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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 7:06 am 
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Next to Autobacs is RicoLand, which is for bikers.
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It was pretty packed with bikers inside, I think lots of Tokyo bikers must have been out for a cruise.
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Nice exhaust on this Honda Bol'Dor 400
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Into the Autobacs itself
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VIP-style jewelled rings to go around your start button
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If you always wanted to accent your car with a bullet/revolver motif on the gearknob, lock plungers, etc, your prayers have been answered.
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...and that's all the pics I have. You're not really meant to be taking pics inside, and at one point one of the staffmembers gave me this wincing look like "dude, you're not really supposed to be doing that", so I got the hint. Spent a bit of time going over the book and video section
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After the Autobacs, it's back on the train for a couple of stops.
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First it's the Toyota lovefest
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They had a few iQs on display...they're tiny
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But strangely enough...I just about fit in the back!
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Zero bootspace tho, with the rear seat slid back, and look how thin the seat back is, all to free up precious space
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And as a 2 seater, with the back seat slid rearwards all the way, the front passenger has heaps of space from the cutaway dash.
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I'm quite impressed. Great piece of design and packaging.
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The JDM bB is smaller than the Aussie Ruckus, I think. Seems to have better proportions
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It's hard to get excited about the rest of the current Toyota range tho....can't even remember what this is called
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Selling point is sliding rear doors.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 7:08 am 
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LS600h advertising the L-Select personalisation service
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Sadly no LF-A on display tho...but they did have the HS250 hybrid that they are selling in the US
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Such an unappealingly thick/tall profile. Those are 18in wheels and look at how much sheetmetal is above the wheelarch
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Pretty inelegant solution for getting the "mouse" up to an ergonomic position too
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Such an unlikely race car :) SC430 JGTCC
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Now we're talking!
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 7:10 am 
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Not bad looking Odyssey type thingo. Mark X Zio
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...just in case you haven't seen enough Crown Athlete pics today :D
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Century V12!
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This thing is bespoke, and has some really nice touches. My favourite is the interior door handle. It's a deliciously weighty lump of cast metal,
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...which glides upwards like the silkiest thing ever and the door just goes....ssssssshhhhhh-thunk. And glides open
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All-metal door ashtray is also beautifully tactile, and that upholstery on the door card is like a half inch thick
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 7:11 am 
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This was cute...Mira Cocoa kei
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It's cool inside!
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It was at that point where I was thinking...hmmm...Toyota are not making much fanfare of one of their last remaining cool cars, the V6 3.5L 200kw Corolla Blade MasterG
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Then I pop the bonnet and ...er...what? Where's the V6? Maybe they don't sell it anymore...
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Not really sure what the diff is between the normal Corolla and the Blade TBH
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It's a sad state of affairs when one of your most appealing designs is the van (Vellfire)
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 7:13 am 
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Then it's across to the History Garage, which is in the Venus Fort shopping centre
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I think this is the old GT300 car
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Group 5 Silhouette Celica and Toyota 7
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I think it's a 1st Gen Datsun Bluebird that they are restoring
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1st engine is the 3KR, which is the DOHC 16v engine they used in the Starlet in the mid 70s touring car racing
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z432
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Corona
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Big model section
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They actually had a GS430 in silver, but the detail wasn't quite right
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Suzuki Mighty Boy kei class pickup from the mid 80s....mind you, Y7000 will probably buy you a real one :D
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Real-life cars in the small museum display
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Toyota 800 parallel twin
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 7:14 am 
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Almost bought this book...but I got enough JDM books I can't read anyway :lol:
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More from the Tomica Vintage Neo range (like our little Keto from yesterday)
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Then a quick stroll around the Venus Fort shopping centre, is kinda cool and looks like a mediterranean town....or Caesar's Palace
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Giant Mame-Shiba
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Dinner was Omu-Rice which is this pile of fried rice, with egg on top and various sauces. Quite a big thing here, it's served almost everywhere and some restaurants specialise in it
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And oh yes the only swag I got from the Autobacs was this. Garson Exclusive air freshener in the shape of a leather handbag. Seems like it's the latest VIP thing
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datsunfreak wrote:
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 7:19 am 
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After a long day of walking, I return to the hotel and crash.

First light the next day, I still had 4hrs to kill before having to catch the airport bus. So it's back pounding the pavement again. Many main roads in Tokyo are closed on a Sunday, and they become pedestrian malls. This is in East Shinjuku, and I know Ginza does the same on a Sunday.
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But now we're on our way to Tokyo station, no less, right in the heart of the whole city. This, spotted on an area map at Tokyo stn. Overheard in a bar: "So, where you you work?"
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Straight off the bat, you can see the difference to the areas that we've hung out in so far. Tokyo district is the downtown or financial district, it's where all the big banks and law and accounting firm HQs are. On a weekend, it's pretty quiet, but there's still ppl around. Many Tokyoites love to come to this part of town on a weekend to escape the crowds.
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Being the financial district, all the stores and restaurants here are quite nice and upscale, so it's a nice weekend chillout thing to do if you can afford it.
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Sidewalks are pretty wide, all really nice. I've been here during the work week, and during the 9-5 it's pretty quiet.
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Lunch is the first order of the day, and after all the fried food we've been having, I try something healthy. During the working week, most Japanese like to have a proper, sit-down lunch, so there are always lots of good lunch restaurants near offices, that will do something like this for Y1000. This was Y980 (about $10) and includes everything including a little dessert. And the places that serve lunch to officeworkers have to be efficient because most ppl take maybe only 40mins for lunch, so the food comes out almost straight away.
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(Nice Crown station wagon) now I'm on the hunt for the Tomica shop
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I know it's meant to be on top of the Tokyo station, but since it's so huge, it covers 4 blocks. Takes a while to walk all the way around it. The offices around here really are upscale, lovely landscaping and archutecture.
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With fancy patisseries and cafes on the bottom floors. Notwithstanding the fact that Japan is having hard economic times, this remind you that it's still a very, very wealthy country
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Finally I find it! The Tomica shop is in the "1st Avenue" shopping centre, but nobody I asked knew where that was. That's because it IS Tokyo station, it's one of those tunnel shopping centres right next to the platforms
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Eventually I find a pocket of toy stores...so odd to find toy shops in a train station, but that's where ppl hang out and pass thru. No shortage of kids dragging their parents around here. I guess this is a lot more convenient than say the Venus Fort, which has a kids section of shops that is really struggling for business.
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The Tomica Shop. It's not huge, after all it's in a train station.
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Generally any JDM toy shop wil have a display of this size, and they all usually offer the same models, no matter where you go. The difference is that the Tomica shop has 8 of these displays with different models, and also a section for the Vintage models too. So you get much more choice by going direct to the source
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An eclectic selection: Luce taxi (and Isuzu Gemini)!
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Violet 140J
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Plus lots of other Tomica mechandise, like shoes :)
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No Kev, you are eating a duck fetus.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 7:22 am 
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...and Kenmeri tote bag
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AE86 face cloth...and heaps of other things like Tomica toothbrushes, kids lunch boxes, clothes, you name it.
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They also stock the bigger models, but at Y5000 it's pricey
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Some of these bigger 1/43 models were sweet tho, on the far left it's the Group C low-roof Silhouette DR30, and they also had the Reebok Group A R31 too
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Pick your parts and they will make one for you. The model offered varies every few days
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Back on the road, since we're in the vicinity of the Imperial Palace grounds
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This place is dripping with money. All the shops are Emenegildo Zegna, etc all hi end stuff like confectionary shops that charge $25 for three tiny little cookies
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Cross the road and...
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What a change of scene :D
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The Palace itself is walled off and some sections of it are open for tours on certain days, but there are massive grounds all around the Palace too
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All around the palace is a moat. Back in the day (like, way, waaaay back in the day) the Palace was surrounded by concentric rings of man-made moats, with specified crossing points where samurai bases would stand guard. The outer rings of moats are still partially in existence, sections of them can still be seen in areas a few suburbs away, like Ichigaya in Western Tokyo.
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I find it a fascinating symmetry. In the olden days there would be a ring of samurai bases defending the Emperor. But turn around and ringed around the Emperor today are....all the blue chip old money Japanese companies. We're talking banks, insurance companies, only the very biggest JDM uber corporations.
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All the grounds look really inviting, but you aren't actually allowed to walk on the grass. So there are tarred paths that are really, really wide. You could fit tens of thousands of ppl here
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datsunfreak wrote:
No Kev, you are eating a duck fetus.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 7:25 am 
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One of the many bridges across the moat, and massive gate.
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Can't walk on the grass!
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Many of the wiiiiide paths are gravel. Might seem odd, but the paths to the Meiji Shrine in Tokyo are the same (there's an army of guys who sweep it smooth all day). But here, there's a helpful tarmac path thru the gravel
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I wonder who lives in that big house. Somewhere in there are the Prince Royal 6.3L limos that were made for the Royal Family in 1966
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Another gate across the moat
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Some parts of it are really quite breathtaking
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As with many parts of Tokyo on a Sunday, the main road is closed off, but this time for cyclists
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You need a LOT of ninjas to cross that moat
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I walk out of the Palace gardens and across to Hibiya Park, which is next door.
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Which is more like a normal park
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Lots of ppl walking around or just chilling
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There's an amphitheatre in the park, and a band called Sister Jet was rather noisily warming up. From what I could hear, they're on the harder indie edge of J-pop, with chainsaw guitars and super fast drum riffs, but like a lot of J-pop, 10 seconds later you are struggling to remember the tune
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They do have some fans tho! Line up for the Y1500 gig.
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Isn't it such a massive, massive contrast to the crowds in Shinjuku?
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...but you still can't walk on the grass.
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datsunfreak wrote:
No Kev, you are eating a duck fetus.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 7:29 am 
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Some sort of Honda wagonoid thing, with an obviously dog-loving owner.
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Kei truck espresso?
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On the way back I spot this huge building called Forum. There's something going on inside...lots of ppl are going in and out.
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It's a flea market
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Merchanside is the usual flea market knick knacks, but look at the surroundings!
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They even have a split window Kombi, selling Onigiri
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And oh yes, I did buy one thing at the Tomica shop. A Prince Skyline from the Vintage Neo range. $12, and amazing detail.
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And that's all she wrote. After the Tomica shop, it's back onto the bus to Narita. Hope you enjoyed my little 1.25 day tour of Tokyo :D

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datsunfreak wrote:
No Kev, you are eating a duck fetus.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 7:48 am 
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Kev, I don't know whether to thank you or curse you... I just spent an hour of my work morning totally enjoying your pictures (boss is glaring at me now). Makes me realize I gotta hurry up and get back there (*sigh* I miss Japan). Domo arrigatou for the tour! :tu: :wink:

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 8:27 am 

Joined: Sat Aug 29, 2009 6:04 pm
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hey other kev, great pics, i forgot to upload my selection of pictures

ive been to places uve been too, well almost half of them. i got lost while looking for the tomica shop in osaka. i was exactly in the underground shopping center, but damn, that was my first experience being there as a foreigner, haha! so im pretty pleased to have gotten out of the maze. im planning to go to tokyo to attend comiket end of the year, hopefully my money will be there, since the s600 project is eating me up!

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 7:15 pm 
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Kev, you could be a travel writer. That was amazing. I've never had the patience to walk the Palace grounds.... not when there are cars to be seen!

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Was this coffee shop by any chance next to the Tokyo International Forum (the glass building made famous in GT4 Photo Mode :) )?

Also, that dog lover's Honda was a Mobilio Spike. I ruv JDM vans. :P

I am suitably jealous!

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 7:54 pm 
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Nice work! Give me a call when you're next in town, and we can go for a ride...

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Neko.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 10:52 pm 
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That was AWESOME........ I just wasted my afternoon at work looking at all of that. :tu: :tu:


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 11:25 pm 
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ben wrote:
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Was this coffee shop by any chance next to the Tokyo International Forum (the glass building made famous in GT4 Photo Mode :) )?


Sure is...it's about a block or two away from the Forum!

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 3:42 am 

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hey neko, i might be heading down in december to tokyo for comiket 2010, just tagging along with my lil brother, he's the one whos nut about it, wanna join for tea or coffee? i might need someone to help me with the honda S parts

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2010 12:51 am 
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kev84 wrote:
wanna join for tea or coffee? i might need someone to help me with the honda S parts
Not sure I know too much about S parts, but always up for meeting new people over coffee. Let's start at the International Forum then, its a few minutes from my office? Neko.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 11:47 pm 

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Really, really awesome! I soo want to go to Japan one day.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 11:54 pm 
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Glad you guys are enjoying it.

With some luck, we should be returning to Japan again in a few weeks time for the JCCA Summer Festival :D I'll bring the camera :lol:

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