Author Archives: Skorj

GRAND TOURING: The Onsens of Yamagata Prefecture

Having toured Aomori and Iwate Prefectures previously and discovered many interesting sights along the way, we decided to again return to the northern coasts, this time to explore the Prefecture of Yamagata and the Sea of Japan Coast Road. 


NIHON LIFE: Summer Evening on the Wangan

The O-Bon is an annual festival that honors the souls of one’s ancestors. Many Tokyoites head to their hometowns to visit the graves of their forebearers, leaving the city strangely free of its dreaded logjam traffic. In other words, it’s the perfect … Continue reading


GRAND TOURING: Lake Okutama Getaway

In the far western outskirts of Tokyo, Okutama-ko (Lake Okutama) has been a popular weekend destination for many years.  The scenic touge on the north and south sides of the lake provide a popular destination for weekend motorcyclists and kyuusha drivers … Continue reading


NIHON LIFE: Commuting above-ground

Living in Tokyo’s 23-ku has many benefits, and detractions too I suppose. However, one of my great pleasures is the early morning commute across town. Many years ago I decided to ditch the usual meek-gray-mouse-crammed-onto-the-Ginza Line experience for a motorcycle. 


EVENTS: Akio Toyoda shows up at Cars & Coffee Tokyo

At a recent Cars & Coffee event in Tokyo, the usual proceedings were disrupted when a formation of Lexus supercars arrived on the scene. Emerging from the fleet was the most famous man in Japan’s auto industry: Akio Toyoda, president and CEO of Toyota Motor Corp, … Continue reading


NEXT VERSION: 2015 Honda S660 review

At the time Soichiro Honda made the decision to jump head first into automaking, the Japanese government was deep into kei jidosha, pressuring car manufacturers to create cheap, utilitarian microcars that would mobilize its citizenry. Honda-san had no interest in that, opting instead to develop a … Continue reading


NIHON LIFE: A kei car Sunday

For a number of years we’ve passed a lone Subaru 360 perched atop a rack built from scaffold over a similar-age Sambar truck. I kept thinking, “I must stop and photograph it before it disappears.” Like a Honda S500 no … Continue reading


SPOTLIGHT: Fastest “car” at the Tokyo Bayside Classic Cup

What’s mid-engined, twin-cam, hits 11,000rpm, and laps Sodeguara Forest Raceway faster than most things that were on the track at the recent Tokyo Bayside Classic Cup season closer? 


EVENTS: Cars & Coffee Tokyo at Daikanyama Tsutaya

In recognition of Honda’s return to Formula 1, the regular Sunday Morning Cruise in Daikanyama, Tokyo recently extended an invitation to “all Honda and other classic Japanese cars.” There was little excuse not to take the S800 out for an … Continue reading


EVENTS: Sunday morning at Daikoku Futo

Located right off the famed Wangan Bayshore Route in Yokohama, Daikoku Futo PA is a congress for car fiends. As die-hard fans of JDM-land know, representatives of any and every type of Japanese tuning subculture come together to appreciate the many facets of … Continue reading


EVENTS: 2014 Meiji Jingu Classic Car Festival, Part 02

The annual Meiji Jingu Classic Car Festival offers something few other shows can claim: the chance to see its cars driving through public streets. It’s not simply witnessing them in motion, though It’s the fact that those public streets are in Tokyo, in some of the … Continue reading


GRAND TOURING: New use for a Toyota Hiace

The Honda S800 has been a great steed for Grand Touring, but it’s going off to get a tear down to look at some possible valve clearance issues. Who needs a flatbed?


EVENTS: 2014 Meiji Jingu Classic Car Festival, Part 01

Unlike last year‘s clear blue skies and balmy weather, this year’s Meiji Jingu Classic Car Festival was held on a cool, wet Saturday. The annual event, put on by the Toyota Automobile museum, welcomes all marques and takes place in a … Continue reading


GRAND TOURING: Boso Hanto, Day 02

On Day 01 of our Boso Hanto tour we visited visited hallowed ground, a Skyline specialist shop, and stopped for the night with some curry and a bit of Honda tourism. Welcome to Day 02, where we continued through the peninsula in the … Continue reading


GRAND TOURING: Boso Hanto, Day 01

To a lot of Tokyoites, Chiba-ken is nothing more than the place go to if you are flying into or out of Narita airport. On the train or bus, you pass unsavory industrial areas, docks, recycle depots, and a few … Continue reading


GRAND TOURING: The Ise Peninsula, Part 02

In Part 01 of our journey to the Ise Peninsula, we crossed Ise Bay by ferry. While our navi plotted the quickest route to our next destination via a number of linking bypasses and expressways, we chose a twisting road designated … Continue reading


GRAND TOURING: The Ise Peninsula, Part 01

Our destination for this tour was Mie Prefecture, some 250 miles southwest of Tokyo on the far side of Ise-wan (the same wan in Wangan, meaning “bay”). Known for its ancient craft ceramics and as the birthplace of the ninja, … Continue reading


GRAND TOURING: Shio no Michi, The Salt Road – Part 02

In Part 01 of our trek down Shio no Michi, Japan’s famed Salt Road, we stumbled upon a collection of kei jidosha, the ruins of Iiyama Castle, and traced the path of salt dealers from the era of shogun and … Continue reading


GRAND TOURING: Shio no Michi, the Salt Road — Part 01

Having not been away in a few weeks, we decided to take a Monday off and spend three days exploring Nagano Prefecture and some of the less traveled valleys near the Northern Alps. Using our usual form of taking the main … Continue reading


GRAND TOURING: Mobara Twin Circuit

As some of you might know, I own a dark gray Honda S800M Coupe, and it has landed me right in the middle of Tokyo’s S-car scene. When some friends went out for a day of circuit racing, I decided to … Continue reading