Category Archives: Travel

Tokyo – Day 8

up-garage
We’ve been doing SO much that Tokyo took a toll on us again today, and we slept in until lunch time, but we all managed to get out of bed and catch a train out to Kumagaya to check out the closest Up Garage (since they were shut yesterday).

seats
We got there without issues thanks to Alexi’s directions. A sleepy little suburb with a relaxed vibe. The shop instantly blew us all away. 80% second hand goods and some new stuff too. The seats were really well priced and had us all wishing we had something like this back home.

wheels-up-garage
So many awesome wheels. All reasonably priced too!

stretched
Spotted this guy leaving, what a stretch!!!

fishingtime
We got back in time for an epic dinner at Zauo in Shinjuku, a restaurant where you catch your own fish!!! We had a private booth, they serve a set menu (and the freshest most dark red tuna I’ve ever had), unlimited beer, sake and plum wine and when you’re tanked, you can go fishing!

mimi_me_cray
Mimi and I both caught crayfish!

snapper
The boys did well with a couple of snapper and a flounder too!

fishing-boat
I’m on a boat. Such a mad concept, everyone in there was having a blast!

salt-fish
This snapper came out in a casing of hard salt, which you lit, then broke with a hammer to eat the fish inside. Absolutely delish!

sake-shots
Sake shots for the 2 guys who failed to catch anything, haha!

angelo-fish-eye
I told Angelo the eye was the best bit (I lied), so he ate it. I rewarded him with letting him eat the cheek though, which is the best bit!

p-ride
Matty’s “Aussie Pride” tattoo has bad letter spacing. To me it reads: “P ride”.

fixing
I thought I’d fix it.

aussie_pride_fixed
MUCH BETTER!!!

crayfish
Crayfish was unreal! Such a mad night, what a great concept, and such great company! A trip to the Golden Gai (again) will see us in bad shape tomorrow morning, but hey! YOLO!!!

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Tokyo – Day 7

Today Alexi of Nori Yaro took us on a grand tour. We’ve been psyched for this, and he sure as hell didn’t disappoint! The guy is such an amazing tour guide and you get a lot more than just visiting stores and workshops. He’ll talk to you about anything you want to talk about, in our case, Japanese culture. The conversations we had in the van between stops were just as awesome as the places we visited.

rays_custom
First stop, Crystal. These blue Rays Gram Lights were fucking amazing!

work_custom
So too these custom order Work Kiwamis.

crystal
This beast was sitting pretty upstairs.

fuelstation
Love that they have a place for you to put your fuel cap in Japanese fuel stations, so thoughtful!

topsecret
Next stop, Top Secret. Unfortunately they were shut!

topsecret_outback
Spotted some rad rides up front and out the back though.

superautobacs
Next stop: Super Autobacs in Tokyo Bay! It was huge, and a lot like our Supercheap Auto but with quality parts mixed in with all the cheap stuff (like a whole isle of drink holders and air fresheners!).

soundchanger
TRD sound changer for the new 86. Very cool!

alexi_autobacs_fans
Alexi was spotted by a couple of the staff who stopped him for a photo!

mooneyes_tokyo
Next stop: Mooneyes in Yokohama!

buggy
Loved this buggy!

mercury
This Mercury was pretty special too.

moon_outfront
And this sled!

mooneyes
Mooneyes on the inside. These guys must have more branded merch than any other automotive brand I know of. Downstairs they had lifestyle products.

wheels
Upstairs they had an amazing range of car parts.

diner
We had lunch in their cafe, which looked and felt a lot like a retro American diner. Even their regular customers dressed in the right attire which was pretty impressive.

drunk
Doubt you’d get away with this beer’s description in Australia!

moon_burger
We all feasted on burgers which were totally satisfying.

pinstripe
Evidence of pinstriping in the workshop. Mooneyes is the kind of store where your eyes just can’t settle on any one thing. It’s packed with eye candy. Culture plus!

crown_2door
Spotted out the back. Alexi exploded over this very rare 2 door Crown.

alexi_crown2door
He wanted it, bad!

pussywagon
Pussywagonesque! This is the same model car as Alexi’s mini-van, but done Mooneyes style!

nismo_hq
Next stop: The new Nismo HQ.

nismo_flowers_30th
Unfortunately they were also shut as they were about to host their 30th anniversary party (which explains the flowers), but Alexi sweet talked our way in and we were able to snap a few shots of the cars on display.

nismo
Inside was the 2014 Nissan GT-R Nismo which holds the record for the fastest-ever time for a factory GT-R on the Nürburgring.

nismo_gtr
Jaws dropped. Nissan GT-R JGTC Nismo.

nismoz
Super GT Z.

stiffpipe
Stiff Pipe!!!

badges
On the wall they had a big collection of race badges dating way back.

r35
The 2014 Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 car stole my heart.

carbonlight
Carbon headlights for extreme lightening. The car costs $500k, which isn’t too much to ask IMHO!

bee_r
Next stop: Bee-R!

bnr32
This super tough BNR32 was parked outside.

comps
Tough stickers, for reals.

bmw
Also outside was this tough BMW.

doubletrouble
Yellow Peril! Then we saw these beasts and got all excited like little school girls.

popbonnet
Alexi was given the go ahead to pop the bonnet on the B80R.

2j
Whoo 2J!

acquiredtaste_b80r
Inside was all business bar the Hello Kitty clips. Boss man Imai stuck an Acquired Taste sticker on the dash which blew the boys away!

b80r_allopen
So fresh, mind-blowing. What a work of art.

alexi_imai
Alexi was playing translator with Bee-R boss Kiyonori Imai who was such an awesome character.

magazine
Imai showed us his 180SX (which looks like a R35 GT-R) in a magazine, with Option Boss’ 180SX (which looks like a 370Z).

d1_chaser
Bee-R’s current D1 drift car.

chaser
Super wide chaser, the sunken rear door handles give it all away.

accord
This new accord looked out of place in the workshop.

supercharged_accord
Until we saw the custom supercharger setup!

trophies
Spotted inside the office. Winners, obviously!

track2
Next door to Bee-R was Racing Paradise, an RC shop with a huge slot car circuit.

racing_paradise_track
View of their circuit from the top floor.

dragstrip
They even had a massive drag strip!

cpw_owner
Next stop: CPW Skate Shop. I’ve been following their blog for a while and they were the inspiration for the Zen Garage funny bike.

cpw_owners_bike
The owner Motoyan was working on a customer bike outside (his own personal bike is on the left of this picture).

decks
Motoyan is the same age as me, so it all makes sense! Old school skate decks galore… I was right at home.

cpw_banannasaddles
These guys have probably bought up all the Banana saddles out there.

cpw_inside
The shop was tiny and jam packed of amazing stuff.

stickers_honda
Motoyan is into cars as well! He pulled out his EF Shuttle just for us.

cpw_honda
It sounded offensive, and yup, that’s static.

cpw_skate_shop_outside
CPW Skate Shop from the outside. So rad!

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Tokyo – Day 6

bullettrain
We’ve been winging everything, pretty much, and last night we decided to go to Osaka (with no plans!). We got up early and caught the Shinkansen with our JR passes.

hangrings
Hang Rings! We had to make many train transfers after catching the bullet train, and it got a little overwhelming, but hopping on one of the much older trains out in the burbs was fun.

arapaima
First stop; Osaka Aquarium. Check out this arapaima! I had a book on these jurassic fishes back in 2000 when I had a predator only tank. They used to get a LOT bigger than this once upon a time but even so, they’re still one of the largest freshwater fish in the world. Was great to see a few of them today, such an amazing fish.

dolphins
Dolphins! Great to see them swim and play from behind the glass as opposed to from above.

whaleshark
What we were really here for. A live whale shark in a tank?! For real? Yes for real! The largest fish in the world, but this guy was still pretty small (yet still very impressive!).

whaleshark_feeding
Luckily for us we got there on feeding time! Feeding fish is one of the most fun parts of owning fish in aquariums, and it was awesome to watch the diver hand feed the whale shark.

sunfish
A sunfish! The heaviest bony fish in the world. Another first for me, never seen one of these either in real life, so awesome to watch it’s dorsal fins move.

hammerhead
The big tank (ok, the HUGE tank) had a couple of big hammerheads in it too. Again, never seen one in real life. This aquarium just kept on delivering!

turtle
This turtle was pretty big too.

crab
Tank full of Japanese spider crabs.

sealchill
This seal was literally just chilling, smiling, squinting, and floating still like a buoy.

rays
At the end there was a large tank full of rays and sharks that you could touch. Another new experience knocked off the list!

boat
We then caught a shuttle boat from Osaka Aquarium to Universal Studios.

water
Boating across the port of Osaka, unfortunately with the Backstreet Boys playing from the speakers on top deck (might have had something to do with all the staff running the boat being female? Driver and all).

universalglobe
UNIVERSAL!

shrek
Shrek! Oh noes!

celebrity3
As soon as we got in, the boys were mobbed by young Japanese girls who wanted to take their picture with the group!

celebrity2
Matty was pretty popular with the girls. Maybe they thought he was Macklemore? Or perhaps Prince Harry?!

celebrity
We had to be back at the station to catch the last train back at 7PM so rides were out of the question as the queues were all 90 minutes long. Instead the guys just kept walking around getting mobbed by girls who wanted to take their photos with them!

jurassicpark
At Jurassic Park.

backtothefuture
Back to the Future! We couldn’t get on the ride, but we did buy some goodies in the theme store.

universal
The spinning Universal globe came alive at night.

mealontrain
We had to rush back to the train, and grabbed a quick bite in the station to eat on the train. The 3hr ride to Osaka was great, the 3hr ride back home just destroyed us.

aqrdtste_karaoke
Tired, and sore (we’ve been doing a lot of walking!) it was great to finally be back at home in Shinjuku. Now for some rest. Tomorrow Alexi takes us on an epic tour of Japan’s workshops and car parts stores!

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Tokyo – Day 5

coco_test1
Day 5 kicked off with a shoot in my tiny hotel room in Shinjuku with the absolutely gorgeous Coco Komatsu. What a gal! She’s 100% Japanese but speaks amazing English. She’s hilarious, smart, sharp, crazy cute and sexy all at the same time! Won’t be working on the photos whilst I’m here in Japan, but will do as soon as I land back in Sydney!

aqrdtste_gawking
By the time our shoot was done, everyone was starving so we hit the road to get some lunch. The boys were gawking hard at something…

mazda_6_wassef_shinjuku
Turns out it was Stephen’s Mum’s car, only done right!

acquiredtaste_coco
Coco joined us for lunch, and the boys just fell in love with her. She’s such a bright light!

mattybag
Matty, such a gentleman, offered to carry Coco’s heavy bag.

pancake
Coco took us to an awesome Okonomiyaki restaurant. I’ve never in my life had such great Japanese Pancakes!

fins
Not so sure about these ray fins though!

beastmodeenabled
Car Spotting: Beast mode enabled!

mattydrinks
Matty’s been amazing at choosing the worst drinks from the drink machines, daily.

2000gt
2000GT. We then headed off to Toyota Mega Web in located in Tokyo’s waterfront entertainment suburb of Odaiba (which was a little tricky to get to my train, but hey, we got there thanks to Chris’ amazing sense of direction).

hako
We made a B Line for the History Garage and it didn’t disappoint! Toy cars, books (we scored some HyperREVS!), a cafe, amazing classics of all makes and eras.

corvette
Spotted this rare Split-window Corvette. Delicious.

toyotaworkshop2
This old dude was working in a garage behind glass. I asked the store cashier if we could go inside, and after asking the old dude inside if it was OK if we all came in, we got the thumbs up!

toyota_workshop
The smell of grease was soooooo good. What a job this guy has, restoring amazing bikes and cars. The whole place had such a Zen vibe.

matty
Hey Matty!

landcruiser
For around $30K you could buy this beast. I absolutely love it! Japanese G-Wagon!

grgazo
Little pocket rocket.

86_venetians
TRD are making some amazing things for the 86, like these venetians! SO cool.

trd_86_wings
And check the little wings on the side near the side mirrors, fresh!

puppies
Could not resist this pet store in the mall which joins the History Garage to the more modern stuff.

puppy
Nyaw puppy!

ferriswheel
The ferris wheel outside is one of the world’s largest. We didn’t get to go on it though, maybe next time!

gundam
What I was really in Odaiba for. The massive Gundam. I was emotional. I’ve been into Gundam since I was a little kid. My first robot toy was a steel Gundam figurine (I still have it too! Such a hoarder!).

wewin
WE WIN! For dinner we smashed a shitload of sushi at Sea King. Loved this place. The sushi train is so long, and when you order sushi with the touch pad it gets delivered to you on a super fast bullet train above the main sushi track. Amazeballs!

shinjukuwest
Back at Shinjuku Station West exit, feet are dead, was a great day out!

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Tokyo – Day 4

711
The team were pretty dead this morning. Only Robbie, Krysti and myself were on chat, and the rest of the boys were dead dead. We downed some greasy chicken skewers from the 7/11 downstairs from the hotel in an attempt to cure our (quite bad) hangovers.

nikecrew
Nike Crew. Robbie, Krysti and I checked out the Seiji Togo Memorial Sompo Japan Museum of Art again whilst the boys were asleep. We had a good long sit down in front of the Sunflowers painting by Van Gogh. The silence was soothing. Soon after that the boys were finally ready (it was 3PM lol!) and we hit the road for Harajuku.

aqrdtste_tokyo
Acquired Taste Shinjuku.

harajuku
Harajuku comes alive on weekends, check out the slow stream of people in this shot. Madness!

supreme
Supreme. So many great stores, but we were just so flat today after the massive night we had last night. The crew persisted though, and bought quite a few goodies, but we’ve decided that we have to return during a quiet week day.

undefeated
Undefeated. So much more shopping to do but just too hangry! We ate, then decided to check out the activities surrounding the park.

dancing
We got to see a few of the awesome rockabillies (crazy breakdancing Elvis subculture!) do their thing, they’re so so so awesome!

aqrdtste
Acquired Taste Harajuku.

loveme_e30
Finally spotted an E30 from the overpass at Harajuku.

lineup
Everyday Tokyo. Rad line-up at these lights.

kiddyland
When in Harajuku one must drop into Kiddy Land. 5 floors of toys (lots of small things on the first floor which make for great gifts).

cleanevo6
Car Spotting: Clean EVO 6.

shoes
The whole crew is sporting newly bought kicks! We spent some time in the Nike shop, but again, we were just SO dead. We decided to bail and rest up at the hotel for a couple of hours before going out for a late dinner.

grill
We failed to get a table for 8 at a fair few restaurants which were all pretty packed out despite it being 10PM, but eventually we stumbled upon Rokkasen and we went for the all-you-can-eat Yakiniku.

grill2
The Matsuzaka Galbi was next level.

grill5
Matsuzaka Sirloin.

grill4
Ox Tongue.

grill3
Fugu (balloon fish), prawns, scallops and crab.

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Tokyo – Day 3

krysti_shibuya
Hey Krysti! Tokyo Day 3. First stop, Shibuya and the infamous Shibuya Crossing.

crew_shibuya_crossing
The crew in the middle of the crossing. Wish I had my fish-eye lens to capture this moment!

mos
MOS Burger. Had to be done!

bape
Japanese music producer and DJ Nigo’s Bape shop is always worth a visit.

puddy
Nyaw puddy! Loved this guys markings!

evo
Car Spotting: EVO right at home in it’s natural habitat.

scooters
Still so much love for these huge scooters.

lexus_watanabes
Car Spotting: Lexus on Watanabes.

towerrecords
No Music No Life! Tower Records is awesome.

entrane
Later that night we hit the Robot Restaurant in Kabukicho. This is the trippy as fuck entrance on the way down to the show.

robotchips
One must eat Robot Chips at the Robot Show.

robot_restaurant_girl_drums
The girl on the drums was mad. It’s the best show on the planet. Our faces were so sore from smiling so hard. Words can’t describe… you just have to go and see it for yourself!!!

robot_restaurant_robotgirls
Pretty sure all the boys are truly, deeply in love with Japanese girls now.

robot_restaurant_bikes

roboto

robot_restaurant_girl2

robot_restaurant_girl

robot_restaurant_robbie_angelo
Robbie, Robot and Angelo.

robot_restaurant_chief_matty
Stephen, Robot and Matty.

robot_restaurant_tron
Sexy, loud, live, WILD!

girls_hanging

tank

zen
The show was sincerely epic and had us shaking our heads in disbelief at how awesome Japan is. When it was over we were ushered out a backdoor which spat us out on the seedy streets of Kabukicho.

bars3
We then hit up the Golden Gai.

bars
The Golden Gai is composed of a network of super narrow alley ways, connected by even narrower passageways which are just about wide enough for a single person to pass through.

bars2
Over 200 tiny little bars (most only fitting 5 people at the one time) are squeezed into this area!

bottle
Amazingly we found a bar that could fit all 8 of us! We bought a bottle of this stuff, conversations flowed, we laughed, hard, we got emotional, we were getting wasted!

nobeernolife
No Beer No Life!

deadguy2
Yew!

bar_stairs
Some bars go up! Lots of them were just too full and small to accommodate our large group.

koala
We tried to squeeze in to this bar earlier, but failed, when we walked past it the second time the lady at the bar managed to find 2 more chairs and invited us in!

tendollars
Our contribution!

krysti_drawing
Krysti’s drawing of our bar tender Sue, who was amazing!

chris_nomeansyes
Chris. Fading… We never left this bar. Robbie even got to play music from his iPhone.

monkey
This game was evil. If you put a sword in and the monkey’s head blew off you had to have a shot.

krysti_chuck
Krysti, outside having a chuck.

random_justin
This random guy blew in and I was pretty quick to remove his tie.

random_chris
Loose!

deadguy
What a night! We’re totally feeling it this morning. Heads are split. We’re all in awe though. Just when you think Japan can’t possibly get any better, she does, in such a beautifully generous, magical way.

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Tokyo – Day 2

brekkie
We all opted to pay for the buffet brekkie every morning. Makes such a massive difference IMHO, one of my fave things about going overseas and such a great way to start the day. Matty came down in his slippers and the lady at the entrance made a huge cross with her arms and said NO SLIPPERS! Bahaha.

bikes
Stacks on! After brekkie we went for a little scroll around the block. First we saw a car stacking system, then we saw this bike stacking system.

cat
Nyaw puddy!

view_01
Next up we went to check out the Seiji Togo Memorial Sompo Japan Museum of Art which is pretty much directly across the road from our hotel. One of the Sunflowers by Van Gogh is there, which to be honest was pretty mind blowing in real life. We couldn’t take photos of it though, but the main reason we went up there was to enjoy the view from the 42nd floor anyways!

toycars
Straight after that we hit the department stores which surround Shinjuku Station. The toy section at Bic Camera was wild!

vendingtoys
So many toy vending machines! The perfect place to get rid of all those damn coins (as it’s so much easier to just break notes every time when paying for goods haha).

fatbikes
Gotta love fat rubber! Loved these fat wheeled bikes.

massagechairs1
We then spotted a bunch of Japanese men testing out the massage chairs. All of them were completely KNOCKED OUT!

massagechairs2
We thought we’d follow suit and boom, man we were stuck there for at least half an hour! They’re amazing. I must have one!

takashimaya
When in Tokyo one must visit Tokyu Hands! We went to check out the one in Takashimaya Department Store.

grinder
But first, food. The top floors of the main department stores in Asia usually have great restaurants and too right, Takashimaya had 4 floors of food at the very top. I hunted down a Tonkatsu restaurant and found Katsukura Shinjukutakashimayaten on the 14th floor. Was a new experience for the boys, which was awesome. Grinding your own toasted sesame seeds in a special textured bowl gives off such a nice aroma, you then add either spicy or sweet sauce and dip your pork in it. SO GOOD. Also the best Miso Soup I’ve had in years!

pork
I went for the Kurobota (which is the “wagyu” type of pork loin). Man it blew me away as expected. SO SOFT! SO GOOD!

katsu_takashimaya
The staff were so accommodating, we were super satisfied and it was only $30/head all up!

smokingroom
Boys in the smoking room, lots of Tokyo is now no smoking, something new since my last trip in 2008.

stickerstokyuhands
Stickers! After our meal we checked out Takashimaya (which had a great Ikebana exhibition on, again no photos) and Tokyu Hands; 8 floors of eye popping and mind boggling goodness!

pissbottle
You can find everything at Tokyu hands, this device is to help you piss more easily into a bottle whilst driving.

kks1
We checked out the HUGE Kinokuniya too, and after that we thought we’d make our way back to the hotel for an afternoon kip, but not before dropping into Krispy Kreme for some special Halloween donuts!

kks2
Cute, right?!

shinjukustation_sky
Chris landed earlier this morning and he activated his JR pass at Shinjuku Station which was all hustle and bustle in the afternoon. We just chilled and did some people watching whilst the sun set.

shinjukustation
On route back to the hotel from Shinjuku Station.

jps_choice
Couldn’t pass up a packet of JPS’ just for the cool packaging!

jps
Senna!

noriyaro
We rested up for a little bit, then Alexi of Nori Yaro picked us up in his van and took us to Tatsumi Parking Area, located along the Wangan.

carpark
Such a cute little car park, and it’s got everything you need. Vending machines serving hot food, drinks and toilets too.

alexi
Alexi waxing lyrical (and wearing a Zen Graff shirt!). The guy’s a celebrity, being pulled over by fan boys all night (he’s an absolute champ, that’s why!).

alexi_dino
Alexi and Dino from Speedhunters.

dino
Dino meeting a fan who’s come all the way from Seattle.

dinom4
Dino’s ride for the night.

ksg
Koenigsegg! The first car that caught our attention and made our panties drop.

rwb3
The second car made us come.

acquiredtaste_dancecrew
Acquired Taste Dance Crew. The boys were in heaven.

porkers
The vibe was just so great. True car enthusiasts meeting up and just appreciating each others rides.

hksgtr
Tatsumi Parking Area is basically a rest stop and the locals have a loop they use to go on quick runs, so it’s a transient space with cars constantly coming through and downshifting on the way in and launching it on the way out. Aural delights are beyond words.

370
We got there pretty early, but more and more cars just kept on coming, by midnight it was pretty packed out.

beat
Diversity was amazing too, with everything from Kei cars to Euro Exotics.

gt3rs
There were so many hot cars there I failed to take photos of other cars which were already a notch above the quality of cars we see at meets back home.

girl2
This tiny Japanese girl with huge heels rocked up in this Abflug kitted 430.

girl
My heart skipped more than a few beats. She could be my Queen.

maza

z42

m3

prosper
This car would probably get laughed at in Sydney, but here it’s appreciated, and yes we were appreciating it! It’s mad and I’m so glad that there’s all types of people and styles out here. Even if you’re not into it, you’re just happy someone else is!

testarossa
So wide, so low. So yesterday, so now. I loved this thing.

at_wangan

aventador

911gt

nybs
Alexi plays translator so well. In the middle is Daisuke Hasegawa. D1GP driver, and he’ll be driving the BenSopra GT-R engine powered 380SX at World Time Attack Challenge this year. Guy on the left is Tomokazu Hirota. He was famous for being the only guy to drive a Toyota Verossa in D1GP, but now he’s currently in a Lexus GS350. He showed up in his personal GS350.

atbs
Daisuke Hasegawa x Acquired Taste.

slammedr32
Slammed R32 was slammed.

og
Loved this loud little Lotus.

rwbred
Another RWB Porker.

popo
The Police rocked up and basically got everyone who wasn’t in a proper parking spot (it was getting pretty damn full in there) to move on. From there we decided to hit the Wangan on route to Daikoku Futo.

wangan
We’ve seen this countless times on videos, now in real life.

daikoku
Can’t believe that I’ve been perving on photos from this place since the early 2000′s and Ive never been before. All thanks to Alexi for taking us tonight, much gratitude for the man.

lambo
Straight into it! Where does one start?! It’s all just been so overwhelming.

fd
Jizz.

z
Multiple orgasms.

redsuns
Urgh…

bozo
Lone Bozo tonight. Hope to spot more of them another time.

low
The boys had a rad time trying to communicate with this guy, who was literally 1cm off the ground, static!

vs
Loved this.

alpina
Alpina goodness.

rwb
The 2 RWB cars dropped in too.

190e
DTM!

1000hp
Alexi spotted this car, and felt it’s aura. He had to chat to the owner, an older Japanese man who had a real Bunta vibe about him. He asked, very nicely whether we could see the engine. When asked how much power the car makes the owner said “1000HP”. We were in awe. The night ended very soon after, we were elated. We came so many times. It was 3am and Alexi was taking us back home via the Wangan, then we felt a sonic boom as this very GT-R flew past us faster than our minds could compute. We were in shock, even Alexi was in awe saying that he’d never seen a car go past so fast on the Wangan. Icing on the cake! What a night, we’re done and would be happy if nothing else happened this trip! It was just all too much!

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Tokyo – Day 1

Yesterday I booked a cab for 4.30AM to get me to the International Airport for a flight at 7AM. I was having dinner at my sister’s place last night, and she pointed out that if I was going to be catching a plane to QLD first, then on to TOKYO (cheap flights with Jetstar), then surely I’ll be leaving from Domestic instead of International, which would mean that I wouldn’t have to be at the airport so early!

I LOLed and re-booked the cab for 5AM (still early), and changed the destination to Domestic, not International. I’d only gotten to bed a few hours ago, and I had nightmares of being chased around Sydney Boys High School by some obsessed Sydney Girl, but it’s 4AM. I’m up. I’m psyched. Let’s Go Tokyo!

jetstar
I got to the airport early. Downed a McDonalds Sausage & Egg McMuffin meal (it’s tradition!) and soon we were off!

goodbyesydney
Goodbye Sydney!

goldcoast
We got to the Gold Coast without too much pain.

sign
Chris was there to greet us with this sign haha.

goodbyeqld
After a quick stop it was goodbye Gold Coast!

787
All new 787. We booked September the 11th thinking the flight would be completely empty. It was but they had cancelled a flight the night before so our plane was literally PACKED. Was a pretty painful flight to be honest! We’re all exhausted!

windows
The best thing about the new plane, these touch activated windows which tint your glass! Very nice.

landed
Landed at Narita!

drinks
Straight to the vending machines! And 7-11! We’ve just checked in to our cute little hotel in Shinjuku. It’s almost midnight here but we’re had to duck out for a rummage!

ebi
Ebi Filet-O from McDonalds!

lane
Shinjuku’s a lot grungier than I remembered.

stickers
Lots of texture.

shinjuku
Was fun watching the boys get hammered by Nigerians!

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Berowra Waters

This Easter the hardcore fishing crew hired out the Berowra Waters Penthouse, a lovely spot just an hour out of the city.

I had a lazy start on Friday, then made my way at around 11am and amazingly I didn’t come up against any traffic whatsoever. I did get a little lost once I got to Berowra Waters, and before I knew it I’d driven onto a ferry!


On the ferry!


I had to do a u-turn, then get back on the ferry (it’s a free ride). I then found a park (that took a while as Berowra Waters was so damn busy!) and without phone reception I started to get a little worried, but then I spotted Stevey and the guys just about to set off on the boat.


Stevey, it’s been a while! I pretty much dumped my bags and jumped right on the boat.


Colin & Julia.


The apartment we rented is the whole top floor of the Marina.


View of the marina from the lounge room.


Straight into the red!


Nem Nuong!


Scaredy Cat!


On the big boat, which is so much faster than the small boat!


Pulled Pork! Colin’s amazing, even without Mei (who sadly couldn’t make it this weekend).


Rosetta Rolls from Haberfield, slaw, home made aioli and pulled pork. Delish!


The morning after.

coffee
COFFEE!!!


Morning view.


Zi’s scrambled eggs.


Morning tunes.


Zi, getting serious.


If you look closely you’ll see mullet everywhere.


The Marina. The smell of fish and chips is getting pretty hard to bare (but we must catch our own!).


Heading out.


Massive jelly fish everywhere.


Earlier at breakfast I brought up fishing licenses. I used to have one, and thought I’d not bother renewing it, but something made me whip out my laptop and buy a license. I took a shot of the receipt with my mobile, and an hour later on the water we had the fisheries inspectors check our licenses. Phew! :)


Julia caught this eel thing.


We went all the way out to Mooney Mooney Bridge with the small boat.


Trucks going past over the top of us on the F3.


David Chang eat your heart out! Colin’s amazing Pork-Belly Pork Bun!


Willy and Alice. Back out on the big boat but still not much luck. Willy brought up a legal sized flatty earlier in the day, but the rest of us have yet to catch anything legal and I’ve not caught a thing at all yet!


Willy Alice and Zi, calling it quits (for now).


Wagyu for dinner, so spoilt!


Supreme Coffee. PS: Happy 420!


Following this seaplane out, was pretty awesome watching them land and take off.

Soon after the above shot of the seaplane we got lucky with a bit of fishing. I finally pulled in a fish, my first was the smallest bream I’ve ever seen, then a tiny tailor, then another small brim, and my biggest fish of the day was a tailor but it wasn’t quite legal size so I had to let him back in. Julia managed to reel in 2 legal sized yellowtails though, that and she pulled in the most fish of the day!


The guys went out one last time and Gloria caught this big flatty!


So cute!


Cherry feeds standing up!


Colin had his pastrami on for hours.


Zi’s tempura yellowtail (caught by Julia) and flathead caught by Willy and Gloria. SO fresh, so good.


Accompanied by the best salad I’ve eaten all year. Couldn’t get enough of it!


Colin’s awesome pastrami!


Everyone felt like dessert, the boys had a brain storm and whipped up this awesome brad and butter pudding!

All in all it was perhaps the most challenging fishing trip we’ve been on as a group. Where were the fish?! We’re pretty sure they were there, but we just failed to find them. We ate amazingly well though thanks to Colin, and despite the fishing not being amazing the weather was. Ultimately I feel very much relaxed, and happy with the mini break.

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Japan Trip


Aw yeah. Booked tickets to Japan! This September. I’m excited!

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