An American Japanese in Tokyo
MotoIQ goes to Japan
Story and Photos by Mike Kojima, Aaron LaBeau and Jenny Bergenholtz
|Busted, the plate in my leg sets off the TSA metal detector. Here a TSA Agent scans my crotch looking for a hidden big weapon|
Ed's note. This story was written last year so some of the material is a little dated. We could not publish this due to some legal entanglements but we thought that this fun story deserved some space despite being somewhat out of date.
A Vacation at last I think… as I sign up for a trip to Tokyo in the middle of January. I have flown to Japan with the folks at Turbo magazine and Nitto tires many times over the years and this disastrous year, I need a break from the hectic pace of being a number one stunna.
I know this trip will be fun as the famous import racing dudes, the Bergenholtz brothers are going, particularly Ed's brother and crew chief Ron who I consider to be the funniest guy in the world. As usual I will be rooming with journalist Jared Holstein who is usually up for tearing up the town wherever that might be.
Things get interesting as soon as I attempt to pass though security. Apparently our Department of Homeland Security determined that security needed to be ratcheted up several levels and the metal detectors were cranked up to full sensitivity. I have a metal plate in my leg due to an old drinking accident and the darned thing kept on triggering the metal detector before the terminal. This caused me to be led away to the cavity search area where I was continually scanned with hand held detectors until I showed the TSA guys the huge scar on my leg from the surgery.
|Ron Bergenholtz randomly flips off the camera, Char his wife seems amused|
|During the long and boring flight, we tried to turn one of the galleys into our own private lounge, Ron and Ed Bergenholtz battle it out on PSP's. Super Streets Johnnie JDM Wong and Eddie Lee from Mackin Industries drink. Big Source Interlink Boss guy Jason Mulroney probably wishes he could smoke. We got kicked out after a while.|
Finally I was though the TSA gauntlet, it having been determined that I was not likely to attempt to become a martyr and blow up the plane. I don't know what I would do with all of the virgins anyway; one woman is enough work for me. We were flying out on Korean Air and even though I hate being cooped up in a plane for any period of time, the roominess and superior service of Korean Air made it less unpleasant than what is typical for our domestic airlines.
10 hours later we arrived at Tokyo Narita airport and caught a limousine to our hotel. Note that we are not ballers in Limos like I originally thought when I discovered that we would be taking limos, in Japan apparently a Limo is a bus, it's a nice clean plush bus but a bus none the less. One comment that I will make throughout this story is how great public transportation is in Japan. If public transportation was this safe, clean, convenient and efficient at home I would probably use my car a lot less. At the airport you can get your JDM limo/ bus ticket right after you clear customs and get your stuff from baggage claim. From then it's a short walk to the limo/bus which whisks you away to your hotel, in our case the Prince Hotel in Tokyo's new Shinagawa district.