So here we are, on day #6 according to the name of my folder where all 600+ photos are kept from the first half of the holiday. In retrospect, it didn’t feel like a typical holiday. I don’t really like to lounge much when I am abroad. I obviously had a free day here and there, but for the most part, I had events or places lined up that I couldn’t miss. Especially when we had flown thousands of miles to a country with an abundance of fresh culture and beauty.
The ryokan (traditional-style inn – it had the vibe of a franchise hotel instead of a humble family-run establishment, but even still it was nice for the night) had such a glorious view of the surrounding mountains, it made me forget about my camera hence no photos. That, and I was busy getting prepared for the day ahead early that morning.
Usui-san, who I met in the last post, informed me of the show-and-throw event: Lowstars Meeting, held over at Nikko Circuit. A lot of you will know/recognise this course from the Best Motoring videos online, as it was, and probably still is, used by Option magazine for filming MyCar Challenges and countless drift demonstrations. This ~1km long track is half the length of the coveted TC2000 in Tsukuba, but I reckon Nikko is just as difficult with its tight consectuive hairpins and narrow width.
The circuit grounds itself aren’t huge, and I only spotted one signpost directing us to the drift haven. Pulled up into the overflow car park and I already found an array of machines belonging to the spectators who came in pretty high numbers.
We enter and exit the tunnel to get to the paddock, and pure mechanical noise hits you with increasing volume as the cars slide around the long right-hander. As we walked towards the track, intermittent views of the machines whipping their rear-ends wide could be seen through gaps in the safety fence.
Something I could not help but notice was the unusually high number of Subarus and Mitsubishis. At a drift event? I know its Japan but… oh okay, I guess its expected here. They looked good going sideways, and that is all that matters.
Once you walk out into the main paddock/pit area, theres a wide variety of metal, some just sitting pretty with the cleanest engine bays I have ever laid eyes on, whilst others have their bonnet up to let some steam off with no intention of showing off any bling under the hood.
The show was very relaxed, a few vendors here and there, but it was just a really chill, non-competitive atmosphere, guys and girls simply coming together to enjoy their cars, in whatever fashion they choose. There was a timetable for all the different sessions, but I was just floating about, trying to soak it all in as it was the first track-event I had attended in Japan.
Thanks for passing through, hope something caught your eye and made you smile with glee, or maybe you were horrified at some of the cars you saw, either way its all good.
This post was going to be a 2-in-1 job, but this already looks like a hefty enough album to publish, so the second half of that day will be uploaded in a separate entry.
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