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Discussion Starter #1
After waiting around half my life, finally managed to get some flights booked for a hoiday of a lifetime to Japan this September!

Im going with some friends (in our 20's), we're all Skyline Owners and looking for ideas for planning our trip!

We're looking at staying at the Hotel Matsushima in Taito-ku, Tokyo, a backpackers cheap and cheerful hotel.

I really want to see as much of the Japanese Tuning, Drifting and Wangan Racing as possible, along with the usual Touristy stuff.

Activities I have thought would be great:

Ride on the Bullet Train
Visit the Sony Building
Head down to Harajuku on a Sunday Afternoon
Visit Mount Fuji
Watch a Baseball Game
Few Nightclubs
Bit of Shopping for Car Parts and Gadgets
Kabuki Theatre
Some Temples
Pick up some girls.

Most Importantly though:
A Visit to Top Secret / Veilside / Super Autobacs
(For the tuners, should I contact someone from the company before turning up? What's the best way of getting down there? Do the respected garages have english speaking PR people to show visitors around the garages?)

Attend a Car Meet
(Any particular night/venue in Tokyo where the racers congregate??)

Visit a Car Auction.

It'd be great also to meet some fellow GTR owners in Japan if possible (Ben, Miguel, Dino etc)

Please do comment on ideas that would be great to experience and any advice on visiting the tuners etc! would be really grateful for passing on your advice and experiences of your time in Japan!
 

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A few of us from the GTROC went there in December last year. Fantastic! There's a whole write upo about it in the next edition of the Club magazine :)

Super Autobacs is Halfords, up to you but I thought it was a complete let down.

Top Secret is in Chiba - about an hour by train outside Tokyo city but well worth it. Also try and get to Nismo Omori factory and go to Zele showroom and workshop.

Akihabar is worth going shopping at and Ropongi Hill is good for a panoramic view of Tokyo.

Try and make a visit to the Nismo Offices and showroom and they should have the new 350Z as well as some of the other stuff you can't buy here.

Whatever you do if you want to be well received make sure you contact them in advance and ask them if it's okay to visit.

Enjoy!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thankyou for that John, I'll do some research and add Nismo visit to the list!
Do people generally contact the tuning companies in hope to get in touch with English speaking staff? I've only been learning Japanese on and off for 18 months really and barely up to conversational level? Is Email generally the acceptable way of contact to organise a trip to the tuners/factorys?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Heard a lot of meets are held down in " Daikoku " ? Where is this in relation to Tokyo?

I'd like to see some cars racing down the Wangan obviously but beginning to feel we would need to rent a car to get to see these sights, and frightened by the cost of car rental + parking etc.
 

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Ol' School GTROC
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After living in Japan for 7 years, but waaay up north, most things that must be done are currently on your list. Check out the mag for most directions, but make sure you get to Roppongi at night, and hit the night clubs. You might also want to go out in Shibuya or Shinjuku for other types of clubs. Once you land at Narita, you can take the trains from the airport and into the city.... the layout will remind you of the tube in London. & don't worry, if you look carefully, everything is in english also (just not so obvious). Make sure you get to Meiji Shrine, Akihabara (the electronic district), and go see Asakusa Shrine. If it's a nice day, go up the Tokyo Tower to get good views of Mt. Fuji and the city.

The Daikoku Futo service area in Yokohama. As far as Zele Intl., Top Secret, and Mine's (in Yokohama, just a short ride on the train), call ahead, most are quite accomodating, but it helps if you have someone with you that can translate. In my experience, most companies in Japan are open with foreigners, just be mindful of the cultural differences (look around to make sure that you remove your shoes when necessary!) Learn a few basic japanese words like hello (konnichi-wa), thank you very much (domo arigato gozaimasu), and excuse me/i'm sorry (sumimasen), and it goes a long way toward showing respect and opening doors because it shows you care. Trust me, I did this early on and I was absolutely amazed at the access I was given in certain areas.

If you're going to be there in Sept, then you might want to see a JGTC race, I think round 7 is at Motegi, but I forget the dates. If not, then they usually have testing sometime, so check the websites for dates. If you get the opportunity to go, spend the extra yen and buy the pit/paddock pass tickets. The access is amazing, the cost is even better. Man, I could go on and on....

Tokyo, and Japan, are a blast. Have fun going out, take a million pics, and rest on the flight out and back. Eat some sushi, enjoy some Tempura, and drink lots of beer. It'll be one hell of a trip...

Alex
 

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And by the way, if you really want to see some temples, take the bullet train from Tokyo Station to Kyoto. You'll get beautiful views of Mt. Fuji as you pass it, and the density of beautiful temples/shrines in Kyoto are unsurpassed anywhere in Japan.

(that would eliminate taking the bullet train, seeing Fuji, and seeing shrines/temples off the list in one shot)

Alex
 

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japan broke my heart!i loved it there.especially the girls.
i tried to live there,but expensive.kabuki is boring.
go to the big malls carparks on fri and sat nites,try to catch a cruise!!
and go to 100 yen shop for the pressies to take home,only cost about 50p!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Alex, cheers for your tips mate.
I've got the very basics down in Japanese, hello, excuse me, thankyou, do you speak english, i speak very little japanese etc etc., hoping to learn more between now and when I go, particularly for asking directions to places, which I think is going to be crucial as we won't have any translator's in our party and we'll need to be travelling quite a bit to visit everything, especially the tuning places which sound well out of the way.

As for manners and custom, we're all very polite, courteous lads (not football hooligans), and very in-tune with Japanese custom, I've read a lot about it and think we'll be fine.

Definately want to check out some night life in Japan, so Roppongi Clubbing is a must. Which clubs are worth checking out? We're into Punk/Alt/Ska (Gary and I) and the others are into Trance/Techno, but lately I've been really getting into J-Pop/J-Techno etc? The wierdy the better for us really!

Akihabara is a must as John pointed out, I love gadgets, definately have to get down there and see what crazy stuff is on the market over there at the moment.

What I'd really like.. is an online decent map of Japan, Tokyo and all the areas we need to be heading, with directions and distances really, like a Japanese equivalent to Multimap/MapQuest/AA Route Finder etc... where I can enter in a postal code/town and find out the distance...???

Any decent links online that people know of?

I'm struggling to find the addresses of the tuners/places of interest on most maps, and also finding it hard to find these places in relation to where we will be staying.


I understand Top Secret is in Chiba City? How far is this from Tokyo (Taitu-Ku)

What is the address for Nismo-Omori Factory (is it actually in Omori ??)

Does anyone have the address for the big tuners in Japan?
e.g. Mine's, JUN, Zele, Re Amemiya, Blitz etc etc.

A JGTC Round would be cool! I'll look into it!

The Ebisu circuit, is this the closest circuit to Tokyo?
I'm hoping we could pop down there and catch some drifting!??

Also, I am under the impression that the GTROC meet every 2nd Wed at Daikoku Futo ?

How far is Yokohama from Tokyo?

Getting to these places; I would prefer to use the train and bus system as much as possible, but obviously I feel some of the places won't be achievable and will have to use taxi's ? This is expensive right? Is it normal custom for tourists to write down the destination and show it to the driver (or print it in Kanji)?

I've got the route sussed from Narida airport to our hotel
http://www.hotelmatushima.com/en/map.php

Irishboy, we might sack off the Kabuki as you have mentioned, I have seen stuff that makes me think it might be a bit of a drawn out affair..

We'd all love to catch up with some " cruisers " japanese style! Does anyone know anywhere nearby to our hotel region where we could easily get to where the kids hang out?

100Y shop sounds funky! definately hitting those places up!! lol

I'm really looking forward to Japan, like you said Al, definately going to immerse myself in the way of life, lots of sushi and sake, drunken Karaoke sessions, Anime and Manga till my eyes pop out, seriously looking forward to meeting some girls over there, so we'll definately be hitting Harajuku and Shinjuku and Shibuya! :p

Will get a million pictures and do a little video diary to bring back home also.

Anyone else going to be out there during September?

Many thanks for your tips guys!

L!
 

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LAURENCE said:
Also, I am under the impression that the GTROC meet every 2nd Wed at Daikoku Futo ?

How far is Yokohama from Tokyo?

L!
No idea when the GTROC meet but the Immortal GTR Owners Club (IGOC) meet every second Wednesday at Daikoku PA (you need a car to get to this as it's part of the expressway system)

Yokohama is about 30kms from central Tokyo - although I don't know where your hotel is.
 

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Ol' School GTROC
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John (GTROC chairman) most likely will have better information as far as directions and addresses of Tuners are involved. Don't worry about directions, you can get anywhere on the train system, and in Japan, they're never late. The train from Tokyo station to Yokohama is a little more than an hour, maybe 1.5 hrs. As far as JGTC, there is a meeting at Motegi on 8-10 Sept (more info at http://supergt.net/en/) and if you want train directions to Motegi from central Tokyo, which is north of Tokyo, then check out this website as it is in English

http://www.twinring.jp/english/information/access.html

Driving from central Tokyo to Motegi is fun too, you'll get to drive the Bayside expressway that the GT-R get's it's name from, the Tomei, the Shuto, and then the Tohoku expy on your way to Motegi. Nothing like driving downtown Tokyo at night...

As far as Roppongi is concerned, just go out there on a fri-sat night, hell, any night, and just look for the crowds. There are many clubs to check out, Gaspanic, Wall Street, 9-11, etc. Just go out there and have fun... and get a massage, you'll like it.

Either way, this is a great place to get info. Ask those that have gone, especially the group that just got back from the '06 Tokyo Auto Salon. Have fun!!

Alex
 

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People always seem to enjoy Japan. One thing to be mindful of though. Aug & September are the hottest months with most humidity. 40 Degrees + is not uncommon in Tokyo.

It's often too hot to be outside for very long in the daytime. If you can, try to travel out in either Spring, or Autumn. It's a lot more bearable and enjoyable. We usually try to take out summer holiday around then, so we can get away from the heat.

Avoid Kabuki, but if you can, see some Sumo wrestling, maybe.

Miguel
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hi Miguel,
Thanks for your advice. Unfortunately I think we'll be suffering with the heat as everything is booked now! Plenty of power naps on the train and sneaking for shade in the bars and shops I reckon then!

I want to visit an Auction also. Any pointers?
 

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Newera said:
People always seem to enjoy Japan. One thing to be mindful of though. Aug & September are the hottest months with most humidity. 40 Degrees + is not uncommon in Tokyo.

It's often too hot to be outside for very long in the daytime. If you can, try to travel out in either Spring, or Autumn. It's a lot more bearable and enjoyable. We usually try to take out summer holiday around then, so we can get away from the heat.

Avoid Kabuki, but if you can, see some Sumo wrestling, maybe.

Miguel
Best thing for me when i went to Japan was being with Miguel in his car.
Think of it every night.:D :D :D

Cheers Miguel:smokin: :smokin:

Mick
 

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I still have find memories of Tokyo. There is a lot to see and there is simply not enough time to see everything. While i was there a couple years ago i saw the following,

Omori Factory- its pretty cool to see the demo cars and you can also pick up a few bits.

Super Autobacs - I have heard mixed reviews about this place but i think it depends which one you visit. The one me and the boys whent to was the big one by the huge ferris wheel in tokyo near Rainbow Bridge. It certainly is like Halfords but with the likes of Tein suspension and HKS T51 turbos off the shelf. THe fitting bays out the back are also something else. I think the one we whent to has about 30 ramps. Very expensive.

Top Secret is ok. Some nice cars to see and a few small bits to buy.
Crystal is by far the best parts place to go to. VERY cheap with some really cool bargains. If you want to see TOP SECRET you have to some here. ITs on the same road. I donr all my shopping here and spent an arm and a leg. Basically i bought all the bits required for 550bhp :p

Make sure you have one saturday night in tokyo so you can see the fruitcakes drive round the C1. We were fortunate enough to have miguel with us who took us round a few times and we also hired an EVO which was interesting. If you dont have that luxury just take a cab and got to one of the rest stops on the C1. The best one to go to is on an elevated part of the C1 where you get soem b100dy awsome action.

Whilst we were there we also whent to Mount Haruna . The game INITIAL D is based on these roads and lot of drfitng actions happens there in the winter nights. I wont go into much detail but we saw our lives before us on one particular stretch. Someone who posts here thought he was playing the arcade game down the mountain. Nevertheless the scenery was spectacular.

Anyway, i could go on forever. I highly recommend it and im clucking to go back soon.

Regards

Gerry
 

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Discussion Starter #16
BUMP.

I'm leaving for Tokyo a week on Wednesday (20th)_!!!!

I cannot wait but I NEED to start getting my head around where I need to go etc.

I doubt I'll hire a car...I think it's too late for me to get an International Driving Permit etc, so will do with the Train and Taxi.

Is there anyone in Japan who doesn't mind passing me on their phone number, perhaps I can contact you whilst I am out there for advice if I get stuck, or need directions etc, and perhaps to party with on the weekend?


Secondly.
Which area of Chiba do I need to head to for TopSecret.. which road is T.S. located on,.. along with Crystal and UpGarage please?


Thankyou everyone for your great help. I will repay you with a LOT of photos and possibly some videos!
 

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laurence, i went to japan last year for two weeks and it was the best holiday of my life. everything you have listed what you want to do sounds great. A couple of great days i had in japan was when i went to lake ashinoko, this place is absolutely beautiful and if i go to japan again i will be going back here, on clear days you get a great view of mount fuji. another great day i had was going to the nismo omori factory, this on its own was a bit of a let down, infact it was nothing like what i expected it to be, its a lot smaller than i thought and most of it is juct garages with a shop on the front but around the back is a great aquarium which has a dolphin display and if i remember right the admission was only about £10 so it was a great day out.

hope you have a great holiday.
 

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I think the other guys resumed it very well. A may ad: If you're going out at Roppongi or else were,if your single, get your hands on a cute lady . . . . helps a lot the days after to have hot club nights and a guide to were ever you go . . . . . but don't go together to Tokyo Disney Land:popcorn:
 
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