The Car Lovers Guide to Japan! Part One, Non Car Stuff to Do in Tokyo and The Nissan Crossing Part 1

So in our last story, we wrote about how to get around in Japan and how to eat well and relatively inexpensively.  In this edition, before we get into our car stuff, I wanted to show you some different places you can go in Tokyo to have fun.  Now I am not a Tokyo expert but I have been to Japan a few times and I worked in the Tokyo/Yokohama area one summer when I was an engineer at Nissan so I know enough fun places to more than keep you occupied for a short visit.  Many car trips to Japan may also include family or a significant other that is not into cars so keeping some entertainment info around can be handy.  Let’s talk about our favorite districts in Tokyo that you might want to see.


To the average car guy, Shibuya is best known for the car chase scene in The Fast and the Furious Tokyo Drift. The hallmark scene is where they drift through the famous Shibuya crossing, parting the crowd.  This is where hundreds of people cross a six-way blend of two intersections at once without chaos. The intersection is right outside the Shibuya train station and is pictured above.  The way this is done is so orderly that it looks like a moving carpet of people and only in polite Japan can something like this be pulled off.


Here is a panorama of the intersection and the area around it.

Shibuya is actually the cool spot for younger people nowadays and they are many shops, restaurants, and bars in the area. The shops here generally cater to the younger generation but they do have traditional chain stores too.  Shibuya is hopping 24/7.


  1. Kind of confused by the exhaust situation on that concept car, It clearly has side exhausts, plus a big center exhaust at the back, you said it also has a blown diffuser.

    I’m gonna guess that center exhaust at the back is fake, and the “blown diffuser” is the side vortexes from the front exhaust that seal up the diffuser from coanda effect losses.

    If this ever goes to any kind of production they would probably move the side exhausts to that big rear exhaust so that you don’t gas yourself at every stoplight. They could bypass to the sidepipes at higher speeds.

  2. Mike, as a suspension guru, do you have any experience with removing some of the anti-dive geometry a the front to help weight transfer during braking.

    I know it’s not feasible on a low car like that concept car but I know it’s a normal mod for gravel/dirt/snow rally cars.

    Is it a concept that translates to road cars at all or is the grip of a tarmac surface enough that it would negate any gains from that weight transfer.

    1. Thanks, dive and squat are much less talked about than other parts of suspension setup and some cases are still a mystery to me like FWD drag cars.

      Your “Ultimate Guide To Suspension and Handling” was one of the first things I read when I was just starting to work in cars. It mentions dive and squat in that it makes excessive body roll worse “…The driver feels this as a car that is twitchy and unstable at the limit. Dive and squat when combined with roll can make all of these issues worse.”

      Even Herb Adams’s awesome “Chassis Engineering” mentions anti-dive only when talking about how its undesirable for the effect it has on caster. But it does go in depth about anti-squat (those live axle boys sure love anti-squat).

  3. Many years ago I took one of my friends to Manhattan. We planned on eating in China Town (Ajisen ramen the best) But he wanted to go to this mall under the Manhattan bridge.
    Apparently you could get the software to play foreign market DVDs and ps1 games (that’s how long ago it was)
    Well the mall was nice. But in the bottom bottom story of the mall (in a dark corner) they sold things like those figurines. It was a little creepy. But I did find a Star Blazers model. And Gundam figures. So the creepy had a plus.
    I remember he bought about $500 worth of Anime.

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