Nikko is a nice tourist spot, located in the rolling hills about two hours north of Tokyo. So, two hours and about 40 dollars later in tolls we find ourselves at one of Japans famous tourist cities. Among Nikko’s many popular sites is the intricate Toshogu temple and the mausoleum of Tokugawa Ieyasu.
Like so many unknowns here in Japan, Nikko is also host to many things that the usual passer by will never see. Not five minutes from the expressway we find the circuit. By 7 o’clock in the morning we are one of the last teams to arrive and are forced to set-up in the parking lot.
What I enjoy the most here is that this is no "Professional" event. Some are actual career racers, but for the most part you see people that do this as a hobby and obsession. Many are daily drivers, men and women, changing tires, last minute prep and race.
Now at this even there are three drift categories and one grip. The drift categories being split by power rating. Now the difference here is there is no real race. Each group starts as they hit the circuit and run untill their time is up. Moments later the next group goes out and so on. By the end of the day each category can expect to get four to five sessions in.
I must admit, up to now I have not been the biggest fan of drifting. I don’t really intend to sit down and watch it on TV like I would Le Mans, WRC ect. I have enjoyed watching the actual street drifting done in the mountains. Watching the it on a track has just never really turned me on. Until now, I think in this case it was the whole experience of seeing an entire field out there. Or seeing real people in real cars.
Now what really sold me was when I got to go for a ride!
With over nearly 1.5 million in attendance the last day, the show ended with peak attendance. The Makuhari Messe was alive with the sounds of the industry and motor sports. With four events halls including the dome, all packed with the industries big players, from Maybach to Mitsuoka. Few actual race cars were visible though. There was notably a Lotus but the most outstanding to see the Peugeot. If there was a prize for the most popular? It would go to Nissan. With a roll out stage (...)