Friday, 1 January 2016
Gearheadz Travel, Japan Tour 2015
Shinjuku, So Good To Be Back In Japan
Seven days after leaving for Japan we have arrived back in Melbourne, bringing to an end the 2015 Gearheadz Travel tour to Japan, the first of many more to come, the tour went very well, I had a fabulous time escorting Tony, Togga, JW and Ashley around Tokyo, Yokohama and Nagoya, we manage to squeeze a lot into our time in Japan.
There were two core activities to accomplish one was to visit the 24th Mooneyes Hot Rod and Custom Show at the Pacifico centre in Yokohama, an event I am passionate about and which showcases some of the best custom cars and bikes in the world, the other to drive high performance cars through the Hakone Mountains an area made famous, for car enthusiasts anyway as the location for the film Initial “D” one of the first and most well known drift movies, more on both those activities later.
I had arranged for a mini bus to meet us at Narita airport, much easier than battling public transport after 14 hours in transit, Our first stop after arriving in Japan was Shinjuku, our hotel was fabulous, in a good location, well I say that despite being smack bang in the middle of the red light district, I have no issue with that apart from the unwelcome throng of touts who try to coerce you into the brothels and hostess bars, they are a pain in the arse.
After checking in we showered, changed into fresh clothes and headed out into the cool night air looking for a place to eat, we stumbled on a terrific Izakaya style restaurant not far from the hotel and settled in, the food was delicious to say the least, best deep fried chicken I have ever tasted crisply fried, tender and moist inside and deliciously spicy, once we had eaten our fill and enjoyed a couple of beers we walked back toward the hotel via a winding landscaped path, a quiet lane way which took us to an area know as Kabuchiko, consisting of dozens of tiny bars usually two story with one bar at ground level and another on the second floor, some offered music some where cigar bars, the one thing they had in common was that they housed no more than at most a dozen patrons.
We, by no particular criteria chose a bar called Miso Soup, and were welcomed by the two barmaids, Hatsume and Massume, who made us feel very welcome and set about introducing us to the locals, including the owner, drinks where bought and drunk, then more and again more, time slipped by unnoticed until it was well past midnight before we called it a night we had enjoyed the company of these to lovely bar maids the owner and the bars regular customers, but sleep beckoned we had a full day of activities ahead of us, so we bid farewell to our new found drinking buddies, and retired to our hotel.