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Real Life Tokyo Drift

TokyoDrift10

The roar of unmufflered engines! The smell of burning rubber! The gratuitously skimpy costumes of booth babes! Yes, this weekend is the Gran Turismo D1 Professional Drifting Grand Prix, and it does not disappoint!

Coming around the first curve...
Coming around the first curve…
...drifting into the next one...
…drifting into the next one…
...screeching into the turn
…screeching into the turn
There are two rounds in each heat, on a tight track.
There are two rounds in each heat, on a tight track.
The action is occasionally paused to remove the occasional fender bender
The action is occasionally paused to remove a fender bender
...after which, the inevitable guys with twig brooms arrive to sweep up.
…after which, the inevitable guys with twig brooms arrive to sweep up.
The track is right next to Funenokagakukan Station, in Odaiba, where you can catch a glimpse of the racing between trains
The track is right next to Funenokagakukan Station, in Odaiba, where you can catch a glimpse of the racing between trains
There's nothing quite like inhaling those fine petrocarbons up close, though!
There’s nothing quite like inhaling those fine petrocarbons up close, though!
And of course, you'd miss the booth babes and the driver meet-n-greet...
And of course, you’d miss the booth babes and the driver meet-n-greet…
As well as the opportunity to fantasize yourself behind the wheel in one of these babies, or stock up on glow-in-the-dark rims.
As well as the opportunity to fantasize yourself behind the wheel in one of these babies, or stock up on glow-in-the-dark rims.
And let's not pass up the chance to see the rarest sight of all: a line for the men's room that's longer than the one for the ladies'.
And let’s not pass up the chance to see the rarest sight of all: a line for the men’s room that’s longer than the one for the ladies’.

2017 update: If you happen to be in town and want to see Tokyo Drift, it’s a two day event (Sat & Sun) and you can get info & buy tickets online here or just go and buy them at the gate. The ¥2000 standing room tix are the best bargain, but you’ll be craning your neck (and camera) over the heads of fellow standees if you don’t get there an hour early and stake out a spot at the rail. Grandstand seats will run you ¥5000 – ¥7000. It’s at a track out in Odaiba, next to Fune-no-kagakukan Station (here’s a map) and you can actually see some of the action from the station when there’s not another train in the way.

Read a novel set in Tokyo

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Jonelle Patrick View All

Writing mystery books set in Tokyo is mostly what I do, but I also blog about the odd stuff I see every day in Japan. I'm a graduate of Stanford University and the Sendagaya Japanese Institute in Tokyo, and a member of the International Thriller Writers, the Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters In Crime. When I'm not in Tokyo, I live in San Francisco. I also host a travel site called The Tokyo Guide I Wish I'd Had, so if you're headed to Japan and want to check out the places I take my friends when they're in town, take a look!

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