Event>> 36 Hours Of Drifting At Ebisu Circuit

Ahh, Ebisu.

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I'm absolutely in love with this place. It's not just the cars… it's the sights and sounds… and the people at Ebisu Circuit that make this place so special. We've been here at Ebisu Circuit for the past few days, hanging out with good friends from different parts of the world (namely, Los Angeles and Athens), and of course, my close friends from Team Orange.

The annual Ebisu Circuit 36 Hours Natsumatsuri (aka "Summer Drift Festival" for the English speakers) has been happening here at the circuit for the past few days. This festival coincides with Japan's countrywide Obon Festival, but since it's at Ebisu, it celebrates drifting instead of traditional Japanese culture and visits to the temple. Rather than do the standard photo montage you'd normally expect, with a bunch of drifting action photos of a bunch of cars, I thought I'd switch it up a bit and show you some insights into the scenery at Ebisu. After all, it's the amazing scenery that absolutely amazes me every time I visit. It's breathtaking. Seriously.

At Ebisu's drift festivals, it feels as if time has reversed back to 1999, because the Natsumatsuri is all about old school private drifting style! Although there were quite a few D1 drivers in attendance, chillin out at the track and having fun driving with their friends (Koguchi, Kazama, Kumakubo, Hoshino, Daigo and Naoto Suenaga to name just a few), they were driving their own private street cars, not the purpose built monsters they drive during D1 competition. I loved every minute of this event – it was like a return to the roots. Ebisu Circuit IS Japanese drifting culture.

Check out the dirt drop being performed by the R32 Skyline above, as it chases down a very clean GX71 Toyota Cresta! (BTW, I <3 that Cresta!)

I was very happy to see this hachi-ichi JZX81 at Ebisu… I met the owner of the car at Tsukuba Circuit in 2004 or 2005, and haven't seen him since, so I was very glad to see him again! Now his car has alot more stickers on it, but still, I think the style is awesome. Oh yeah… one more thing I should mention. The owner is Yoshinori Okabe, and he is in a WHEELCHAIR! And he still drifts his JZX81, and he's pretty damn good at it too! It just goes to show… if you have the willpower, nothing can stop you from achieving your dreams of drifting.

Speaking of Yoshinoris, our old school friend Yoshinori Koguchi was out at Ebisu, chillin out with his girlfriend and having some fun with his personal RPS13 180SX. This car features the new Koguchi Power aero kit, which he designed and produced himself, in his home area of Tochigi Japan. Koguchi was in a very good mood, clowning around with me (as many of the other D1 drivers seem to do) despite the fact that he had to replace his axle shafts in the middle of the day. Oh well, he's Koguchi… and my good friend and S13 maniac Kenta always tells me "Seriousry, Koguchi is the sh!t! I think he's the god of S13s. He is one of the most famous S13 drivers, but he is one of the best S13 builders too! Daaaamnnn… Koguchi is herra tight. Hehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…"

BTW, in case you were wondering what those stickers on Koguchi's rear bumper are, they're tomodachi stickers from Koguchi's friends Yasuyuki Kazama (that's his former D1 fan sticker) and Hideo Hiraoka (Team Orange member from famous drift team Rapid. Hiraoka is a famous S13 legend too. More on that later.)

Rod and I were admiring two super clean, matching yellow 180SXs at the beginning of the day, but when we returned to Ebisu South Course at the end of the day, we discovered that the two drivers (the guy and the girl you see here) crashed! I spoke to the girl (I think they said her name was Kubokawa?) a little bit and if I remember correctly, they were from the Saitama area. The pillow tension rods on the 180SX were bent from the crash, but luckily some of their friends had some extra tension rods, and lent the spare parts to them so they could repair the car and drive home. Very nice to see drifters helping each other!

This photo with all the aero parts on the floor reminds me of the very cool AllStarBash4 shirt. I bet you they spent 8 million yen on that ish too.

Luckily for all the drivers, Ebisu South course has a tire mounting machine on the premises! People can mount their own tires there at the track from 8:00am to 4:30pm, like the sign says!

Now it's time to introduce you all to some real deal Ebisu drifting culture. Aside from the cars and the wheels and the stickers and such… this image shows a very popular aspect of the Ebisu Circuit drift festivals, the night time barbecues! As a special treat for the drifters who came from all over Japan to celebrate drifting at Ebisu's Natsumatsuri, Nobushige Kumakubo arranged for a whole cow to be tied up and barbecued on a rotating spit (think of a Hawaiian luau, except it's a cow instead of a pig)!

He pays for it completely; this barbecue is FREE to the people attending the drifting matsuri! Hmm… I wonder if people who live close to Ebisu just roll up to the circuit for some free bbq, even if they weren't actually drifting..? Probably not – people are pretty honorable in Japan. I know if this was in the USA, you'd have all sorts of people lining up there, who didn't even drive the circuit!

Vegans and PETA people beware… this is not for the faint hearted!
This barbecue is as fresh as you can get! I'm talking, earlier that
morning, that bbq meat was still making moooo sounds! All the
drifters lined up to get some barbecue meat and roasted them on some
temporary bbq grills that Kumakubo's younger brother Noriaki set up in
the central parking lot. Here in this photo, you see an older Ebisu staff member cutting up the meat into thin slices and chunks… which is then marinated in garlic and soy sauce and some other stuff, and distributed on small plastic plates to the drivers, who are in a long line that wraps around the parking lot. Now that's hella fresh yakiniku!

Now that I think about it, I don't know how good of an idea it was, to have a whole bunch of fresh meat lying around. Remember, this is Ebisu. There were hungry white lions and tigers chillin out just about 35 feet away from where all this was happening! I bet those guys could definitely smell the fresh meat, and were more than likely pissed off that nobody offered them some! Dangerous! haha!

While Kumakubo was deep in conversation with Koguchi late into the night, I decided to see if I could hand-hold a long night-time exposure that could adequately illustrate Ebisu at night. See the backlit mountain in the background? Those lights are coming from the pit garages and drivers at Ebisu's North Course. It looked so very surreal as we were walking around in pitch blackness at night, as the fog crept in.

Check out the mash up of cars in the South Course pit area… C35 Laurel (thanks STJ!), FC3S RX7, S14 Silvia, AE86 Levin, and NA6 Miata. I love Ebisu.

I thought this FD3S looked so cool, sitting next to the pit garages of Ebisu's East Course. I'm not the biggest fan of that wing, but I like the Gram Lights wheels and I guess I'm just a fan of black FDs in general. That's it for now, time to head back to Ebisu for more fun! Hope you guys liked some of these rarer insights into real Japanese drifting culture at Ebisu Circuit!

-Antonio Alvendia



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Antonio - more photos of Koguchi's 180 please.




yeah antonio! DO IT

btw great pics

i miss japan so much. best place on earth

and ebisu is amazing

good times!


Wow, I love how you're taking photos of how the lifeestyle is at Ebisu. Kinda reminds me of the small privateer track days I used to host, down to doing the repairs in the pits and getting spares off fellow drifters. One thing though, you can't ever have enough friendz helping with tire swapping. ;P

Thenks for giving us a glimpse of what it's like over there homie, now let's see some more action pics of privateer styleee hachirokus with mad battle damage and wheels I'd never beat on, on the track!


These are great posts! Thank you!


Great article-wow

i think Ebisu is the most beatiful place for drifting and the lifestyle there is awesome!

thanx so much for the report :)


Great post! Love these lifestyle pics!


dam koguchis builds some clean 180s. im guna sell my house and live out my days as a drifting vagrant at that place i tell ya!


Brian and Aaron: you guys, the festival was totally your style! omg all the S13s and S14s and S15s. super duper fresh. be on the lookout for the FC3S that Rod was filming! sooooo dope!

Jov: Ask and you shall receive, be on the lookout for an 86 related post from Ebisu very very soon! And yo if you begin hosting privateer track days with a cow roasting on a spit, I'll give you hella props! LOL

Pete: hope to see you again soon!

Everyone else: Thanks for letting us know which cars you like! Expect more Ebisu related pics soon!! Time to meet Kumakubo for dinner, ttyl!


Brian and Aaron: you guys, the festival was totally your style! omg all the S13s and S14s and S15s. super duper fresh. be on the lookout for the FC3S that Rod was filming! sooooo dope!

Jov: Ask and you shall receive, be on the lookout for an 86 related post from Ebisu very very soon! And yo if you begin hosting privateer track days with a cow roasting on a spit, I'll give you hella props! LOL

Pete: hope to see you again soon!

Everyone else: Thanks for letting us know which cars you like! Expect more Ebisu related pics soon!! Time to meet Kumakubo for dinner, ttyl!


those overfenders on koguchis car must be a new type, nice style without being over the top like all the new JGTC stuff style kits


Need more pics of koguchis personal car really bad. I love how the rear bumpers stock but looks like a molded lip and flairs out on the sides to match the overfenders. Looks so clean!


@ Antonio

What on earth means "herra tight?" cuz, actually Herra is finnish for mister ;D


lol i love how the girl in the butcher pic has this "WTF" look on her face. awesome pic.


please take some pics of those albino animals!


The second to last picture, thats a C35 laurel club S. Not a JZX100 chaser,


doh! my mistake! thank you so much STJ!!!!


Renge: it's a joke... "hella tight" is a slang term which means "really cool" and it becomes "herra" when said with certain japanese accents. my close japanese friends say it alot, and i think it's funny! sorry that not everyone understood, hehe!

Felix: man, you need to hit up CHRIS for the pics! he got some super cool white lion shots!!!

hmmm.... so does everyone really want to see more Koguchi pics? I took a few snapshots, but he didn't put his front bumper on because it was a brand new aero kit that he designed and i dont think he wanted to ruin it just yet. he was drifting the car pretty aggressively at ebisu!!! super cool to watch! if you guys want, maybe I can contact him and see if i could shoot some better photos sometime...?


heheh that girl in the meat picture looks seriously hungry! awesome pics Antonio, sick dirt drop to start with =)


One of the greatest posts yet! You know, D1 is a great event, but this Summer Event there at Ebisu seems a hell of a lot better. Just a bunch of drift fanatics who are are in love with their cars and the drift culture of just hangin out, drifting and having fun. Serious competition can get a little old sometimes. I love the pics of the people and cars at the pit area's! More please!


Antonio - do it.

Get a photoshoot with all his different 180s. They are so badass.

Very mild to decently tuned to ful lD1 crazy machine... he has them all!


Thnkyou! Antonioo.

my GX-71CRESTA on the web site.

I can't speek English.



Dang, who's the girl at the tire changer?

And yeah, any and all Koguchi content is 100% welcome. :)


woah, hold on a sec, 8 million yen? thats like 75 grand!!! I hope you ment 8 million for both cars total. And I totally want to see more of Koguchi-san


haha liamsil80... the 8 million yen thing was an inside joke/comment i suppose! not meant to be literal!

because as i mentioned in the post, if you go back and look at my photos from the justdrift/ziptied allstarbash 4, there were alot of people walking around with shirts depicting a bunch of broken aero kits, with text next to it saying "i spent 8 million dollars on this sh!t" hahaha

okay okay guys i'll try to see what i can work out with koguchi!


@ Antonio

Thnx, i actually realized the joke before i read the reply, just didn't figure it out yesterday in all my sleepiness. :D

btw, there's been quite many 180sx's/S13/etc on the site - of course - because of the vast amount of drifting material presented here, and while Koguchi's 180 would still be nice to see, what about an article about "forgotten" but great machines from the same era? the Z32 for example is a nice demonstration for such vehicles. ^^

Great site anyways, Keep On Rockin'! o/


hi renge!

hmm, thanks alot for your comments and your suggestions! i'll hit up mike g, mike h, or jeroen to see if they would be interested in doing something on a Z32 in the future. i dont see myself doing much with them because to be honest, i dont much like Z32s. i liked them when they were brand new, but i dont think the car aged as well as the JZA80 supra in my personal opinion. i love the Z33, but i haven't yet seen a high performance modified Z32 that i like. except maybe the blue/red millen car in the nissan collection...

how about some JZX love? hmm, maybe some other cars, like A31 Cefiros or C33 Laurels? EF Honda City?


Antonio, very impressive how you captured this lifestyle! BTW, in the pic of the crashed yellow 180sx, there are a couple of C33 laurels... you don't happen to have any more of them do you? (I know, this is like asking a junk yard if they have any corollas back there...)

I'm picking up my C33 from Kenji at G Speed today and could use some inspiration!!!


Wow C33 Laurel huh? Okay. I'll keep a lookout for some at MSC on Sunday!


Brilliant coverage! I only dream to go and see this! One day!!! XD



Great write up, it's really awesome to see how drifting is as much an afternoon past time as it is a super commercialized motorsport. I've heard that Kumakubo hosts drifting schools at Ebisu. Do you have anymore information about this?



Hi Antonio..

Nice shot of JZX81 Cresta.. can I get more pictures of the Cresta.. since you knew the owner can I get the owner email.. or something to contact.. Die Hard fan of JZX81 here..

thanks a lot


Wawoo como ustedes pueden cer tan unidos hasi y compartir en familia ah nivel del drift,con todas esa carne pueden darles ha Africa completo.soy Dominicano,de la Republica Dominicana. Dios le bendiga mucho y si gan haci como son.


Amazing shots Antonio!!!

Damn i love Koguchi's 180's