Since 2013, before my annual year-ender, I make it a practice to publish a Hellaflush feature that moved me during that year. Last year, our adventures in Daikoku PA/Tatsumi PA took the cake for being a memorable night for numerous reasons.
For 2016, as I planned my trip to Osaka, Japan, I was puzzled on how to match that very special night in Tokyo. Humbly I known, Eiyt Grenade from Kixstanced was planning for me to experience a stunning take on Japan’s late night gatherings.
As I arrived in Osaka, I received a message from him which contains: “Maybe I can make a small local meet, I can pick you up and stuff to take some photos. Our call-to-action after this was to spread it on our social media pages, and group accounts. With limited knowledge on Osaka’s car scene, this gathering automatically served as an eye-opener or preview on the current situation of the region. Osaka, rarely highlighted, but too damn amazing.
With more than 400 photos that night, I narrowed it down to 65 shots for this special feature (note that other photos will be posted too as an album). Hope you enjoy this one.
As a short background, here in Manila, our pet-project-turned-passion-outlet, Stance Pilipinas / Manila Fitted has organized special meets for visitors or “balikbayans “to showcase different builds locally. Several of these gatherings were for the Fatlace Crew, Royal Origin, PPCE Texas, and Upshift Guam. With this, the gathering gave me a glimpse on how it is being on the other side of lens or story.
The meet was held at Izumiotsu PA, a parking area (similar to Daikoku), which is known for hosting several late night gatherings. Lately the option for using this lot has narrowed down a bit due to a small speed-bump placed right at the entrance. A local story that a certain VIP build got stuck in the 2-inch-high speed-bump, causing the car to be towed – which resulted in a small traffic jam within the area.
Still, the location and ambience of this PA remain to be the best for those who wants to relax after their enthusiastic drives known by some as Kanjo runs.
Osaka, best known for modification of Hondas has a whole to offer. His simple call to “illustrate” the car community gathered different builds from Bippus, Euro builds, classics, trucks, and even modified exotics.
As we arrived 5 minutes before 9, our set target of 15 – 20 cars perfectly suits our mindset to individually feature builds and hangout with the owners. Gladly Akifumi Yamamoto‘s Silvia served a teaser of this “movie-esque” night.
A few minutes later, more builds started to arrive – including this E46 M3 seen as a demo car for Work Wheels Japan.
Fresh from Offset Kings Okayama, Toshihiro Nagano dropped by with his Z31 300ZX. Please do check out the feature if you have time.
His friend which was also included in the double Hellaflush feature, Mie Ueda, the owner of the F31 Leopard, also joined us at the meet and parked with a group of silver VIP builds.
Sadly, with my inclination to maximize featuring and meeting all of the owners, there was a still a part of me that was not ready for this kind of positive pressure. As some of the best cars I’ve ever seen in a meet drove by, I accidentally reset my camera’s autofocus, something which I only figured out towards the end of the night.
A part of me was completely shaken as several Skylines in “hero liveries” started to arrive.
It also served as a “mini-reunion” for me – as several of my friends that I met during my past 3 visits to Japan were also present.
Okamoto Ty, owner of Hectopascal, a shop in Hyogo which carries Illest products and different parts dropped by with his crew. Okamoto-San also knew that I was looking for a steering wheel during this trip, my search for a deep-dish suede wheel ended when he handed me his personal pair. Again, thank you for the generosity, my friend!
Known for several of the baddest Silvias in Osaka, the Hectopascal Crew is also synonymous for joining different car shows all across Japan – including the Tokyo Auto Salon.
A meet in Osaka would not be complete without the boys from Osaka JDM. Although not physically present due to a trackday, Kazuhiro Furukawa made it sure that several builds from Five Mart were there. One of my personal favorites during the meet, seeing their infamous CR-X was an unparalleled moment.
As more kanjo-spec Hondas arrived, the exhaust note of these cars which cruised in and out of Izumiotsu PA served as my trip’s ultimate soundtrack.
Being a huge platform in Osaka, Hondas that joined us during the meet were not limited to track or street race configuration. The movement for JDM and USDM styling is evident with these two Civics.
Several of the very accommodating owners gave us a short talk on how they conceptualize their plans on each platform.
Seeing one in its hometown is a sight to behold, a purposely built NSX for late night runs.
Suddenly, more of Eiyt’s friends which consisted of exotics and classic cars started to arrive – adding more spice to the meet. Kenji Kawagoshi, brought his latest project, an Arnage.
No trip to Japan would be complete without seeing a first-gen Skyline. This exact example was driven hard that night!
A familiar “scream” of a Ferrari engine started to gather more attendees at one side of the lot. What’s really amazing is how they interact even with the language barrier.
Accompanied by police-themed large American SUVs, this group came in with a bold statement.
Rolling in style.
During their roll-in, Noboru Toyodome‘s modified Aventador stole everyone’s attention. Amazing exhaust sound, I must say.
Known in Osaka for modified exotics, Toyodome-San is also part of the RWB family.
Yuichi Kinomoto, owner of this Veilside RX-7 and I instantly clicked with our small chats about Shiba-Inus, a dog that I was searching for in Osaka. His leads inspired me in finally acquiring one.
With the overall atmosphere of the meet, for one moment, I felt that I was in a movie shoot.
Veilside Fortune RX-7? Check. Big-bodied Benz? Check.
With the entire parking lot being full, cars were forced to double-parked. Also, a queue outside the lot was formed, forcing the Police trying to end the gathering with warning sirens. Minutes after, several owners talked to the patrol car which resulted in normal operations of the lot.
Sayaka Atarashi, Eiyt’s good friend, brought in a super clean Audi A1. Learning more about how they modify cars, USDM or EUDM spec wheels are a statement in Japan as they are accompanied with premium price tag.
Another favorite during the meet, a widebody sinister-looking A8. Wish I took more photos of this one.
K.R.C Japan brought in “Rose Bud”, a Galant demo car. Our warm chat served as an inspiration for me in building classic cars, as a Sigma holds a special place in my heart – being one of our family-builds during the 90’s. Thanks for the all the stickers!
A super clean MK III with Work Wheels VSXXs. Spending 3 hours in this parking lot would not be enough to feature each one of these.
Despite being a VIP chassis, it’s always attractive to see “bippu” platforms that are contrasted with sporty wheels, one perfect example is this Crown with TE37V_Mark-IIs.
As I reconfigured my camera settings during the latter part of the meet, I took time out to take photos in a more relaxed more. Note that all photos in this blog post are not in chronological order.
Known for its groundbreaking late-night car gatherings, the spotlight on Japan’s modified scene has always been in Tokyo. This time, on this night, Osaka shows its full force by gathering diverse builds led with friendly faces.
Huge thanks to Eiyt Grenade for giving me a first hand look at Osaka’s rich and very colorful car culture and Tomomi Fukujyuu for being a helping hand in translating. Regards to everyone who dropped by at the meet, hope to see you again really soon!
Up to this day, as I reflect, there are still no words that can summarize the energy this gathering brought to me. An inspiration for us to elevate the scene here in Manila, the level of heat this meet had on me was something to be remembered for ages.
As it felt like a dream, I continue to ask myself: “Is this real life? Was it all a dream?” Reality is, this is Osaka – by fire.
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