Travel: My Visit to J’s Racing, Osaka, Japan

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.

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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.

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Super soul-less minimal car, but it does work as an appliance!

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.

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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….

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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…

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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The rear end with the super massive GT wing and interesting center exit exhaust. The iconic J’s Racing Waza Kanji and the red accents really make this stand out.

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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.

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Up on the lift/hoist was another J’s Racing car. This one is rocking the Type-S wide body kit with TE37 and craftsquare mirrors.

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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?

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here you can see the J’s racing special reinforced rear subframe.

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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.

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Rocking some fender flares and some TE37s.

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I believe this Honda Fit races in Super Taikyu.

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If you look at the sponsor Seidoya. They make all the brake products for J’s racing, including their 6 pot calipers….

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To the right of the car was this interesting lift system. Which they use to transport goods to their 2nd floor.

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and perhaps their 3rd floor too? J’s Racing is definitely one of the larger tuning shops I’ve been to in Japan.

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Near the fit was this particularly sad looking Honda S660 that’s probably seen a circuit wall or two.

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Back to the S2k on the lift. I was checking out the J’s Racing 6pot Calipers underneath these meaty TE37.

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I had to snap more shots of the touge monster.

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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.

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A wider shot showing the rest of the garage.

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The Dc5 Type R again

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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.

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A quick rainy glance outside you can see all the cars they use for development of new parts. Like this FK8 Type-r!

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This customer car was under the demo car on the lift/hoist. It looks like a decent build with an HKS supercharger, Type-S body, and J’s Racing Radiator and hoses….

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Of course they were these massive Endless brake calipers under the TE37. Along with the J’s racing Type-s fenders with fender inserts!

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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.

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I checked out the showroom…

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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.

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Yep this is what I bought….

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J’s racing spec K20 with some Toda Trumpets on the valve cover.

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A closer look at what was on the counter….

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Pretty cool display made with a bunch of American License plates.

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Wall of hyperrevs

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Interesting product I’ve never seen before. It looks like it was hydro-dipped. S2k valve cover.

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NGK plug prices…. NGK racing plugs are around $30 per 1. Not terrible.

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Some Moty’s oil… the good stuff.

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At this point it was absolutely pouring rain. I haven’t seen rain like this in awhile since I moved to Southern California. It seriously rains in Socal like a handful of times a year.

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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!

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I snapped a few more shots before I left this epic machine.

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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.

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I like how they are repping Mugen here!

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As I as driving back to my hotel, I couldn’t help to look at the dealerships as I was driving by….

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I can’t remember if I’m on the famous Kanjo sen here, but I was on it at one point and wish I had the Egg shell civic with me.

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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.

Travel: My Visit to ASM Yokohama

What S2000 enthusiasts hasn’t heard of ASM? It is the pinnacle of S2000 tuning. Although they make parts for other makes, they still stay true to the S2000. I don’t think any other s2000 tuner besides Mugen can come close to the quality of ASM. I’m going to contradict myself though, since ASM outsources all of their parts, i.e Karo, Sacclam, Recaro, PWR, Toda, Challenge….While Mugen makes everything in house. I’ve been to Japan over 5 times now and I can’t believe I never stopped by ASM Yokohama. Since I was in Japan last month, I thought what the hell, I have to stop by ASM and see those iconic wooden floors pictured in their blog or Toshi’s blog. We flew in from Indonesia into Haneda Airport in Tokyo, ASM is situated in Yokohama, an almost suburb outside of Tokyo proper. From Haneda, getting to Yokohama is easy, you can just take a train that goes to Yokohama. From the train stop, ASM is a quick 10min walk.

On the way walking to ASM we saw this lady pushing this Shiba Inu around in a dog stroller.  People in Japan are crazy about their Shibas

 

Crossed a bridge overlooking the water that probably runs into the bay

 

One of my favorite stores in Japan, Don Kihote.  It’s like walmart, but 400x more shit.  Great place to buy souvenirs.  I liked this one in Yokohama since it isn’t as crowded as the ones in Tokyo and it is much bigger.

 

I saw this interesting Toyota Crown on the way to ASM.  It looks like it has a nice drop with some BBS rims.

 

Pretty stock Nissan R34 GTR Vspec in a parking lot on the way to ASM

 

Future classic for sure…

 

I finally made it to the promise land and proceeded to take this shitty picture of the building with flag poles covering the logo.

 

Yes, we can!

 

Nice ASM front Ap2.  I like the color… can’t remember if it is purple or blue….

 

I love the FULLY TODA’ed OUT C32 engine on display….. I know a few NSX guys that would die for this setup.  FULL TODA INTERALS, TODA ITBS, TODA CAMS, TODA DRY SUMP, CARBON AIRBOX.  Probably a $60,000+ Engine Build

 

Interesting clutch, I wonder what car this came out of, or if it’s just a display engine they built.

 

A shot of the Toda Sport Injection kit for the NSX otherwise known as ITBs

 

The most iconic S2000 Race car, the ASM race car!  I can’t believe I got to see this in person.  This is one of the few NA powered cars that broke the 1 minute barrier at Tsukuba.

 

Interesting ASM bike

 

I’ve never seen this ASM Battery/Catch can setup before

 

More ASM goodies, like the ASM steering boss kit….

 

It’s crazy how they are selling a US Civic Shift knob here…. I like the S660 Titanium knob.

 

More shots of this engine

 

The dry sump setup is nuts!

 

ASM karo floor mats for the S2k and ASM Radiator cooling plates

 

They also sold some Mugen items here, like this Mugen intake for the S2000 and Mugen S2000 Engine mounts.

 

Assortment of ASM goodies

 

ASM suspension for a Z34 and ASM Racing Power steering tank for some car.

 

 

ASM Dry Carbon Hood for  GT86.FRS.BRZ

 

 

ASM throttle body, I’m not sure what car this is for

 

 

Toda Stroker Kit for a F20c

 

Anyone who has seen pictures of ASM should recognize this f20c on an Engine stand.

 

They were a few bikes scattered along ASM

 

ASM Dry carbon trunk for a GT86.FRS.BRZ Quality is Nuts

 

ASM Hood again, and ASM front lip for GT86.FRS.BRZ Quality is still nuts

 

Rows and rows of Super Starks and ASM Ruby seats, is this heaven?

 

They had this SUPER mint S2000 on Display there.  It looks like no one has ever sat in it.

Of course the S2000 is rocking a Mugen Carbon Fiber Hardtop

 

Incase you are wondering how much a Mugen hardtop goes for nowadays…. 581,040yen!  It’s nice to see Mugen still makes this part for the S2000.

 

It’s a shame we don’t get any of these Recaros in the USA

 

If you are reading this, you probably already know ASM is a major Recaro dealer in Japan

 

I like how the S2000 is using ASM karo floormats as pads.

 

It looks like some people were getting their car serviced here. I wonder how much their bill is

 

New ASM Saclam Exhaust for a Subaru STi

 

I must admit I thought the design looked stupid online, but in person it is so nice!  Must be the fan boy in me.

 

Moonrock S2000 getting some work done.

 

GPW also getting some work done.

 

The Previous S2000 time attack engines

 

This time attack S2000 Engine was used in 2003.  Nice ASM intake port block off plate!

 

Another shot of their latest iteration of the race car.

 

Of Course S2000 Dry Mugen Hardtop!

 

They are Running the Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R on their car.  I’ve heard these tires are the best tires on the market for the S2000 right now.

 

Recaro Speedster seat with Carbon Fiber backing

 

Looks like these Recaros would go great with a BMW M car!

 

Side shot of the race car!

 

Can’t resist ITB porn

 

The worker at ASM was super helpful.  He spoke perfect english.  Pro-tip if you spend more than 10,000yen here show them your passport and you can get sales tax (8%) taken off.  

 

The car is vinyl wrapped, probably for less weight.  Check out the carbon fiber weave peaking through!

 

Outside is their ASM FRS.BRZ.GT86 demo car will all the ASM Goodies.  Like this Dry Carbon ASM hood and lip.

 

ASM Dry Carbon trunk, ASM Dry Carbon side skirts, ASM Dry Carbon Wing

Closer shot of the trunk, this is SOOOOO QUALITY

 

Of course the fitment is on point as hell

 

Some shots of the cars parked outside.

 

Nice Silverstone Ap2 s2000 on Prodrive wheels, Mugen wing, and ASM v1 Rear bumper

This was that Moonrock S2000 that was being worked on in the shop earlier.  It has some Tasty Advan RZ rims, ASM V2 Rear bumper, and Mugen FRP Hardtop.

 

Better shot of this car with a ASM Front bumper.  This time with the cone out of the way.

 

No idea what this miata was doing here.  Probably getting some Recaros fitted.  You can see the front ASM bumper of the Silverstone Ap2 here.

 

ASM IS design Siren Circuit 2

 

I know a certain someone in the USA that has one of these exhaust on order right now……

 

All S2000 owners should make a pilgrimage to ASM!