Event>>yokomo Drift Meeting At Yatabe Arena

I guess I live in a pretty good part of Japan. Rent is cheap, Tokyo is less than an hour away, and there are plenty of car-related things to see and do. Besides the nearby Tsukuba Circuit and Mt. Tsukuba's mountain roads, Tsukuba city is also home to the Yatabe Arena AKA the capital of radio control drifting. Now I am far from knowledgeable about RC cars and my only exposure to RC drifting has been demos at real drift events, but I wanted to know a little more about this growing hobby.

Seeing as how the Yatabe Arena is just a short drive away from me, this past Saturday I headed out to have a look at round 19 of the Yokomo Drift Meeting series. Since Yokomo is the leading maker of RC drift cars, it is natural that they host these events to promote the hobby and their cars. The event drew a wide reange of people from hardcore RC drifters and car builders and pro D1 (real) drivers to kids out to enjoy their hobby.

Here is the course that the event is held on. I guess this is the only drift event where spectators can sit within a couple inches of the cars! Like I said earlier, I don't know a lot about the RC scene, but there is no doubt that the Yatabe is a world class facility. There are a few HUGE paved courses and a large off road course as well as specialty courses for RC rock crawling etc. Yatabe draws RC fans and drivers from all over Japan and even from other countries. Pretty cool.

Besides all the scale drift cars, there were several real drift machines and demo cars on display.

Everyone was getting in on the action, even the Yokomo gals. I think they would school me at RC drifting…

Here is the "pit" area at Yatabe. As you can see the event draws TONS of participants. Most people were dodging the heat by sitting under the misters or using handheld fans like the guy in the photo.

Here some of the competitors take to the course during a practice session. Not sure what's happening with the red S14.

Tons of D1GP replicas lined up in the Yokomo booth. The original livery on the HKS Altezza looked cool didn't it?

Just like real drifting, the competition is overseen by a full panel of judges. The pressure is on!

This FD looked pretty cool with all the tiny stickers on the rear window.

The pink JZX100 Mark II was one of my favorites. Nice color combo.

Man, taking action shots of RC cars is tough. They move toooo fast for their size. Luckily some of my shots came out OK.

The Blitz R35 was one of the full scale cars on display. Looks cool with the white trim.

Nice replica of Naoto Suenaga's D1 Street Legal S13.

I like when people get creative with their RC cars. This one is a near perfect 1/10 scale recreation of the Soarer from the "Shakotan Boogie" movie and comic book series.

The RE Amemiya FD D1SL car was also on display. The livery is an interesting change from the standard Amemiya blue.

And to finish here's one last shot of a scale Kunny'z JZX100 Chaser.

Yokomo Drift

Yatabe Arena

-Mike Garrett



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Awesome coverage. The detail on some of those bodies is unreal! I was pretty big into R/C before I got my license, w/a Tamiya TB-02 & Yokomo MR4-TC. I haven't run them in forever but I've still got them!


very cool mike. theres a rc place like 15 mins from my house. they do drift evetns like once a month i think ill try to make it to the next one. u mention the Mt. Tsukuba's mountain roads in the beginning of this aritcle. could u do some coverage of it. always like to see stuff on touges in japan!


Mike, do you ever sleep? You upload pics and car show/ events every half an hour.....lol


That Z10 looks an awful lot like an AE86!


nice shots! nice to see people recognizing rc cars, i do this too.


I have the Yokomo AE86 but no where to run it safely. It's an expensive ornament at the moment =(

I'd kill for a track like that near me


Well done on that last shot, Mike.


Man you guys are right, I have been SO busy recently. I have ton of cool (non-car) photos from Tokyo and other stuff that I need to go through but I haven't had time to do so. Hopefully soon.

Yes a trip to Mt. Tsukuba and other area roads is in the works. Look for it soon.

Now back to work for me!


The Z10, is originally a 86 3 door (the Hibino one), I dont know how he made the front panel longer to make it look like a Soarer.

Anyway nice article, I'am into RCdrift since near than 2-3years now so every thing about this hobby interest me (if only you've putted more pics of the Yokomo gals ^^, would be nice to learn/twin with them as you said).


All they need now is a JumboTron! Sweeet!


Do you by any chance have drift lessons for people who have just bought a yokomo but want to learn how to drift better... If you don't i advice you to make a club because Im not the only one


beautiful drift cars...