Fujikawaguchiko, Yamanashi.

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The arrival to the nearest town to the lakes of Fuji-San is done very comfortable as we saw in the previous post in r32taka with the train Company Fujikyuko. The town is called Fujikawaguchiko, with around 25,000 people and is located at the foot of Fuji-San. With a characteristic station like it was virtually out a Swiss Cottage, that makes you feel that this place is very special.japanlastpictures - 39 copia

Even during the spring season, the town is very quiet and in any case the presence of tourists was unconscionable. This picture was taken at about 6:50h in the morning and being conscious of how much the japanese people likes to wake up early, the town was still sleeping waiting for the new day to come.

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We decided to walk from Kawaguchiko Station into the main lake of the 5 that compose the also called Fuji Five Lakes.

Japan is a wonderful country for walking. The more you travel, much more opportunities you have of finding wonderful and hidden places at once. Walking through narrow streets, or edges of rivers is much more comforting than travel by taxi or taking the underground available in most Japanese cities. And of course gives you the opportunity to take as many pictures as you want it because in days like these where you find yourself traveling freely, the rush and commitments do not exist and allow you to enjoy any place you’re surrounded.

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One of the things that fascinates me more is without any doubt, the signs and posters that are hosted on walls and posts, corporate signals, advertising, and relative to companies advertising their logos and images. Many of them are placed in their places for years, giving that vintage look to the town filling it with charisma and spirit.
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Sometimes it takes so many years that ends with signals like this one. Completely rusty. Because the Japanese government does not spend much of their budget in these conflicts. Perhaps like it or not, this whole set of signs, buildings, oxides and plants create a special magic on the land of the rising sun.

For us Europeans, especially those in the south of Europe it is quite surprising to find old city signals like this. Because we are accustomed to cities with lots of lighting, very wide sidewalks and signals and posters in perfect condition everywhere.

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The route from the station to the base Kawaguchiko lake is about 1.5 km, journey that takes about 15 minutes, but being the first time and if you entertain in your way may up costing almost an hour. I think is always the case when you take the camera hooked in the neck, it is impossible not to take photographs here and there while walking.

Finally the first view of Lake Kawaguchi. To be continued.

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The train to Fuji-San

There is a moment in your life, also in yours, that you have to take a plane to Tokyo (Japan) and march to MT Fuji, from now on towards Fuji-San. I know you are a Japanese culture lover and Fuji-San is the proper way to call the mountain.

It is certainly, one of the most charismatic mountains of planet Earth, and as for now we only have the opportunity to travel within it, there is no excuse for you. Mark in your calendar like a must to do travel.

As many of you already know Fuji-San it is among the prefectures of Shizuoka and Yamanashi prefectures and the truth is that as great point of tourist influx is quite easy to access it. Within the Internet there are a thousand of ways that explain how to get though, but that does not mean that I will explain to you how I get to the lakes.

The Chūō Main Line (中央本線), commonly called the Chūō Line, is one of the major trunk railway lines in Japan. It connects Tokyo and Nagoya. This line is the one I took, very easy access from Shinjuku the business district of Tokyo in about 1 hour you can reach Otsuki which your start point to Fuji-San.

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Otsuki is a small station located 88km away of Tokyo and only 27 km away of Fuji-San that makes Otsuki the best and fastest way to access the lakes around Fuji-San. This particular station is managed between East Japan Railway (JR East) and Fuji Kyuko.

The Fuji Kyuko company which is private company is the one you want to get in order to get to the lakes. The Fujikyuko Line (富士急行線) is a Japanese private railway line in Yamanashi Prefecture, between Ōtsuki Station and Kawaguchiko Station in Fujikawaguchiko district.

I had the opportunity to jump in the 6000 series EMU, which operates since 2012 and is the train you see in the photo below.

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This is the older 1000 Series which is just one year older even if you think is not that modern train.

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But, back to the 6000 Series, the exterior is just natural steel and some blue in the doors and also decorating top and sticker in the side.

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These trains are not the same as the rest you can find the conventional lines between cities. The interior decoration has a superior luxury beautifully finished in wood. Of course like all the trains in Japan the trains of Fujikyu Company are very clean and the staff is very happy to help anytime you can need.

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Between each wagon there are no doors to separate them, instead, there are the typical noren (暖簾) with a dedicated Fuji-San logo in the doors place. This time was the one and only in all the trains I saw with a noren and no doors in a train between wagons.

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The route as I mentioned earlier runs from Otsuki to Kawaguchiko and practically from the kilometer five and from there on towards during the entire way, you can seat and reax in your seat watching the villages bordering the railway line and observing for almost 15 kilometers the magnificent Fuji-San while taking a very pleasant ride.

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By now you are questioning yourself if r32taka is still a car blog or not, but of in order to keep you in touch like a real japanese culture lover, I will ntroduce you the wood made tsurikawa. Latest JDM complement for your car. You have seen the original white tsurikawa, the heart shape tsurikawa and now the latest version wood made specially ordered for the 6000 series EMU trains.

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One last chance to take a picture of Fuji-San before drop off the train at Kawaguchiko Station.

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And then, suddenly after 27 km since we departed from Otsuki we arrived to Kawaguchiko Station (河口湖駅). Even the signal here announcing the station is specially designed for Fuji-San.

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Here all the trains are decorated with a great variety of liveries. From small anime style Fuji tributes…

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To the well known Thomas the train, you should know that Thomas the train cartoons are very popular between japanese kids. These train made the station very colorful giving that spring touch to your visit.

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These two are the last two mark you want to look at, lakes are all around Fuji-San and is very important to do not confuse the in order to get the photos you want to take. As some lakes are too far of Fuji-San.

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This signal of Fuji-San suddently relocates you in the environment which already take almost 2 hours to reach. So many trains of that great variety of colorful liveries almost makes you forget what was your real purpose. To be continued…

Abandoned cars in Kyoto no nishi

Surely it was not the first time walking around the city of Kyoto that I found places like this. To be honest on the outskirts of the ancient Japanese capital we can find some strange places.

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But I say strange places ,because looking at the pictures you will realize that it is the typical japanese housing, the kind that has apartments of about 25 square meters and have a parking space for a neighbor.

So for all you to understand properly, these apartments are usually filled by single or unmarried people, working people, sometimes with a family behind, students who pay the rent with the arubaito (ア ル バ イ ト) (part-time job) and sometimes foreigners. This last option is usually not very common, since many property developers are not willing to rent their reduced apartaments if you have no one to back you up in case you can pay the rent.

When I was in the car park entrance I noticed the Porsche 911 which was near the end. The floor bumper was lying in the ground, windows were down, but the most impressive thing was that the Porsche was rocking RUF alloy wheels… AI took a few pictures of the car quickly, since in many cases the neighbors don’t like too much people walking around their belongings. Is even worst when the typical elder man came to you yelling what are you doing here.

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Often people talked about how nice japanese people is, the truth is that there are places where people are not used to seeing foreign people and see them prowling around them is very alarming situation.

Most of the time when you say something, and answering in Japanese, they usually calm down enough and if you are able to explain what are you doing in japanese then suddenly their mood change suddenly and become very friendly.

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Just in front of the 911, was this S500 Mercedes also abandoned in the parking, telling the truth I didn’t pay much attention to it, I do remember now that I didn’t spend more than 2 minutes in that parking lot.

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Opposite to the S500 was this Honda Odyssey customized and lowered. No one of this cars were in use, as they had no plates on, I really wonder why the owner keep all these cars parked insted than sell them.

IMG_2231 copiaWell is time to say goodbye, I wish you enjoyed the post. I will keep your curiosity for Japan in the next posts so please keep in touch with r32taka for more Japanese content, wheather is weird or not.

Toyota Crown Wagon S80

It is true that after a long time without writing the blog, writing interesting topics is not easy at all. More certain is that the content search today is much more easy that never was before, today everything is available to the user with minimal searching through the deservedly popular Google.

For me telling the truth, today is no longer as it was yesterday, I no longer live in that wonderful place called Japan. Here in Spain things do not have the same interest for me personally but certainly not much less in content of interest when about the r32taka refers.

It does not mean what I just mentioned, I do have thousands of photos, some of them arbitrary about anything related to Japan. Among them I found this Toyota Crown Wagon S80.

I remember having found it in the lakes around Mount Fuji during an excursion to watch closely the volcano. I think it was the last day of stay around Mount Fuji when being in the parking lot drinking coffee I spot this Toyota Crown.

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The Crown has essentially the American spirit of the wagon of seventies American Wagons, not only by the yellow inspired by Mooneyes but also for the wheels and tyres. It has not even reduced the ground clearance.

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The double rear wiper is a very particular detail in this model, but certainly is still more, the rear registration plate holder saying clearly: think in yellow.

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Without a single JDM detail on this Crown, I think the owner managed to fully reflect his style and make it totally personal.

Sometimes when internet is full of similar cars with the same style, I think there must be a place where all car lovers have to appear. In this case I think this Crown deserves a place in the internet. The owner had a clear idea about his project, and has also managed to materialize it without a super economic cost. Cars are made to enjoy and customize them but not everyone has to follow the same patterns and this Toyota owner make a perfect example.

The KEI to race

When we all think in race cars, probably everything that came to our minds are Civic, Silvia’s, Skyline, Supras… or in the case you are an Euro fan, the real popular Clio Sport and specially for European followers.

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But Japan has a really open mind when talking about races, and they do races whatever that has 2 or 4 wheels, and I am probably thinking that even more wheels are allowed when talking about racing in Japan.

For me, one of the most interesting races are the Kei Truck Championship, these consist in all kind of Kei Truck’s, open or closed all around Japan. As always some basic modifications for widely open fun. Always is the same recipe, good suspensions, good wheels and probably some exhaust and intake modifications and drive.

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These Kei Truck are daily driven so they keep license plates. Street legal tires and most of them of course Air Conditioning and power windows.

Now sit down and enjoy races.

Lubross Oil and GT Produce are supporting this race series and if you would like to find more info have yourself a website check. Note that these website are in Japanese but you can always use Google translate to view them.

Small cars, are you in?

In most countries specially America and also Europe small cars are not too popular when talking about performance, racing or today’s stance movement. But when we talk about small cars, and as many other times, Japan made again a revolution back in the days.

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Japanese case is the most obvious, when car space is reduced, the need of a small car increase at the top list. As you well know Japan also have special regulation for super small cars best known as Kei Cars, but today is not the case. Continue reading Small cars, are you in?

Back to the game

2 years have passed since the last post was posted in r32taka.com. In fact I did not realize it was too long, but I did also thought that I couldn’t remember when was the last time I did spoke about car to wide internet world.

Today obviously we have miss a lot of followers and daily visitor has got down to the minimum levels ever in the blog 6 years history, probably lower than the day two of the creation of the first blog when the car blog boom started back to 2009.

By that time I did jump the train and started seeninjapan blog, and then rapidly switched to r32taka.com. 3 years back in time I was so happy, many visitors and also many blog collaborations made r32taka enough for our aspirations.

Today everything has change as many blog are blown out by the big BLOGS and some just keep posting because they have the need of interacting and making tendencies. Also with the second boom created by tumblr, car enthusiasts found a beautiful place to share their content and spread to the word todays car tendencies.

Even with all that in mind, I realize I just want to keep posting content, my own content and also influences from the internet, what I think is cool to be posted, and what I think real JDM life is at its maximum.

So if you really want to allow me I will keep posting stuff, the best way I can, trying to show some real japanese stuff, nostalgia stuff, and whatever I think is not mainstream to be published in other websites.

Thank you for still being out there. See you next post.

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Delivering your daily dose of japanese car culture

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