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Old 2016.11.14, 08:38 PM   #1
herman
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kyoto / osaka, japan 10-2016

1.1
Kyoto / Osaka…
It’s been quite a while since I’ve last made an article… workload in the office has been quite toxic and it has been doing a great job of preventing me to write some articles… but with that said, I was able to take some trips during this year… and I have some adventures to share with you all…

My latest trip was quite exciting… once again a trip to the birthplace of mini-z… however this time it’s off to Kyoto and Osaka…

After sending a short message to ishikawa san of kyosho informing him of my trip, I get this reply…

“Hello!! Visiting Osaka and Kyoto is very good!!

In Osaka, http://www.super-rc.co.jp/shop/osaka.html Super Radicon Nihonbashi is very good. Big shop with Mini-z track.

In Kyoto, West Mini-z Link is biggest mini-z shop in Japan. http://www.go-wml.com/company.php

Something went “BOOOM!” in my head…. followed by something like a “Cha-ching” and “ding, ding, ding”… pls. don't mind the angelical music playing in the background...

I thanked ishikawa san very much for the information… and immediately looked at the websites to the shop/track.

As both websites were in Japanese, a simple web translator told me the addresses of each track… I copied and pasted the info along with their location map on paper and kept it for reference…

west link mini-z
Address: Japan, 〒601-8188 京都府京都市南区上鳥羽 南中ノ坪町103 トーワマンション1F
Phone: +81 75-748-7554
Hours: 12–11PM (Monday, Wednesday - Friday) note: Tuesday Closed
10AM–11PM (Saturday - Sunday)

rc super rajicon
Street address Yubinbango542-0072 Chuo-ku, Osaka Takatsu 3-14-6 Shimanouchi Building 2F
nearest station A 10-minute walk from the subway the other Nihonbashi Station, subway
tanimachi kyuchome Station
business hours AM 11: 00 ~ PM 9:00 (Monday to Saturday)
AM 10: 00 ~ PM 8:00 (Sundays and holidays)
phone number 06-6644-3139
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Old 2016.11.14, 08:40 PM   #2
herman
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1.2

as most of my trips are touch and go… finding the time to visit these places is a bit of hit or miss… I remember one trip to hong kong where the hobby shops were just a 10 min. walk from the hotel… and well… just didn’t have the time to go and pay a short visit… then there was another time I went… but I was too early and the shops weren’t open… but none the less, I always feel quite fortunate and grateful every time I get to travel and have been able to see and experience different mini-z scenes in the area…

Last edited by herman; 2016.11.15 at 09:21 PM.
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Old 2016.11.14, 08:40 PM   #3
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1.3

first off was our trip to Kyoto… and based on the schedule we had, the only available time i had to visit west link mini-z was on mon. oct. 31… hollows eve… boo!...

I have only read things about west link mini-z… good things… well more of seen some cars in pictures laced with some Japanese inscription and or characters describing the cars in the pictures…

after dinner with my wife, daughter and a family friend, I got some alone time to go to the track, it was around 8:30pm… and google maps showed me several options to take – and I opted for the subway-bus combination… which would take approx. 20-25 minutes with some walking… (oh if you do plan on going to japan… I would highly recommend renting a pocket wifi… google maps really help you get around… and any translator app is also helpful if communication becomes a bit difficult) and since they close at 11:00pm I guess there would be enough time…

I approached the guy at the front desk of our hotel and showed him a printout of the information I got on west link mini-z… I asked him if he could call the track to see if it was open… he went over the printout and said “yes open… you can go there now…”

I mentioned that I wanted to be sure that I wouldn’t want to waste my time to going to a closed shop… since I got my information from the website and wasn’t sure if the information is current… He goes “ok I check for you”… he goes to the website and tells me that it’s open… so I thanked him and went on my way…

Last edited by herman; 2016.11.15 at 09:22 PM.
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Old 2016.11.14, 08:42 PM   #4
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1.4

Weather in Japan during this time of year ranges 18*C in the day to about 8*C at night. So it becomes a bit nippy at night… I decided to take the bus, and just as I was getting close to the bus stop it starts to lightly drizzle… hahaha…

I wasn’t quite sure where the bus stop actually was… so I asked around. I have to admire the Japanese for really going out of their way in helping out other people. The guy I asked who showed me the bus stop stood away from my sight and after a while went back to me to tell me that he showed me the wrong bus stop and apologized…

he went as far as going on the bus that just stopped to ask where the correct stop was… so after trying to find the correct stop, I started walking in the direction google maps indicated, in hope of finding the correct stop… which I eventually found out probably one stop further… hahaha…

Upon reaching my stop it was about another 6 min walk in a light drizzle… and upon reaching my destination I see this…


Hmm…. Hallows eve… boo!

Last edited by herman; 2016.11.14 at 08:55 PM.
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Old 2016.11.14, 08:47 PM   #5
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Uh-oh… I knew I should have called… I turned off the flight mode of my cell while i was there and called the number to their store… and got a recorded response… hahaha… guess they’re closed on Halloween? at least I know where it is, if and when I come back…

The building looked pretty big… with the track and shop located on the ground floor as indicated on their website… I believe the upper floors were residential units…

Sigh… so it was back to the hotel… in a slightly stronger drizzle… hahaha… well lesson learned… do not assumeand always call first… i did enjoy the walk (for the exercise) and travel going to and from the track though…

Maybe I’ll have some better luck in Osaka….

Last edited by herman; 2016.11.15 at 09:25 PM.
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Old 2016.11.14, 08:47 PM   #6
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After a couple of days in Kyoto, we transfered to Osaka... The distance between Osaka and Kyoto is approx. 43 km. and depending on what train you take… travel time would be anywhere from 24 min to almost an hour…

Hmm… prior to the trip, I did a search on google maps, and found out that rc rajicon would be just a 12min walk from our hotel… like how cool was that? Earlier this year I was able to visit rc super rajicon akihabara in tokyo (click here to read article). I was pretty excited and hopeful that I would see their store in osaka...

Well my family and I had some several activities scheduled along with some other stuff to do and see over a couple of days… and finding time to visit rc super rajicon was becoming to be quite challenging, and I kinda felt bummed, that time was running out…

It really came down to the wire as on the last day, there was a quick window… our flight was scheduled to leave at 4:50pm… considering that it takes about 45min to get to the airport plus another 2 hours allowance for check-in and pre-flight inspections for international flights, we would have to leave the hotel at around 2pm at the latest…

right after a quick and light brunch of sushi… I got the chance to go to rc rajicon… it was about 11:30am and we were planning to leave the hotel at 1:00pm… so with the approx. 24-30 min travel time to and from the store… that would leave me roughly an hour more or less to “browse” through the store…

I got to the store with the help of two fellows I asked, with the second fellow actually going to the shop… hehehe… luck is indeed with me…

Last edited by herman; 2016.11.17 at 12:22 PM.
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Old 2016.11.14, 08:48 PM   #7
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1.7

I finally reached rc rajicon!!!


There was a convenience store right beside it… which i thought was pretty uh.... convenient....


So now up to the second floor I go for some serious browsing… hehehe…







From the outside… it seems so unassuming… but when you get inside… man… this place is huge… (this is just one of the many isles in the shop)



Anything and probably everything that a hobbyist would need is in there… there were isles and isles of pretty cool stuff… this could easily be the biggest hobby shop that I’ve been to…



And now if I could only locate the mini-z section….

Last edited by herman; 2016.11.15 at 07:36 PM.
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Old 2016.11.14, 08:49 PM   #8
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Tada… found it….

ready kits...


autoscales...


pretty cool parts...


more parts...


and more parts...


There was a section for Hiro option parts as well (hiro is a third party manufacturer that makes body kits out of resin for popular bodies like the ae86, subaru, and pretty recently the mazda sportster here is a link to his site --- > garage hiro)… man some of the body kits cost just as much as an autoscale…




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Old 2016.11.14, 08:51 PM   #9
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While browsing… I could faintly hear a high pitched “whhiiirrrr…. whhiirrrr” the kind of sound you would probably hear when you would see electric powered drifting cars on a cement floor… so I followed my ears to a sliding door with a glass window...

A duriftu traku… cool...


probably wouldn't have seen this if i didn't hear the car that was running on it....

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Old 2016.11.14, 08:52 PM   #10
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2.0

Well as time was running out… I made a small purchase, consisting of some bodies, some rims… and… once again drumroll please… an mr03 ve pro mm2 chassis set…. And it was time to leave…

So just as I was about to go downstairs… somebody was heading towards the third floor… and this picked my curiosity, so I followed…

And to my surprise… I find this… Pit tables… and where pit tables are… a track must be close by


a tamiya 4wd track...


And this….


one...


two... and three... mini-z carpet tracks... ah ah ah aahhhh... they call me the count because i love to count (lightning and thunder in the background)


the third track is far right towards the end kinda hard to see from the picture... but it is there… I figure the third one (smallest track) is sort of a beginners track or maybe a drifting track?.. while the two other tracks are for more advanced racers…

Oh man… this is huge… i guess that's why they named it "super mini-z circuit"... it is most definitely the biggest track / hobby shop facility that I have seen by far…

Unfortunately though the track was all but empty except for this one guy… wish there were somebody around that I could talk to… here's a short video (click on the pic to watch video) ...


Well after watching him do some more laps… (using a stick radio) my one hour speed browsing time was almost up, and it was time for me to head back to the hotel… and ultimately for the airport…

As an afterthought… in the back of my mind I faintly remember reading and seeing that rc super rajicon had a track… but in my haste I totally forgot all about it just as i was about to leave and head back to the hotel…. I’m pretty thankful and really glad I caught that guy going up to the third floor while i was going down… or I would have totally missed the chance of seeing the tracks… and secondly i'm pretty thankful that i got to hear the car on the drift track down on the second floor as well...

All in all such a great experience... just a really great experience... if any of you have any plans of going to japan... osaka is the place to go for mini-z... you can all thank rc super rajicon... but take note, it's not only for mini-z... as i mentioned, there are a lot of rc stuff other than mini-z... they've got cars, trains, planes drones... this is like a one stop shop for anything r/c... if i had more time to browse... it'll probably take me half a day... and if i browse leisurely... maybe a day... lol...

another thing that osaka is noted for is the food! nothing but good food anywhere you go... just remember.... dotonburi which is like a street full of restaurants... as an added bonus... you get to walk through dotonburi as it is on the way to rc super rajicon... so wondering where to eat before actually going to, or coming from rc super rajicon will never be a problem...

that’s it for now… oh wait… there’s rc champ / adviser in Osaka too right?…. oh well… maybe some other time… hmm… now let me just google it….

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Old 2016.11.14, 08:55 PM   #11
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2.1

p.s. while on our way to the airport I sent a message to ishikawa san thanking him once again for the tips and mentioned to him that I was able to visit rc super rajicon and sent him a picture of that one guy on the track…

he replied “You are welcome. West mini-z link has a big race with super rajicon today. So there are few people on the photo. Please visit west mini-z link next time again. Have a nice trip to your home.”

hmm... so no wonder there was only one guy... hehehe... would have really wanted to see what west mini-z link was like... perhaps another time...

sayonara...

Last edited by herman; 2016.11.15 at 09:16 PM.
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Old 2016.11.16, 12:19 AM   #12
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had problems with the internet yesterday... just finished posting... enjoy
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Old 2016.11.16, 06:32 AM   #13
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so that is what mini-z heaven looks like

thanks for sharing! did you happen to see any unique mini-z stuff over there? kyosho seems to make a good deal of limited show only items for the home market. any rare autoscales sitting on shelves? i thought i saw an entire peg full of 599xx white bodies! i've never seen so many white bodies before in one spot, much less that much of anything.
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Old 2016.11.16, 09:51 PM   #14
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hahaha.... i guess it does come pretty close to mini-z heaven.. like three tracks and a shop, plus great food nearby, what more can one ask for?

as for unique mini-z stuff... well wish i could have browsed a bit longer... i didn't particularly see any limited or "for japanese domestic market only" items... i was going over the pics...and you got sharp eyes... yep there is a full peg of 599xx bodies... i did see an alfa brera autoscale body in silver which i gladly added to my collection... but other than the regular line of autoscale bodies or parts... nada... unless they have a very special vip closed door section of the shop that needs a secret password and for you to show a pinkie less left or right hand to gain access...

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Old 2016.11.17, 08:56 AM   #15
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Oh yeah, Herman! Man, what a great tracks and shops! Thank you.
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