• Gallery: Skylines at Daikoku Futo
  • Gallery: Bank Holiday Weekend @ Gurston
  • Akina Media Raises £400 for Second Harvest Japan
  • Appeal: Selling Photos To Support Earthquake Victims
  • Photo: Downtown Osaka

Feature: Cheddar Motopark

  If you’re following me on Facebook, you’ll have seen me going mad with the MotoX (Motocross? – I don’t know the prefered way of writing it, so let me know if I’m doing it wrong). About 40 minutes from me, is Cheddar Motopark; a facility in middle of nowhere that houses one of the best tracks in the south west (according to very little research and never having ridden…

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Photo: Manga Store

One of my favourite shops in Japan is Mandarake, not just because their slogan is “Rulers of Time”; but also because they sell everything an Otaku could ever wish for. The labyrinth of manga leads to models, toys and all sorts of awesomeness. Here’s a photo from inside the Sapporo store…  

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Feature: Volkswagens of Ginza, Tokyo

It’s a well known fact that all cars look cooler with a Japanese license plate, here are some examples of how the Japanese can modify and restore Volkswagens with a touch of class. I know nothing more about these cars, other than they were all cruising around Ginza on a Sunday afternoon. Ginza is more famous for its high-end department stores than its car culture and you are more likely…

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Feature: Itasha Culture

Akihabara (also known as Akiba) is known as Electronics town. The area became famous after World War II and was THE place in Tokyo to buy radio and electronic equipment on the black market. Nowadays, Akiba is synonymous with the Otaku subculture. Often misrepresented as ‘nerds’, the term Otaku encompasses anyone with a passion for something; usually comic or gaming related. Akiba is a hub for manga, anime and gaming; so when you throw…

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Photo: R246 Akasaka, Tokyo

If you’re a Gran Turismo fan, you may recognise the final hairpin of the R246 track in the photo. It wasn’t planned, but my hotel was located on the final corner of this fictional race track. We were coming back from Fuji Speedway when Mike pointed out that we were driving part of the track as we approached the hotel. As it was Golden Week and the roads were quiet, we…

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Photo: Driftworks S14a

Driftworks’ D1GB Championship winning Nissan 200SX S14a was not only a legendary machine capable of keeping up with the Japanese D1GP stars; it grabbed the attention of the non-drifting community with its mid-body side exit exhaust and extreme styling. Its real advantage over the competition was the pilot. Phil Morrison’s flair, style and disregard for his own safety, ensured that this S14 was always on (and often way over) the limit…

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Photo: JUN Super Lemon RII R33 GT-R

For ‘Throwback Thursday’, I thought I’d upload one of my favourite machines from my time at J-Tuner. This photo was taken at the cover shoot for the March 2006 issue. I didn’t do the shoot (that was the work of Craig Pusey) and I hadn’t really played with cameras much at this point, so was pretty pleased with this shot. The 2.7-litre R33 was running 500bhp and was about to be…

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Feature: A Museum Unlike Any Other (Part 2: Cars)

Having looked around the Toy part of the museum, it was time to explore the classic cars of the Yokota Collection. Masahiro Yokota has collected and meticulously restored some of Japan’s most iconic cars. Spread over three floors, they range from the modest to the marvelous. We start on the lowest of the three floors and are immediately introduced to some of the weird and wonderful cars that kickstarted the…

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Feature: A Museum Unlike Any Other (Part 1: Toys)

The M. Yokota Classic Car Collection is only a small part of the (take a deep breath) ‘Ikaho Toy & Doll Teddybear Confectionery & Chocolate Automobile Museum’, but if you ever venture off the well trodden Tokyo/Kyoto/Osaka path, it is definitely worth a visit. If I had the money, this is what my house would look like. Fortunately, Masahiro Yokota is a kindred spirit and after making his money in the building industry…

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