to photo bucket and make this post, maybe time for bed.....


Edited by CroS13

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Thumbs up on the pictures and trip mate. Reading through it reminded me how much I loved Japan and why. The people, the culture, the cars, the bright lights of downtown and the peaceful scenic areas. Truly recommend anyone who hasn't visited yet to get on it.

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Thanks Rudi for allowing us to share your experience. What a great place Japan is. This makes me happy and sad. Sad I'm not planing another trip but happy that others can experience this amazing culture and country.


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Thanks for sharing the details or your & Jackie's trip to Japan. It looks like you had a fantastic time.

Really makes me want to head up there again.





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I really must go soon! I've done a lot of travel but never Japan and yet it's probably the first place I should have gone!


Seeing the condition of the Z432 in the museum and it's flaws, was a bit like seeing the man behind the curtain.

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Trust you gav!

Hairy men behind curtains......

You had to go there.... Lol


Nice write up rudi, makes us all want to go. I love how you sought out a couple of the smaller, lesser known garages responsible for some of the early Z research and restorations.

Glad you shared your pics and story with us.


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