I'm not one for writing particularly gripping stories, but I thought I'd share this as I thought there'd be a few people out there who'd be interested.
I'd wanted to visit Japan for several years now and a couple of opportunities arose during that time, when friends of mine have been interested, but later backed out due to a lack of funding. Towards the start of last year however, the topic came up with my housemates, who were also interested, but were hesitant to commit for various reasons. Sometime in the middle of the year things started to look good in terms of us getting time off and having enough money so we bit the bullet and made some bookings to finally visit!
Long story short, myself and one of my housemates flew over two days earlier and used this time to look at some car related things before the remaining housemates arrived and we'd continue with the general tourist destinations. As such, I had lined up the address and a screen grab of Google maps leading to the well known Skyline workshop, Rubber Soul.
We had a late-morning start as our flight had landed the night before and neither of us had had a great deal of sleep the night prior to us flying out or on the planes, so we made the most of the 11PM check-out time of the hotel. The weather out was in the low single digits (Celsius, that is) and cloudy with patches of rain across the greater Osaka area by the time we were on our way. A short train ride and a 20 minute walk through some back streets situated us in front of the holy grail.
It was a little surreal at first, to be standing in front of a workshop that I've read about and seen numerous pictures of from friends and various articles on the internet. What also overwhelmed us was the contents of the yard. From here in, there's little need for words, so I'll let the pictures speak for the most part.
A cursory glance showed an astonishing array of C10 and R30 Skylines, alongside a couple of the employees' daily drivers. Keen eyes may spot the number of GT-R badges. Serious business indeed. The icing on the cake, however, was tucked right up in the front corner of the yard.
Yep, a fair dinkum Z432 owned by the shacho. Minds were blown.
After prying ourselves away from all of the eye candy in the yard, we finally managed to make it into the shop itself, only to run into this at the door.
We made several laps of the shop, simply absorbing the mind boggling array of parts and all the other niceties on display.
During which time, we noticed that the Z432 had been moved into the garage floor to have the steel wheels it donned in the carpark earlier swapped over to a set of gunmetal Watanabes.
We did a final lap and collected a bunch of stickers and some small parts to take home with us. We were even gifted a book each by the staff member who served us! Still shocked with the generosity, we managed to work our way back outside, where we noticed that the work on the Z432 had been completed and rolled back out into the yard, where the shacho was taking pictures of the recent changes.
Neither of us could speak much Japanese and the shacho doesn't speak English either, but the sense of awe was obviously apparent, as he went ahead and popped the bonnet for us and started it up for us to admire.
He even offered to take a picture of us next to it!
He took a couple of pictures of us next to it with his own camera as well, which we later found out why. After he'd taken some more pictures he ducked off inside the shop and came back out with some more books to give to us! We did our best to convey how truly grateful we were at the time, but I later asked a friend to translate an email to say it again.
We eventually managed to break the trance we were in and headed off to our lodgings for the night, but not without a lot of amazing memories and a small wad of stickers.
A few days later, I popped onto the Rubber Soul website and discovered this: Click the link!
If you scroll down just past half way, you'll notice he included us in his post! As this post ages, you may need to scroll down further or go back to earlier pages, since there is no direct link to the individual post. He also featured the email that I sent and a picture of our cars later on.
Cheers, all! Hope someone/anyone at all enjoyed the images, haha.