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Old 11-25-2015, 01:14 PM   #16
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Also like you mentioned Japan is very unique place there really isn't any other place in the world like it.

They have a lotta interested bikes and cars in Japan. I have pictures I will be posting as I get to them.
Totally agree, it's the most oddball culture ever...some foreigners hate that aspect but I loved it.

They get lots of exotic bikes and cars that were never sold in the U.S. Damn I wish I'd taken more pix while I was there.
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Old 11-25-2015, 04:09 PM   #17
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So here I am getting ready to enter the expressway!


So in this picture and the previous you see me entering the toll gate for the Shuto Expressway. It has a sign for ETC so all I have to do is slow down and the arm will popup and let me through. This is how you enter and exit the expressway. The expressway is much like the expressway in the Bay Area sort of, you have to pay to get on it but you don't have have a choice here. Expressway can get you places much faster than city streets because you don't have to wait at lights all day long, just you have to pay.


So you heard me talking about otaku culture earlier. Here is one of the otaku culture things I'm talking about. The Shuto Expressway is the setting for one of my favorite manga (comic book) called Wangan Midnight. Basically its about street racers in high powered cars racing on the Shuto Expressway in Tokyo and I'm about to ride on it! Its a popular manga, anime, and videogame also. Also people really do street race on the expressway here for real, I never really witnessed any but later on you'll see my "Tokyo Highway Battle" experience =P





One of the goals of my ride was to ride on the C1 Expressway. C1 Expressway is a loop that takes you around central Tokyo and the Imperial Palace and like I mentioned earlier its a setting for the races in Wangan Midnight.


Here are the tracks for the C1.




You can see the Imperial Palace in this one, notice the straight line also is probably where I enter a tunnel



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Old 11-25-2015, 04:32 PM   #18
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Alright on the expressway and... traffic -_- but fortunately not for long


There we go and you can see the Tokyo Monorail on top


So here is where I make the choice whether I go on the C1 and of course you know I do!


Ahh there are those familiar arrows and red roadmarkings that I recognize from the game


Yes on the C1 now! So before I get to ahead of myself notice there are no shoulders on the expressway. The Japanese have not fully grasped the concept of a shoulder, there are however turnout lanes if you can make it to them. So if you go into some kind of trouble here you will pretty much block your whole lane!


There are those tunnels too!


Saw this nice yellow Honda NSX (yep Honda not Acura)


You can see a sign that sez something about trucks crashing into cars, haha I saw another one with a motorcycle on it somewhere else.


Look at this amazing scene riding on the Shuto Expressway in the middle of the Tokyo Metropolis!


This does kind of remind me of San Francisco in certain areas. What irony I flew from one bay area just to ride in another bay area!


Riding through a long tunnel, looks so cool like I'm going really fast but I'm actually really going only like 70km/h


Tunnel exit just like the game!


Heading towards the sunlight!


Here's a cool car that passed me. Its VIP style! I thought it was a Toyota Aristo but I don't think it is, I think it was some kind of Toyota


To your left you can see the Tokyo Tower
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Old 11-25-2015, 04:42 PM   #19
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Look at that map up there looks so confusing!


I was admiring this Toyota Velfire. Toyota makes a lot of really cool minivans but since America is the land of SUVs and vans are seen as soccermom rides in the US we don't get any of these dope vans. I've always wanted a hybrid minivan I can't believe I'm staring at one right now, it just blows my mind. Also I complete the C1 loop soon after this, sayonara C1!


There it is the Rainbow Bridge! This bridge will take you to Odaiba a manmade island filled with shopping centers. I however never get the chance to ride there but I visit it later and walk on the Rainbow Bridge.


I see this parking structure here. Remember there's not a lot of land in Tokyo so things have to be built up and parking is no exception. Its like elevator parking for cars.


Riding next to the monorail here.


See the monorail emerge from the station right here!
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Old 11-25-2015, 04:44 PM   #20
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Before I get a little too ahead of myself here is my video for riding the C1 Expressway Loop. I would like to add I rode it counterclockwise.
https://youtu.be/31gJvAI-TCQ

Here is another I made at 8x with Wangan Midnight music in the background so cool!
https://youtu.be/IoIDYJ-uZkk
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Old 11-25-2015, 09:37 PM   #21
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I ride next to this Toyota Hiace another cool van Toyota makes that I wish we had.


Another cool Toyota minivan, its pretty much the same as the Velfire, this one is called an Alphard. Its a hybrid too!


Once again another minivan by Toyota a Noah. So many different vans.


Riding next to the monorail


Uh oh that car pulled over by the motorcycle police.


These are what the turns look like on the Shuto Expressway.

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Old 11-25-2015, 09:54 PM   #22
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So the next stop is the Tokyo Wan Aqualine. The GPS gots me all confused and I accidentally exit the expressway



Here's what I've covered so far.




And here's where it spit me out but close to the Aqua-line entrance. See there's a Round 1 in front of me, that's like a fancy bowling alley with arcades and karaoke and stuff.


Back on track


Here you see a Round 1 Stadium, its like a sports version of the Round 1 from before. Its got like batting cages, darts, and other large sports stuff.


I see this cool little Kawasaki 2 stroke supermoto type thing

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Old 11-25-2015, 10:01 PM   #23
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So your probably wondering what is the Aqua-Line? Its another places where street racer go, yes! It is a tunnel and bridge that connect Tokyo to Kisarazu. Its kinda like the Bay Bridge but much longer and it has this awesome rest stop in the middle of the ocean called Umihotaru. The section from Tokyo to Umihotaru is a tunnel and from Umihotaru to Kisarazu is a bridge section.







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Old 11-26-2015, 09:13 AM   #24
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I ride next to this Toyota Hiace another cool van Toyota makes that I wish we had.
The van selection in Japan is so good. Most of them have nice vertical ceilings that are tall enough to haul a motorcycle.

Funny story, when I first moved to Tokyo I was staying in temporary lodging. I bought a used Toyota Hiace van to get around and go house-hunting. Found my dream rental home that had only one glitch...to enter the driveway it had a raise-up gate that was too low for the van. So I rented the home and sold the van (replaced with a Honda Integra).

I am greatly enjoying your photos and travel log, so nostalgic for me. I just went through some of this recently because my brother is traveling to Tokyo on business for a month, so I've been briefing him on how much fun he will have.
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Old 11-28-2015, 12:54 AM   #25
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Aqualine here I come!


Toll Booth for Aqualine


Here are some info on the tolls from wikipedia on the Aqualine, its not cheap to ride here. The forum kinda dorked it up but the first column is the normal toll and the 2nd column is the ETC discounted toll. For a motorcycle or kei car with ETC is like $15. If you wondering what a Kei car is it's a small car with an engine size comparable to a motorcycle.
Toll table of Tokyo-bay Aqua Line
(Kawasaki-Ukishima Junction – Kisarazu-Kaneda Interchange)
Type of car Toll ETC Aqua-Line
Special discount
Normal cars 3,000JPY 2,320JPY
Midsize cars 3,600JPY 2,780JPY
Large cars 4,950JPY 3,830JPY
Specific large cars 8,250JPY 6,380JPY
Kei-cars &motorcycles 2,400JPY 1,860JPY

Before going in the aqualine you pass by the airport and a lot of industrial areas.



You can see the airplanes really close from here and the tunnel is up ahead!


Here we go about to enter the Tokyo Wan Aqua-Line!
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Old 11-28-2015, 08:12 AM   #26
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More cool tracks from HO!

Tokyo looks vast ...
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Old 11-28-2015, 09:46 AM   #27
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It is, it reminds me a lot of San Francisco. Maybe a slightly bigger SF. Even a city like SF, I always seem to find something new when I come back. I really only got to see half of what I had planned to see.
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Old 11-28-2015, 03:09 PM   #28
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Here it is the Aqua-Line. Its a feet of engineering an ocean tunnel! According to the signs it says we are on a 4% descent! So you will immediately notice as you go into the tunnel that it is warmer. It continues to get warmer the farther you go. Also look how straight and far the tunnel goes, makes you just wanna grab a fist full of throttle, but I refrained from doing so.


Fans on the aqualine


Doing some tucking, you can see I'm going 103 km/h (~65mph) here. The MT-07's gauges glow blue in the darkness.


Hard to make out the sign but it telling me how far I have left to go to Umihotaru


Here I'm guessing is where Kaze no To is (Tunnel of Wind). This is exactly what it says it is a wind tunnel or vent. It's a huge vent for the Aqua-Line.


This is a picture of Kaze no To that I took later when I was at Umihotaru. That's where I current am under.


To get an idea of where I am right now look at my tracks here you see a white structure about 1/4 of the way through the Aqua-Line, that is Kaze no To


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Old 11-28-2015, 10:10 PM   #29
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There is a light at the end of the tunnel! So I'm not joking it roasting in this tunnel, when your close to the other side its like 90F!


The light!


Getting closer to the light you see a sign above Umihotaru up ahead.



And boom here we are Umihotaru


So remember I said today was a holiday? People like to visit Umihotaru on a holiday. This is a LONG azz line for people to get parking. But...


... This gentleman is telling me since I'm on a "baiku" I can just roll on ahead. That's what I'm assuming it was saying in Japanese anyway.


Headcheck and hey look its an Alfa Romeo these newer ones you don't see in US.


Parking usher is telling me to go ahead of these cars.


Here I go the line of cars snakes around Umihotaru


The other side of the snake


I seriously felt like I was getting the VIP treatment here. All the parking ushers directed me to the motorcycle parking and bowed to me.




Still being vectored in


And here finally, looks like I'm not the only one who decided to go for a ride to Umihotaru!


Checkin out this nice older Kawi
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Old 11-28-2015, 10:38 PM   #30
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Ok here I am at Umihotaru, here's what it looks like on the Google Earth



There it is the Yama maru-nana parked at Umihotaru


There's the entrance to Umihotaru and there is more motorcycle parking there. There's quite a few bikes and more show up later.



Here's where I came in from.


I think this is the exit that takes you back to Tokyo


Welcome to Umihotaru YOKOSO!


Here's nifty map of the highways and expressway in the Tokyo Wangan (bayarea) with what looks like illustrated traffic conditions.


Here's a nice looking bike


I manage to photograph this flocks of seagulls fly past Umihotaru




And here's where they're chillin


This is a good place to watch airplanes land at HND.


There is Kaze no To I mentioned earlier, giant vent for the Aqua-Line


There's a helipad


Some fancy sculpture thingie


View of the Tokyo Bay looking back at Tokyo. Notice all you see is ocean because the tunnel is underneath.
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