Slowly getting back into the hang of things…..Sorta. Last month I went to Osaka, Japan. I was on a family trip with my wife and daughter in Beijing, China and my wife and I decided to take a small vacation to Japan. I have never visited any other in city in Japan besides Tokyo, or Yokohama like where ASM is….but that’s pretty much next to Tokyo. I’ve probably been to Toyko 8+ times now….. Osaka was an eye opener! The whole vibe of the city was so different, much slower paced, and more relaxed.
This visit to Japan I rented a car because my wife hates public transportation. Man driving in Japan was terrifying for me. I’ve driven RHD in a RHD country before in Thailand, but I just treated Thailand like there is no rules (Sorry Thailand)…. But Japan, man Japan has a ton of rules, and sometimes the traffic signs that make no sense to me even though I can read Japanese at a decent level. Not being confident, driving on the ‘wrong’ side of the car + the super super narrow streets + bunch of oneway city streets…. I must admit I was a shit driver. Sumimasen Japan!
Being in Osaka, Japan, I knew I had to do at least one car related activity. In my mind the most famous car shop in Osaka is J’s racing. When we think of JDM S2k tuning in America, we think of Spoon Sports, Mugen, ASM, Powerhouse Amuse, and of course J’s Racing! (notable mentions out there to Tracy Sports, C-west, K1 Labs, Toda Racing, Car Garage Amis, Feel’s aka Honda Twincam, m&m Honda).
So after hanging out in the city with my wife, I dropped my wife back at the hotel and I drove to J’s Racing. From Dotonbori, the most touristy popular place in Osaka and also where our hotel was, J’s racing was around 30-40minutes away. They are located in Ibrakaki, which is a city in the Osaka prefecture. It was raining and I only had about 1 hour before they closed! Luckily my friends made the call to them to let them know I was heading over.
So after a drive in rainy traffic, my rental Nissan march and I made it to J’s Racing. J’s racing is located off of a tiny tiny tiny side street, you can totally keep driving and miss it. Japanese tuning shops are always in the most unassuming places. In America, car shops in general are typically located in industrial areas, while Japanese tuning shops tend to seamlessly blend into the neighborhood. I remember seeing a picture of RE-Amemiya, the famous RX7 tuner shop, located smack dab in the middle of a suburban neighborhood…. crazy. Oh yeah, you can’t park your car like this in the J’s racing lot, but on this particular day, J’s racing garage was closed for business and the President/CEO Murakami san was there taking care of paperwork. Murakami san said it was cool for me to park in the lot, thank god, it was mad raining that day.
Upon arrival, Murakami san greeted me. He knew I was coming, he immediately asked me if I wanted to see their cars. Of course I agreed! Another tangent… I was pretty damn stoked, but I’m the kind of the person that gets excited about shit but in the moment it doesn’t seem like I’m super excited, but always retrospectively I realize how rad a moment it was…. If you ever meet me, don’t be offended when I don’t seem excited about your car, but in fact I think it’s extremely rad. If there is good reason for me to think it’s rad.
This was the first thing I saw upon entering the garage area, the world famous J’s Racing S2000 Demo Car. It’s crazy, an object I’ve watch countless times on Youtube in Hot Version Touge battles, being right in front of my eyes. The car has a crazy presence, and the dragon livery totally makes sense after experience a bit of Osaka. I used to think it was tacky as hell, but now I understand, it’s a product of it’s environment.
This car attacking the touge in Kyoto, another city I visited on this trip….
Murakami san proceeded to pop the hood/bonnet, exposing the 2.6 liter stroked F20c. I am curious how they stroked the engine and what crankshaft they are using to gain that displacement. I know some 2.5 and 2.7 liter F20c engines in the USA made by inlinePro….According to the video above the redline of this engine is at 7800RPM. I’m curious if this is on the stock FRM sleeves or not…
Of course I’m an ITB man, Individual Throttle Bodies for you perverts and I couldn’t help to point out the Toda ITBs on this setup! Utilizing a very special J’s Racing plenum and air box made for this application. Unfortunately the airbox portion of this does not fit on LHD cars as it hits the brake booster and ABS system.
Everything is wrapped in gold foil to reflect heat! Of course the rest of the J’s Racing Catalogue is here….. Cooling plate, Radiator, radiator cap, radiator hoses, exhaust manifold, and valve cover! Can’t forget that J’s racing torque mount!
Another shot of the beast, I love how SEGA is one of their sponsors. The SEGA genesis was my first game console as a child and I can remember that point in my life as a turning point, I spent countless hours with my friends playing SEGA genesis games… In fact I was so loyal to the brand I had a SEGA Saturn and SEGA Dreamcast… RIP guys.
Craftsquare mirrors and of course you can really see how wideeeee this J’s Racing Body kit is. This is the Type-GT version, which is one step crazier than their type-s kit. I must admit I didn’t like this kit when it came out, but it’s growing on me.
Next to the world famous J’s Racing S2000 Demo car was this DC5. I asked Murakami san if this DC5 is a demo car, he surprised me by telling me this car is in fact a customer car! He told me, “looks like demo car right”. I completely agree.
Being on the lift/hoist it gave me the perfect up-skirt view. J’s racing coil-overs, and J’s racing diff mounts. Although I am curious what that AN line running from the diff to the pump solenoid-looking-like thing up top is?
After looking at the Type-S kitted s2k for a bit I walked to the back of the shop and saw another relatively famous car…. This J’s racing Honda fit! I was slightly bummed their famous K24 GD fit was not at the shop, that is one of my favorite J’s Racing cars.
Of course it’s rocking the Mugen Dry Carbon Hardtop. I remember being blown away when I saw one of these in person. Now I’m a bit jaded since a bunch of my friends own these tops Authentic of course? One of the best tops in my opinion, even though they are like 3 S2000 tops to really choose from.
Touge. For all you non Chinese Character readers out there (Yes, these characters came from China), this character is made up of mountain on the left, and on the right there is the character for up and the character for down. All this put together is mountain pass since you go up and down the mountain.
This shop runs on solar power! It was a rainy rainy evening, so I doubt the shop was harnessing power from the sun while I was there. The inner earth lover likes this, since this in my mind justifies them running straight pipped race cars.
I ended up buying an umbrella because I thought I was gonna use it. I turns out the rain stopped after I left…. and I had to carry a long ass umbrella back to China and then back to the states. I had to check this into both flights because it was so damn long.
Since my car was pointing the wrong direction and I didn’t want to hit one of the many many expensive cars in the lot and reverse is super weird in RHD for me (The lot looks bigger than what it really was) Marukami san helped me move my car so it was pointing the correct direction, talk about Japanese hospitality! Thank god because I would of had to reverse into that one way road in traffic!
Thank you Marukami san for you help! J’s racing, you guys are alright in my book. After visiting, I have a greater respect for the tuning brand as a whole, just a bunch of guys that started from nothing and now have a worldwide following.
I’ll finish this post off with this picture I took of some Japanese company/ school? Smoking room. This would never fly in America nowadays, but I thought it was cool and interesting due to the number of people in the room smoking.