Tag Archives: Kyoto

The kei to truck

Ahh … Japan, where everything can be modified or customized. From compact cars, mini cars, sedans to sports cars, and of course the mini trucks. Known as kei trucks in Japan, this is a kind of parallel tuning Japanese industry.

These mini trucks meet the same standards than a conventional Kei Car. A maximum of 660cc engine, 63 HP and a maximum of 3.400mm in length.

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Continue reading The kei to truck

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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.

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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JZX Spot in Fukakusainarionmae, Kyoto.

Fukakusainarionmae is the main street that leads you to one of the most popular temples in Kyoto. The well known Fushimi Inari temple.

It is a very narrow street surrounded by hundreds of every kind of small business. Food, art crafts, traditional japanese sweets, kimonos and whatever you have in mind. It is totally prohibited to park and the street is just one way heading the city centre. Continue reading JZX Spot in Fukakusainarionmae, Kyoto.

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.

Close look at the 86

This is not a real post, but is a collection of images of the AE86. One of the most iconic cars in the last decade. After visiting Carland Kyoto I also decided to post this photos, just like a closer look of the Toyota most famous car.

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Is the first time I found that kind of spoiler or visor. Looked like fitted by factory back in the time.

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カーランド AE86 Special Shop

When I was told about a workshop specialized in only AE86 I was a little surprised. But the it just took me about 10 minutes to find some information in internet to know where to go. Carland is not to far from home, maybe just about 10 kilometers so I decided to have a walk.

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When I finally arrived there this photo was the first I see with my eyes, so astonished. You don’t just to see so many AE86 all them together. Don’t even imagine that even here in Japan these old Corolla’s and Trueno’s are all around the streets. Old cars are very difficult to spot in the cities.

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Most of the AE86 in the shop are dressed as usual, panda style body paint and Watanabe’s. Those cars have special buyers, they aren’t cheap, but they are clean and restored until the last corner. So you can imagine that any boy looking for a project is not looking for that kind of AE86.

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Reaching almost the 3 millions of Yen this Red Sprinter Trueno had only 15.000km in its clock. Probably very difficult to find another Sprinter with such a low mileage at any place.

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This levin was probably my favorite. Volk TE37’s and coupe version.

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They were shooting some cars for some advertising and as cars are ready to be sold.  So I had the opportunity to heard them running.

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The workshop is so small, but the level of experience and the attention to the detail in this AE86 specialist is so high.

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This corner is like the waiting room. Some cars still waiting for a new life, new paint and of course a super update to be able to use it as daily driven everyday if you want.

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As said before the panda style body paint and the Watanabe’s are the common. I am sure many Initial D fans around their 30’s are so glad driving them.

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That special Home Van make me laugh, this shop is in love with the AE86 that anything related to the Levin is welcome here.