Tag Archives: Kansai region

Nights and restaurants and Kyoto

As soon as sunshine hours fall, many places change substantially its aspect. Kyoto is one of those places. Kyoto like many other cities in Japan, has the particularity of having a much lower streetlights power than what we are used to in Europe where large sidewalks, and city lights are sometimes excessive stealing the night starring in night hours.

Here, only large avenues, and the main streets of the city seems to receive attention from the authorities, but instead, it is outside of those places where streets, alleys and buildings take a lot more of japanese realism, and transmit the true spirit of the Asian countries.

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Kyoto city with a population of around 1,500,000 habitants, is a city where you can walk freely and safely at any time of the night and early morning. It never seems to have nothing to fear and also the feeling of tranquility and absence of noise make us think we are the only ones left in the city.

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So at this point is where the decoration of the restaurants get into action. Red classic paper lanterns, Norens (that kind of multiple curtains hunging in front of doors), and spotlights illuminating their daily menus and facilities.

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In the top photo, in which we observe a downtown restaurant, surrounded by the typical city center shops. Conbini and karaoke everywhere. This is one of the main streets of city of Kyoto, Karasuma Doori. This is one of the main streets that faces north Kyoto when we stand out of the front door of Kyoto Station.

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However, in these two photos, both above and below, we find other premises more neighborhood friendly, with underground aspect that impresses tourists by the fear of not knowing what will they eat and not even knowing how to communicate with the waiters. Out of the big Tokyo, Japan is not very english friendly out of the city center.

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In these downtown restaurants, the most common to spot is a daily menu with not even a photo of the dishes, here kanjis are everywhere, and not even think about speaking English to any waiter. No way to find references on Trip Advisor, no reviews of other users. If it’s good or bad, tasteful or not is question you have to solve by yourself.

Although to be honest in my words, I must confess that in these places you will often not have room for more than 10 people, is here where the better you can enjoy the authentic Japanese food, beer and sake and above all, to enjoy an unforgettable japanese experience and feel the true experience of being involved the authentic Japan. On the outskirts of the city where real people live, play and sleep.

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One of many days in the city of Kyoto

Any day will make your day in a country like Japan. To go out with your camera in hand and simply take hundreds of photographs wherever you go or stay. The premise is simple, for us, westerners everything can surprise us at any time.

From classical to modern architecture, traffic signs, people and their customs and especially for car lovers, any vehicle to be circulating on the streets or parked in houses garages or parking lots.

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Nissan UD Quon Mixer

In this kind of situation where all these situations are mixed, sometimes there are also  the japanese trucks. They are amazing, big, bright, decorated and always spotless clean in every corner no matter even if the truck is as these two example construction trucks.

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2010 Nissan UD Quon

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No less surprising is the number of American vehicles that can be found in the Japanese country as we saw in a previous post here on the blog. Here

Clearly the need to be different is of course the same as in most countries, but unlike many of us, they already have the JDM and then they seek to go beyond highlighting. American and European cars have a fairly important notoriety in the country.

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Another peculiar vehicle is the Mitsubishi Delica 4×4, often Delica owners choose to lift up, and ride them with big mud tires turning them into a kind of Japanese monster trucks. In addition I have to say it is not unusual to spot one of these modified Delica´s elsewhere.

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The rest of it? Well just the daily menu, here wander around and find cars in perfect condition is much more easier than we’re used to seeing in Europe, here it is not common to see damaged bumpers or doors. Perhaps because of the complicated system of parking, or perhaps because the big respect for others cars and objects. This issue to be honest I have not yet solved it.

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The last thing I want to pay attention in this post is this dark green Nissan Silvia Qs. Simple and simply modified at the time it represents as few the true old spirit of Nissan and its golden age.

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Photos of Nara-shi, Kansai.

When you get to the ancient city of Nara-shi, things are different from the Japanese megacities like Tokyo, Kyoto or Osaka. Here everything runs more quietly, without so much hurry or stress. Time here moves slowly, and is very easy to catch the antique spirit of the city.

Once you arrive at the train station of Nara (Nara Station) you realize that Nara is a unique city in the Kansai region, and in its train station, run by the JR Company as almost all of the Kansai area, things happen much more slowly. There are no people running everywhere, no queues to get train tickets at the electronic ticket expenders.

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Here people live much more relaxed, and only lost tourists trying to realize how to reach some of the many temples you can visit in this small and ancient city make you think that this city one day was so important during the Nara era.

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Neither the streets are crowded, there are no large buildings surrounding your or cars everywhere trying to move in the traffic, not even illuminated signs of hundreds of advertising companies like in other cities.

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Especially if you have the chance of visiting Nara out of the tourist season, you will get the pleasure of enjoying a quiet city with a vast culture, antique temples, and great nature as few others city can be found in Japan.

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With very many local businesses, especially on main roads that towards to Todai-ji (Eastern 東大寺 Great Temple), you’ll find great variety of local crafts, delicious traditional food and all kinds of accessories for clothing or home ornaments. Do not miss the chance of visiting every shop here, the stuff here is very friendly and always smiling looking for you to buy with no matter of time.

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Nara is primarily a city for tourists, it is their main source of income and that makes the city very easy for visiting even if you do not understand Japanese language. Back to when I say city for tourists I do not mean to foreign tourists.

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Even if the city receives many foreign tourist throughout the year, here domestic tourist are the most important for the city.

Nara is probably the most authentic city of Ancient Japan with all its splendor in the year 800 AD and therefore part of the national large-scale tourism where you can enjoy its landscapes, ancient temples and where its characteristic Todai-ji harboring deers in the open as if a natural reserve was where children and adults enjoy feed and play them.

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T.R.A Kyoto second time around

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Arriving to TRA Kyoto wasn’t easy at all. But after a hard google, minkara and ameblo search finally I get the address to reach one of the most famous places in Kansai area. TRA KYOTO. I never imagined before to find myself here. This is the first view you find when you arrive this sacred place.

There is no big logo of TRA Kyoto over the workshop, no high stylish design of letters or graphics. This place is for design car parts and this is what they do best.

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As you has seen before the FRS build is just as awesome as other rocket bunny cars but this is a very special one as this a Scion FRS not Toyota and this car is LHD. Miura San is so american freak as we seen in the the first post Inside TRA Kyoto.

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I now understand why this FRS had no bumper, Kei Miura release this week some pictures of the new front bumper design. Which now incorporates new air vents and also day lights.

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Super wide car, super wide wheels and super awesome design as TRA Kyoto has used to show. Quality parts. But quality means hard work and the hours in design and fabrications can really be appreciate when you talk for a while with Miura-San.

Even whit his hard work everyday he was so pleasant for the r32taka visit, in fact he showed as many top secrets designs he got for this years. I cannot reveal anything I am sorry. But expect to be very surprised, really.

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Original Rocket Bunny now is waiting for new stuff, this is only I can say. I saw the car renders for the future. Miura-San made me very happy, he is one of a kind man.

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Another classic, and probably the most well known KANJO CARS. Long time not running it.

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I still have many more pictures of TRA Kyoto, that a really one to post in the next post dedicated to this lovely workshop and his adorable man in charge. He has build big reputation in this car world and deserve most of my attention.

After the visit has been there other days, talked him is very impressive believe me.

Walking around Yamashina

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This is a collection of photos I took yesterday while walking around my area. Kansai is a very interesting region talking about cars and also talking about Japanese history. I have visited some garages around as Navic or Car Care Assist which will be the next post.

Is very common to find lightly tuned cars, I think almos 20% of cars equip exhaust and coilovers and that means that you never can stop watching around for new spots. Nights are very interesting and I cannot wait until next friday to get to entrance of the Meishin Express. I expect some cars going to Osaka to have fun.

Quickest view at Osaka you have ever seen

Probably not. In today’s post I will try to summarize Osaka in less than twenty photos. To do this I have avoided some of the most typical places such as Osaka Castle, and perhaps I pay little more attention to other details that you can also find if you visit the city and spend your time walking freely without any determined destination. Another possibility is to fall asleep, you and your pet and wait for better moment.

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Continue reading Quickest view at Osaka you have ever seen