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Japan Touring in a Cayman S.

 
Old 01-22-2019, 06:43 AM
  #31  
Kuro Neko
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Default Kyushu and Yamaguchi Touge

​Though we've rented Toyota's Hachi-roku a number of times before, I've never really noticed the similarities to the Cayman.
Perhaps it was the white one - matching the Cayman - we scored for a recent tour of Kyushu and Yamaguchi...

Horizontally-opposed engine aside, the front fender bulge view was the first trigger. Who would not believe it, if I said this was a Cayman?



Looking in the side mirror too, shows a similar (if smaller) rear fender shape, and looking over your shoulder to pass, the view out the rear side window is a similar shape too.
Even the wing mirror construction mimics Cayman.

While the small diameter, thick rimmed steering wheel and paddles, is a maybe similarity, the feeling comes undone when you click the plastic paddles and get a plastic response from both the switch and the transmission - an automatic and not a dual clutch.
Not bad, but its like using one of those soft-touch keyboards with little if any feedback, though some Subaru / Toyota software wizardry gives the car some neat noises on full-throttle up-shifts, and trailing throttle downshifts into second - something we spent a lot of time doing through the countless corners on the many touge we were lucky to hunt down.




This well-cooked 993 was snacking at one SA (Service Area) along the way.




A serious contender to replace my previous S800 was the S660, no trunk space (other than for the roof) killed that idea.
The Cayman S won that comparison.




So, is the 718 actually a 982?



More touge that had me missing the Cayman back in Tokyo.




In the middle of nowhere, I was curious why there was a large Lotus workshop with Sevens, an Elise, and this Europa. Then, I drove the roads, and it made sense! Look at those Advan!



As I was taking this photograph, a soccer mum blasted past in her Subaru wagon, four tires howling obviously enjoying herself.
She possibly needed some Advan.

The wangan roads are as interesting as the mountain touge.




Owning a similar ex-thatched roofed minka too, we try to stop and talk with the locals and photograph their homes.




The young guy driving this C2 was carrying a briefcase, and looked suspiciously like the local yak bag-man.
He was also doing a few quick laps of the port area, acting doubly suspicious as a typical Porsche driver testing his new exhaust, suspension, or similar as well.
Great stance!




Kicking the Hachi-Roku down into second through corners like these was great fun, and had my partner hanging on accordingly.





Even the gas stands have great views.





Overall, the 86 makes a good, fun diversion, and though many complain that it lacks power, on the tight twisty roads across Kyushu and Yamaguchi the supposed lack of power wasn't a major concern.

Getting back in the Cayman, the only thing I missed from the 86 was an in-dash telltale for lights on.
That dinky little LED above the 987 light switch is an obviously tacked-on thing, and I found myself leaving the lights unnecessarily, an issue even in daylight with the countless tunnels all over Japan.



We are getting ready for lunar new year dondo-yaki in our local area, and will enjoy some hot sake, massive exploding bamboo pyres, and possibly some fireworks in two weeks.




Back home again, it was still good to be back in the Porsche...

See ya!
Neko
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Old 01-22-2019, 09:20 AM
  #32  
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Love the pictures, very well done!

I am curious, are the roads you show in these pictures patrolled by police? Also during winter months how much of the country experiences snow and are roads salted in Japan or is something else used?
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Old 01-22-2019, 06:11 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Marine Blue View Post
Love the pictures, very well done!

I am curious, are the roads you show in these pictures patrolled by police? Also during winter months how much of the country experiences snow and are roads salted in Japan or is something else used?
Thanks!
Yes, police are active on all roads in Japan. They used to not patrol private (eg: toll) roads, but are now allowed to do so.
So, Wangan racing and stuff like that was stopped.
However, speed traps and similar are rare but do exist, and highway police are more likely to catch blatant speeders.
Being sensible, and not stupid helps, particularly in country areas...

I guess about 50% of Japan gets full coverage of snow.
Snow tires, chains, grit, heated roads, and clearing are more disciplined solutions used, than just salt.
Salt might be used in some places, but I've never seen it.

This is Tokyo last year, everyone stayed at home because it was a Sunday:






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Old 01-22-2019, 06:13 PM
  #34  
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Neko, awesome updates! Love the photos and the story-line with them.

Originally Posted by Kuro Neko View Post
​So, is the 718 actually a 982?
Yes, that's exactly right. And as expected, part numbers begin with the '982' prefix.

Comments that state information about the generational changes of the '718' will likely be vague or even confusing to readers in the future. Down the road, what people mostly call the '718' today will more accurately be referred to as the 982 so that people will know which 718 someone is talking about. The 718 name will likely be used for many generations in the future.
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Old 01-23-2019, 08:59 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by Zach L View Post
The 718 name will likely be used for many generations in the future.
Makes sense; 911 (930, 964, 993, 997, 991, 992). 924 (931, 932), etc...
I wonder if 986 and 987 will be retroactively called 718?

Good thing local plates support Porsche typ numbers easily:










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Old 01-28-2019, 08:27 AM
  #36  
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A few more from the recent touge run around Kyushu and Yamaguchi-ken.
The onsen town of Beppu is amazing, with steam coming from every orifice all over town...












Taisho and Showa buildings all over the place, and more spectacular roads to drive.
Normal Porsche content to resume shortly...
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Old 01-28-2019, 01:42 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by Kuro Neko View Post
. . . . .Normal Porsche content to resume shortly...
Don't feel compelled. Totally enjoying this travelog of Japan!
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Old 01-30-2019, 07:29 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by Suicide Jockey View Post
Don't feel compelled. Totally enjoying this travelog of Japan!
Ha!
Out for a late night drive with friends, we talked cars for a bit, then did a lap of the Shuto.
We had a 1M, a C4, two GT-Bs (a 1966 and a 1976!), a Cayman S, and a Cayman GT4 (but you know what they look like).

It was great listening to the different engines up and down the range, in and out of the countless tunnels and corners of the Shutoko inner loop:






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Old 02-01-2019, 11:28 PM
  #39  
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With a friend having the day off too, we decided a run into the mountains North of Tokyo was needed.
Early morning tank up with hi-oku (hi octane).













Despite checking the weather the night before, and even a quick webcam view (both showing no snow), the weather changed overnight and our touge destination just wasn't safe for summer tires.
The C4 though had a different perspective, and power slides with all four wheels grabbing for traction made for a more than suitable replacement for carving up the corners.

We did however take a diversion to the Oya Stone Mine, in an attempt to check it out since reopening after the 3/11 Tohoku Earthquake, but we chose the only day of the week it was closed.
The easily mined Oya stone being famous for local use in buildings, by Frank Lloyd Wright in many of his constructions, and the mine itself for the vast subterranean caverns, some of which are so large they were used for aircraft construction during WW2.

It's well worth the trip, just not if it is closed.




Something cool about a grubby Porsche.



The trip home was uneventful, and I waited in vain for what I thought was the Panamera's bi-fold wing to do its second party trick, but it just stayed in narrow mode.
Is this a speed setting?




Above is the Hanyu expressway SA (service area), built in the old Japanese shotengai (shopping street style).
Inside, it is set up like a Meiji-era town, serving all sorts of delicious foods.
Japan is proud of its history - traditional clothes, cars, buildings and houses, foods, and much more are embraced by the young and old. Sure shiny new Western stuff is cool sometimes, but just not everywhere all the time.
This is one thing that keeps Japan unique.



The sign above, on the right of that gantry, warns for undulating S-curves that appear in the upcoming tunnel on the Shuto, just like the sign shows - up and down, and left and right simultaneously.
Quite interesting, even at legal speeds.

We will return in Summer...
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Old 02-02-2019, 03:56 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by Marine Blue View Post
I am curious, are the roads you show in these pictures patrolled by police? Also during winter months how much of the country experiences snow and are roads salted in Japan or is something else used?
Ahhh...
I spoke too soon, after driving the roads above, I thought the Cayman had acne - the lower panels were covered in pimples of salt!
First time I've seen that in 20 or more years of snow driving in Japan.

Assume just hosing down with lots of fresh water is the appropriate response?
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Old 02-02-2019, 10:55 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by Marine Blue View Post
Love the pictures, very well done!

I am curious, are the roads you show in these pictures patrolled by police? Also during winter months how much of the country experiences snow and are roads salted in Japan or is something else used?
Hi Black Cat ("Kuro Neko")!
Wonderful Japan touring photos. I lived in Japan for six years, and all this brought back waves of nostalgia. But how to answer Marine Blue's first question while remaining polite?.....For someone from the US, Japan's speed limits are shockingly, shockingly (queue up the Casablanca film scene) low. I continue to be amazed at the number of high performance sports cars in Japan. Why bother? Without putting in considerable track time, to drive "enthusiastically" in a "fancy" sports car on public roads in Japan is a bit of a gigantic social/cultural faux pas. It is one of the many national cognitive dissonances that a car culture does persist in Japan. But it does persist. Way back when I was in my Miata days, I spent a wonderful weekend with the Kanazawa Roadster Club. I was treated like visiting gaijin royalty. Touring with them in a gaggle of MX5s all over the Noto Peninsula made crystal clear what the fundamental design parameters of the MX5 were - not bags of horsepower, but appropriate momentum to carry you through the corners, while one with the asphalt, but not being an idiot. There are not a lot of police patrolling because...the culture does not require a lot of police patrolling. I did spend three weeks throughout Hokkaido recently. A totally different part of Japan - wide open spaces. Hmmm. But leave your western conceits at home...unless you can schedule some track time.
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Old 02-04-2019, 05:50 AM
  #42  
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Default The Japanese Driving Conundrum.

Originally Posted by SCMike View Post
Hi Black Cat ("Kuro Neko")! Wonderful Japan touring photos. I lived in Japan for six years, and all this brought back waves of nostalgia. But how to answer Marine Blue's first question while remaining polite?.....For someone from the US, Japan's speed limits are shockingly, shockingly (queue up the Casablanca film scene) low. I continue to be amazed at the number of high performance sports cars in Japan. Why bother? Without putting in considerable track time, to drive "enthusiastically" in a "fancy" sports car on public roads in Japan is a bit of a gigantic social/cultural faux pas. It is one of the many national cognitive dissonances that a car culture does persist in Japan. But it does persist. Way back when I was in my Miata days, I spent a wonderful weekend with the Kanazawa Roadster Club. I was treated like visiting gaijin royalty. Touring with them in a gaggle of MX5s all over the Noto Peninsula made crystal clear what the fundamental design parameters of the MX5 were - not bags of horsepower, but appropriate momentum to carry you through the corners, while one with the asphalt, but not being an idiot. There are not a lot of police patrolling because...the culture does not require a lot of police patrolling. I did spend three weeks throughout Hokkaido recently. A totally different part of Japan - wide open spaces. Hmmm. But leave your western conceits at home...unless you can schedule some track time.
Yes! That's me; the Black Cat in a white Cayman.
Japan is indeed full of contradictions, and as you know provided you know how to navigate them you can find yourself doing things a little differently, but to the same effect as outside. Not necessarily better, just different.
Putting aside Wangan Mid Night these days (that Countach above is a member), on performance driving we use touge carefully, and for Tokyo-ites the Shuto-ko early in the morning.
Manners, as you note, plays a big role in what we do.
Unfortunately, we no longer have un-patrolled private roads like the Atsugi toll-road and the Tokyo Wan Aqualine.

Hokkaido is indeed amazing, and we spent over a week there touge hunting too, simply sublime roads at any speed.

As to the right sort of car for Japanese roads, I made a similar comment earlier on the Toyota GT86, as it too is nicely suited to the roads here.
Along with an NSX, the only car I looked at seriously before getting into the 987S, was the S660, notable in this configuration from Spoon (that's me and my old S800 accompanying), all 660cc for the same reason.

Coincidentally, this last week I saw an S660 that was configured rather nicely (except perhaps for the red paint):




We were out touring, getting ready for Setsubun (lunar new year), and the burning of our dondo yaki:





This SL looks like they're really into the corner, but it was only doing a few km/h:





Two of Japan's historic cars as per your description - the first Skyline GT-R, and the AE86 from Toyota:




See ya!
Neko
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Old 02-04-2019, 10:28 AM
  #43  
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Neko-san - keep those wonderful photos and explanations coming. You are providing us with an educational public service! Most of us here may not fully appreciate the uniquely Japanese intersection of sports cars and culture (nihon-style).

Thank you for your link to the Honda S article:
http://www.speedhunters.com/2018/02/...onful-of-agro/
Fascinating reading and photos to be found there, especially about your own S800.

A very red 1967 Honda S800 also occupied my life for a couple of years, 15 years ago:

I found it, fully restored, in England and had it shipped home. The S800 is a bit of a cult car in the UK, and it is far easier for someone here on the US east coast to find one there and ship it home than from Japan. It was a jewel of engineering!

But the Honda too came and went. Only the Spyder is forever.
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Old 02-04-2019, 11:52 AM
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I love this thread!
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Old 02-07-2019, 06:15 AM
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Originally Posted by idk_alex View Post
I love this thread!
Neat!

Originally Posted by SCMike View Post
A very red 1967 Honda S800 also occupied my life for a couple of years, 15 years ago:
Nice Coupe! But, you're in a Spyder now, I went from Coupe to Coupe.
Provided you didn't also drive a 356A and a 911S, we're not getting too creepy...





Pity the S800 isn't very attractive, but like the Porsche of the day, they do have a great history of winning in motor sports (that F1-derived engine!).
Just not in the US.

Here's one nearly flat-out (mine saw the occasional 10,000 rpm):

Continuing the Honda to Porsche tie-in, somewhat coincidentally the master mechanic who rebuilt my S800 engine was one of Schupann's Sports Prototype mechanics, worked the 962CR here in Japan, and still does Porsche work:



It was he, who informed me too what these three cars have in common, which I've never really been able to resolve the reason.





The 5x 130 PCD wheel bolt pattern.
So perhaps a developing racing alloy standard from about 1963 or 64?

Speaking of enough speed though, I chased a Cappuccino once, and unlike the Porsche, it doesn't need to slow down into the corners...
They just lose out on any straight bits.



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