Easily one of the best and biggest 86 festivals in the world, the Okayama 86 fest provided an absolute overdose of Hachi goodness in all shapes, colors and configurations. It was quite a hike East to get to the circuit but it was damn well worth it and there’s a lot to cover, so let’s get started…
Okayama International circuit is in the middle of nowhere in the Okayama prefecture and if you are looking to get there by Public transport, it’s possible but will take some time and effort. First up you’ll need to grab a Tokaido/Sanyo Nozomi ( fastest type ) Shinkansen from Tokyo or Shinagawa.
Okayama is one of the main stations on that journey so you can’t miss it.
From Okayama station, you’ll need to take a local “San-yo line” train to a small rural station called Yoshinaga.
It’s about 30 minutes travel time from Okayama station to Yoshinaga.
Once you get to Yoshinaga though, head out the gate and look left – you will have to then grab a taxi from the station, with the circuit a further 20 minutes up the road.
All up, to get from Tokyo to Okayama International Circuit and back is about ¥35,000, all inclusive. Shinkansen tickets are 16,000 yen each way and the taxi is ¥4500 give or take a few yen. Obviously, if you are traveling on a Japan rail pass, it will be much cheaper.
Make certain you grab a “Reserved Seat” both ways ( an extra ¥1050 ), other wise you will be subjected to this… and let me tell you, for the poor people who had to stand for 3 and half hours, this is NOT an ideal way to travel. I was lucky, getting my seat in Okayama and I wasn’t about to give it up for anyone.
Now, with the transport side of things out the way, let’s get into the paddock and take a look around.
As I mentioned in the preview, Keiichi Tsuchiya and the group from Hot Version were also up in Okayama shooting a segment for the upcoming HV Volume 119.
There were smiles all round but the special N2 race staged late that day was anything but a joke!
Like a boss, indeed. As I mentioned, I was given some time with Tsuchiya san’s N2 spec AE86 later in the day but that feature will have to wait until after the posts from the event! You won’t want to miss it though.
There was one peculiar moment when I spotted some Hybrid badges on the Garage Plus One Toyota 86 that they were shooting and I had to do a double take.
It turns out that President of Garage Plus One, Tatsuya Hashimoto, was doing a bit of old fashioned trolling by adding them to the car and combined with the quite way the car circulated the track, it certainly had people asking some questions! Well played, Hashimoto san, well played.
While the HV team went about preparing for the main event, I walked around scoping out the acres and acres of beautiful machinery in the pits and paddock.
There was just an absolute overload of Hachis everywhere you looked.
…some, like the Tec Arts AE86, completely wild.
The donk in this particular AE86 is said to be making in excess of 250hp from a 7A-GE; a 1.8 liter 7A block mated to the 1.6 liter twin cam head.
Then there were builds that are just completely batshit crazy. Like the SS Garage 86 – it’s only been seen every now and then of late but I got to take a good long look at it in detail and it is one crazy machine that needs more 7Tune love and attention.
The other standout was this monstrous looking AE86 that was running an incredible rotary set-up. Both cars will be covered in greater detail for future posts.
This panda sat quite nicely on 17 inch Watanabe’s. I don’t particularly think they are too big for the car and this set-up, at least for me, looks ideal.
The older generation of 86 wasn’t the only type present. Over at another part of the paddock was a section laid out for the new Toyota 86 and a few key manufacturers were present to show off some new upgrades for the car.
Remember this car??
Toyota actually brought down their prototype they ran at the nurburgring, complete with the special vinyl wrapping.
Work wheels with a bronze lip…
..or Gramlights in gunmetal?
Beautiful Endless 4 pots and matching rotors behind the factory alloys – a simple but very effective performance upgrade.
Aero-tech Japan had 3 cars in different colors and rim configurations there kitted up with their new Rando Black Edition kits…
They came across as slightly “Celica-ish” to me… at least from the front.
Back over at the more traditional section of the paddock, it was hard not to take a good peek under as many engine bays as possible…
Engine porn at its finest.
Or Turbocharged? I lean toward N/A on this one… nothing like a banshee screamer maxing out at over 9000RPM.
Maybe you were after some parts for your own build? This head was going for about $420 USD with each camshaft a further $200 odd USD.
The trade stalls were pretty busy all day with people snapping up this and that for their own Hachi’s along with various souvenirs.
Okayama is a pretty easy circuit to get around in once you actually get there and after having taken a good look around the paddock, it was time to hit the media spots for some action photography.
All that, plus some dori action…
.. and the shootout in the N2 battle will come in the next post.
We can’t bring you this awesome stuff without a HUGE amount of time and effort and without the knowledge you appreciate it, would just make things a lot less enjoyable for us, so make sure to share it around, leave a comment and enjoy!
7Tune. The Ultimate JDM Experience.
Words and Photos – Adam Zillin