Friday, March 22, 2019

Good Things Take Time

Bad news first: the delivery of my car has been pushed back a few weeks due to a last minute delay. Good news: fellow GT-R owner Tad offered me (again) to take his S1 BCNR33 for a spin, which made the wait a bit more bearable.

Beside catching up and talking cars and life over coffee for the best part of last Saturday, I also took the opportunity to share a little “secret” spot in front of Tokyo bay that makes for a great photo background. White GT-Rs do look good.

He also upgraded his car with a set of carbon fiber inlet piping that deliver a noticeable improvement in response over the stock RB26 one (as fitted standard on the S1 engine unit).

The next day I headed over Ginza Sony Park where one of my favorite coffee shops has opened a pop up store.

And since I was in the neighborhood I decided to go and check out the MY18 R35 GT-R Naomi Osaka Edition on display at Nissan Crossing.

Great looking car, but I’m not sure about the Midnight Opal color: it’s really more of a dark plum purple that, despite the immaculate white background and generous lighting, tends to look black most of the time. Think of a revised version of the original Midnight Purple as found on the BCNR33.

As much as I look forward to the GT-R delivery day my desire for a second car has grown so much that I’ve recently found myself tinkering on Carsensor and Goo-net (the two main Japanese used car websites) way longer than I should have. I really want to tour Japan more and took advantage of a national holiday this Thursday to visit Kamakura and its temples in search for inspiration for future drives.

This location is a must if you are traveling to Japan and I ran into a few sports cars owners enjoying the roads and beautiful scenery while I was hopping from one temple to another.

Photos really don’t do it justice: it’s the perfect getaway to escape Tokyo madness and breath in some tranquility.

Upon my return to Tokyo I had to stop by Itadori, one of my favorite sushi places.

Hidden in a small little alley, serves great food in a cozy atmosphere. I recently made it a habit to stop by every couple of weeks.

And there you have it: this post might not contain crazy internet-breaking information about limited edition Nismo builds, but it’s a glimpse of Japan living seen through the eyes of a GT-R owner who’s been way too long away from his car. Hope you enjoyed it.

Off to Omori Factory tomorrow for what might as well be one of the very final visits ahead of delivery.

Until next time.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Taking a Break

As some of you might have noticed, updates on the blog have slowed down a bit recently. After a year of weekly visits to monitor progress, sourcing parts, changing plans, and endless texting and calling with some of the most patient people in the world, I felt like taking a break was in order.

Also, one of my new resolutions for 2019 is to experience new things and explore new hobbies. So, when last Friday I boarded on the Shinkansen towards my first snowboarding trip, I thought I’d share another small glimpse of life in Japan before going back to regular programming.

As somebody who is passionate about cars and machines in general it’s difficult not to appreciate the stunning engineering and design of these trains. The service is absolutely impeccable and after a couple of hours smoothly cruising at 300km/h towards northern Japan we arrived in Niigata.

I have said this many times, but I would strongly recommend any Japanese cars enthusiast to expand their horizon and explore more of what Japan has to offer as a country. Seriously, cars and videogames are just the tip of the iceberg: discovering the country and digging a bit deeper into the local culture will give these passions a whole new depth.

The other side bonus is that you’ll be able to enjoy raw, unstaged Japanese car culture, like this frozen Mitsubishi Evo chilling in a parking area close to our resort. It really doesn’t get any more JDM than this.

The weekend was nothing short of fantastic and it was a good reminder of how getting out of our comfort zone is key to broaden our vision and make the most out of life. 

I am not a mountain guy, but two days spent trying to master snowboarding basics, drinking and eating with friends while taking in the scenery were absolutely fantastic; now I can’t wait for my Nürburgring trip this summer.

In the meantime, somewhere in Yokohama, something is undergoing final tuning. Few more weeks to go...

Until next time.