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

This is the entrance to the shrine.  You are not allowed to take pictures in there but I can say it was impressive.  Lots of religious stuff in there and it looked like a set for Kung Fu.  You can donate some money and get a scroll of paper with your fortune. For a taste of Japanese culture, it is worth going to.

It was cold in the high 30’s and raining.   Here is Christa rocking one of the mini umbrellas we had bought.  These things were lifesavers.  That day we had made the mistake of wearing Vans so our feet got soaked and then we got mean blisters from walking.  Later if we planned to walk a lot and rain was forecasted we wore water-resistant hiking shoes.  If you plan on going to Tokyo in the winter remember this!

So the heart of Harajuku coolness is Takeshita street part of Ura-Harajuku or the Harajuku backstreets.  This is where all the quirky fashion shops that made Harajuku famous still exist.   There are shops that cater to the different Harajuku substyles such as kawaii or cute, loligoth which is a combo of lolita and goth, cyberpunk, steampunk, hip hop and probably others that old people like me don’t know.  Lots of places to eat as well.  Speaking of tourist trap, all the people in this picture were Chinese tourists.


  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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