My Japan Story: Driving Gunma

Everyone sees Japan as a destination in which to visit more destinations.

Between from 2008 to 2013, I lived in Gunma Prefecture, I drove a Nissan Silvia S14, and found that the best parts of the prefecture, and in fact, the country, are more often than not, the places that are a bit of a drive past the typical destinations, and the best experiences you can have, are the ones that you share with the amazing people you meet on the long, winding road.

To cap off 2015, I rented a Toyota 86, called on some old friends, made some new ones, and went for a drive through nostalgia.

0:02 Rings Autoshop, Owned by Yoshitatsu Kaneda (0:08), Pro drifter and head of Team YRC (Also my closest friend in Japan)

0:35 Mt. Akagi (Shrine and Lake)

1:06 Shibukawa City (My hometown) Many of my earlier vids were shot here, check them out to see more.

1:15 Rokumonsen -essence- My favourite ramen. The Master's mom is essentially my Japanese mother.

1:43 Mt. Haruna

1:49 Mt.Haruna Melody Road. drive at a steady speed and lines in the road play notes as your tires roll over them. Gunma has a bunch of these melody roads on mountain passes throughout the prefecture.

2:11 hidden lookout on Mt. Haruna no locations to this, I take you there or you find it on your own ;)

2:22 Allen Bo, The man behind the Drift Hunter doccie-in-progress.

2:47 Kusatsu Onsen. It's rated the best hot-spring in Japan, and I do quite like it, but the water is too hot and it's always full of tourists, It's a good place to stop and take a break though.

3:36 Tonya, My favorit Tonkatsu place. Prices are average but value is phenomenal. Tastes bloody good too.

3:38 Shiriyaki Onsen. A few kilometers away from Kusatsu in the middle of nowhere (Kunimura) is a heated river. Yes. The river itself is a natural hot spring. No entrance fees, No time limits, no restrictions and on clear winter nights, an infinite ceiling of stars.

3:49 Convenience store munchies aka a drivers' lifeblood.

4:07 Takayama

4:11 The Nihon Romantic Highway. 350 twisting kilometres of mountain roads from Tochigi, through Gunma and into Nagano. An epic drive,  with almost no public transport access.

4:20 Shout out to MannyMarx, The man who made the music for this vid (and many of my other ones too). Producing Frank Corva's (4:26) new solo album.

4:39 My old place... Now a parking-lot

5:03 I'll be back soon.


Tokyo Trueno #JapaneseRides

A well kept AE86 is not the most common sight in Japan these days, One that isn't Initial D coloured, even more so. To spot one in Tokyo, of all places, however, is an absolute treat.


Halloween 2015 - Shinjuku 2 Chome #TokyoStreets

Because Halloween is so epic in Japan(and I took so many pics, in so many places) you get to relive the celebration with me, again, and again, and possibly one more time 

this batch is from Shinjuku-2 Chome, after the last trains had stopped running. As always, you can see the full gallery on the DARC JP facebook page and flickr profile.


Full gallery on the DARC JP facebook page and flickr profile.


The Legend #JapaneseRides

One of the most beautiful machines ever made. While I have a bit of a soft spot for the R-32, the only GT-R I really want is the original hakosuka. Sighting mint ones like this in the wild is always a treat.


Japan How It Is - Ginza Pedestrian Paradise

The Germanator stood me up in Ginza so I made a video about Pedestrian Paradise.
As the name suggests, Pedestrian Paradise is a paradise for pedestrians... :p

Music by Manny Marx

Shot with my "mad skillz" and a Sony a7S


Trains, Fukushima protesters, halloween & more #7Days7Minutes (2015-10-26)

An interesting, if somewhat typically Tokyo selection. Yes, it's a week late but that's to make up for the following week... which isn't coming.

Music comes from the Liquidata royalty free pack.


Halloween 2015 - Bar PSY #BecauseJapan

A halloween party night wouldn't be a party night if I didn't make a turn at my favourite bar in Tokyo. Good people, good booze and good times.

you can see more pics here (DARC facebook) or here (DARC flickr)

you can see more pics here (DARC facebook) or here (DARC flickr)



Holding Godzilla's Leash #JapaneseRides

Of the thousand odd shots I took in Shibuya on Halloween night, This one is probably my favourite. Not because a good looking woman is driving a GTR, but because the non verbal interception we had after I took this shot showed me that same pride in her ride that I feel when I drive mine. She recognised the driver in me and she understood that I knew and respected the driver in her. She sits in the best seat in her universe and at her whim she can unleash, and direct Godzilla's fury at the road ahead...

This socially-engineered pedestrian existence is killing me. I long to be behind the wheel of a sports car again.



Cyberpunk Shinjuku #Random Japan.

I'm surprised I could hold the camera steady enough to shoot this after the amount I had to drink.


Harajuku Dark #TokyoStreets




Harajuku Light #TokyoStreets



Slices of daily life #RandomJapan

Brief glimpses of the hum-drum, day-to-day reality of life in Japan. #RealJapan

Music by MannyMarx


Realpolitik, daily life and trains #7Days7Minutes (2015-09-21)

No Shibuya for a change ;) Though I'm really amazed and quite proud that Japanese people are finally realising that they need to take control of their government!

Subscribe to the Germanator for more Japan, How It Is vids

Music by Tyler Abstract
and Manny Marx


A long walk from Shibuya to Oimachi | JAPAN, How It Is.

Shot in Spring, Edited and released in Autumn. That super fast turnaround time is why The Germanator is joining the fray. On the bright side, this is long enough that you can digest through it for the next 6 months it takes me to work through some of my other backlogged videos ;)

The title is self explanatory, I took a walk through Tokyo and you get to join me on it.

World How It Is Official channel
My Co-Producer, The Germanator

*1 04:33 If you get this reference, tell me if you can spot the others I make from the same source.

*2 08:03 Review of Suzuran in Ebisu.

*3 15:08 No. It's the Yamanote line, but the cut was so obvious that I thought I'd make a joke that only English Teachers in Japan would truly appreciate.

*4 17:19 https://youtu.be/BRDBvKGc1fE

*5 21:26 Sam and Joe 

*6 24:27 Orion Beer. Google it!

Buy "Makla'Tosh" by The Uchujins here:
CD Baby

stream on Spotify


Dude #TokyoStreets



Yasukuni Shrine, Zao Onsen and a German #7Days7Minutes 2015-09-14

6 places I've never shown you before, and a German saying "cheers".

1: Iawkwardlobster - Emergence (Liquidata royalty free pack)
2: texture III http://amachamusic.chagasi.com/music_texture3.html


tourists, rain and desserts #7Days7Minutes (2015-09-07)

All iPhone footage this week. I didn't want to take my cameras out in the rain unless it was for work.

"Incoming Hail: Yamaflow Objective" by the Uchujins.
buy it on iTunes.

"Fe Agite" by The Living

"Stinger" by Silent Partner (Youtube Creator's Library)


Shibuya, split-screens and Streaming #7Days7Minutes (2015-08-31)

Finally back on schedule (I wonder how long I can keep it up?)

Periscope: https://www.periscope.tv/

Music: Both tracks by my good friend Manny Marx.
"La La La"
"No Idea"



When you don't pay attention in English class, a simple signage fail can become hatespeech.

"F*** OFF" (sorry, i have to censor myself because google are b****es when it comes to adsense) is the brand name of the company that makes these (probably knockoff) band shirts.They have two shelves, one for local bands and one for foreign bands, but because the person who wrote this sign, like too many people in Japan, slacked off in English class. They know enough to put words down, but not enough to realise that there is more to meaning than simply using the words as they are directly translated.

The result, predictably, is somewhat amusing.
Even more so when the sign is seen by thousands of international tourists on one of the most famous tourist streets on the planet!


Summer Backlog, Kyoto & Tokyo #7Days7Minutes

Cuts from Japan's current capital and the former one.
Getting through the August Backlog.

"The Mud People" by THE LIVING - http://mothdelacruz.bandcamp.com

"Doctor Dub" by iawkwardlobster - liquidata royalty free music pack.

"Famipop" http://amachamusic.chagasi.com/music_famipop.html


Kyoto Station #RandomJapan

A little more random Kyoto.
Music: MannyMarx - Broken-winged Pidgeon


Kyoto - Gion Matsuri #RandomJapan

I was in Kyoto after a shoot so I took some time to walk around... As it turns out, It was in the middle of Gion Matsuri, so I got some quick shots.



Most painful Itasha yet #TokyoStreets #JapaneseRides

I've seen some really sad Itasha in my time here, and I didn't think they could possibly be more painful to look at, then this guy drove past. On the one hand, the fact that Itasha drivers do things which are against the norms of society, makes me happy, but the things they do are so...きもい that it leaves me feeling like I need to wash my eyes out with soap. To each, his own?

 I suppose even Itasha are better than bicycles.


Beautiful Nagano, ants and an army of fangirls #7Days7Minutes

music: "Ant Tube" by Tyler Abstract: https://soundcloud.com/tylerabstract/ant-tube


Togura-Kamiyamada Onsen Matsuri (Summer Festival) #RandomJapan #RealJapan

I was in Nagano for the Togura-Kamiyamada Onsen Matsuri a few weeks back. Here is a quick and dirty selection of the sights and sounds of a typical Japanese small-town summer festival. Shot on the Sony RX100m3.


Shibuya, this morning. #TokyoStreets


Shibuya Tokyo Japan

Shibuya Tokyo Japan

Shibuya Tokyo Japan

Shibuya Tokyo Japan

Shibuya Tokyo Japan

Shibuya Tokyo Japan

Shibuya Tokyo Japan

Shibuya Tokyo Japan

Shibuya Tokyo Japan

Shibuya Tokyo Japan