VIDEO: Cruising and drifting Hakone in 1989

Hakone Nanamagari Touge 1988

Talk about time travel. What were you doing in 1989? In Japan, car enthusiasts were lining up at Hakone Nanamagari Touge like it was a playground slide. A notoriously twisty section of mountain road, it is part of the most famous of Japan’s touge, the birthplaces of drifting. And man, it’s a scene! 

Hakone Nanamagari Touge

Our quasi-pompadour’ed driver takes us up the pass while booming reggae from the Alpine, waving to girls in the gallery, and waiting. So much waiting.

That’s because the road is so packed with S13 Silvias, FC RX-7s, and box-type Lancers that he barely gets a few slides in before traffic comes to a halt again. Far and away, however, the most popular car on the hill is the Hachiroku (and its relatives like the E70 Corolla and AW11 MR2).

Everything you’ve ever wondered about Japanese car culture is encapsulated in this shaky, mostly out-of-focus, 8-minute video. Why are Japanese cars small and light? Why don’t they make moar V8s? Why is the AE86 so beloved? How did drifting begin? How real is Initial D? If a picture is worth a thousand words, a videotape is worth a million.

Source: YouTube Henrique Pinheiro

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9 Responses to VIDEO: Cruising and drifting Hakone in 1989

  1. Javier Vera said:

    ohhh men, great nostalgic video. At that time I was in Cuba, driving a Lada 2105. I´ve been there 1 year ago, and it was fantastic atmosphere, but not the move anymore. I really want to back to Japan in a year and I would like to have the oportunity to see events as this. Good Post-Keep Posting

  2. Jova said:

    I saw this video on Facebook. I wanna a time machine!!!

  3. Steve said:

    Watching this video reminded me of back in the day cruising up and down the Hermosa Beach strand…

    …and hating how annoying and frustrating it was to be stuck in traffic.

    Did it once and never went again.

  4. ahja said:

    OMFG. Look at all those 86 coupes! The myth of the “preferred” hatch really has been a lie all along! And those S13s are sleek and shiny and hot as hell. And I have an S5 RX7 fetish too. This is the pinnacle of human civilization people. It will never get that good again. How does it feel knowing we were *that* close in time and space to experiencing it first hand but we missed it. 🙁 Ah, to have been born in 60s Japan.

  5. VincenzoL said:

    I almost forgot how much they loved reggae and dancehall in Japan. Shabba Ranks and then Super Cat, good stuff! That video really is an awesome slice of time. I haven’t been back in 14 years but I’m almost afraid to go visit again because I know the car culture just won’t live up to my memories. The tuning crowd has shrunk and what is left has moved to the tracks these days so not as much street action, this is what I hear from close friend that visits regularly anyhow. Thank God for videos like this. Going to go try and dig out some shaky footage of my own from the 2001 era now! Lol

  6. dickie said:

    i saw this when a friend posted it a few weeks ago, and i STILL haven’t gotten over the fact that if this was truly shot in 1989, several of the cars featured would have been brand-new. can you imagine what it would be like to sit in a fresh-off-the-lot S13 or S5 RX7? How many kidneys would you have to give just to OWN one of those cars today, and these guys are sliding them around like they don’t care.

  7. Terrance said:

    I was 15 years old at the time and utterly clueless about all this car stuff….now I’m 40 and my life is very entwined with it….how i wish i was there to experience these early days of what was to become the best Car years coming from Japan!

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