Japanaholik’s Journal | Goodnight, Tokyo, Good Morning, Osaka

The thing with Japan is that it has pockets of unique culture and ways of life projected in every different part of the country. On this trip, I made sure to pen in Osaka on the itinerary. In terms of like general knowledge, all I knew of Osaka was how apparently insanely addictive their cuisine is, its home to electronics giant Panasonic, and also a tourist selfie-hotspot in the form of the ‘Glico’ man.

What they don’t show on TV though, is that Osaka is the breeding ground of the hardcore Japanese tuning scene. ‘5Zigen’ have their head office in the prefecture, ‘Trial’ is also situated in Osaka, as are the GT-R maestros ‘Auto Select’, that used “JDM-car” heaven ‘Global Auto’, ‘Kakimoto Racing’ high performance exhaust specialists, and of course the infamous Kanjozoku has its origins in this western part of Japan. That list is only the tip of the iceberg, as you could wander in a rural countryside in Japan and stumble across, oh I dunno, ‘Fujita Engineering’ (which I did intentionally stumble upon; all will be revealed in a future post).

I was advised by Uncle, that the most efficient way to get to Osaka without breaking the bank with a shinkansen (bullet-train) ticket, would be to hop on an overnight bus. So, with seats reserved for the long and dark 350+ mile journey, we just chilled out during the day.

We tagged along with Uncle who was checking up on some work-related matters.

On return back to his house, Uncle got me to pilot his lardy Land Cruiser to the local Super Autobacs which is pretty much Halfords but with more than you could ever need; it is THE autoparts dealer of Japan. This store in particular had a cafe, arcade, bookshop/memorbilia emporium, and a sportswear shop on top floor of all things.

Nothing much else to note during that day and evening, skip to us arriving in Osaka at 7am the next morning. It is hard to get a decent sleep on a moving coach, especially when they have to make regular breaks along the route. Needless to say, I was very groggy getting into Osaka, but my first impressions were that it was a bit more rough around the edges in comparison to Tokyo.

Walking through the city, it was easy to see it was an actively industrial place, with a lot of HGVs present on the streets dashing to and from the shipping ports that make all that international business possible.

I don’t normally look twice at E36 chassis BMWs, but that fire & sun pair parked up back-to-back made me take a closer peek. Good sets of bronze wheels and a drop in ride height results in maximum effect on street cars.

Saw that EK Civic in the corner of my eye as it seemingly floated by with a low-pitch grumble emitted from its exhaust. I should have chased it, but we were dealing with a bicycle rental rep and I didn’t want to be rude and just duck out. Also, he probably would have been weirded out by me running after a Honda to get a photo. If I were to eventually get an EK9, I’d get that sucka sprayed straight red, or maybe Sakhir Orange. As classic as the timeless Champ White colour is on the little hatchback, I think that generation of Civic definitely suits darker hues better.

With our trusty, fully manual two-wheelers, we set out in the direction we were told the Osaka Castle was in, by asking random pedestrians at every traffic light until we found it, basking in all its glory under the low sun.

I’ll leave it at that for this post. Not really anything special, it was just a bunch of photos I took that (for the most part) were not car-related. The next day was a bit more interesting though, so watch out for that post.

V V V B O N U S G A L L E R Y V V V

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