Long Weekends are Long on Fun

How’s that for a cheesy title? Still: this weekend we went and had some serious fun. In particular, on Monday we went out into Japan – the farthest from base I’ve been yet – to a little town where the people we asked weren’t sure they had an ATM. Why, you may ask?

Smoke! The roar of engines! Unnatural sideways motion!

Why, for an amateur Drifting Day, of course! (Don’t worry, Mom – Greg didn’t take our car out. Although he could have, for 5,000 yen!) Nothing says a good time like a dozen souped-up hobby cars on a go-cart track. Apparently drifting really is big in Japan, and it’s not just a construct of Hollywood marketing. And I have to tell you, watching it is really, really cool. I’ve never seen cars move like that. Unfortunately, it’s also pretty rough on the cars:

Oh, that hurt!

Seen here is one car in the process of losing its bumper. The driver just pulled off the track, took it off, and went right back to drifting. He wasn’t the only one to lose bits of his car, either (some lost hoods, front bumpers, stuff like that) but I think that was the only time something fell off and dragged while the car was on the track! We had a friend drifting that day, and he broke his fuel pump and had to be pushed off. (He quickly replaced it so he could drift some more.) Everyone was changing their tires something like twice an hour, too – one of the key elements of drifting is the burnout – and every time a car was disabled they had to clear the track and get it off before the drifting could resume.

Interestingly, they also cleared the track at lunchtime to comply with a peculiar noise ordinance: apparently there’s a local Onsen that doesn’t want to hear the noise during lunch when people come there to relax. We would have stopped anyway – stormclouds rolled in at about that time (and I mean that literally – the wind started blowing and we watched thick white fog roll over the top of the pine forest, sink down and spread across the ground) and it started raining, hard. We ran for the cars and went into town for lunch. After the rain died down, they started drifting again.

Check out the position of the wheels!

It’s really difficult to convey drifting through still photographs, but we sure took enough of them trying. They’re having another drift day in July, and we’ll probably head down to see it again. It was really a fun and interesting experience!

Oh, and I’m really sorry that the links are so hard to pick out – I haven’t finished tweaking the new blog scheme yet. Lots to do, lots to do! Also, several packages from several online orders across several weeks all converged on our PO Box today, and so tomorrow if I have time to take some pictures I will have a lot of fun things to show off. See you!


  1. Abi says:

    That does kinda look like fun. But I can’t believe people do that, okay, I guess my hubby would get a kick out of it.

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