It might only be a very long stretch of highway but the Wangan, or Bayshore, is probably the most well known road in Japan. This is where back in the day the hashiriya used to battle each other in the famous high-speed races, and where the Mitto Natto or Midnight club was born. Today things have somewhat relaxed a bit, more police patrols and speed cameras have driven the night racers away but on the right night and at the right time you may still be able to see the odd GT-R and Supra blasting past you at 200 mph! Our journey begins in the main island of Odaiba…
…the area of Tokyo built on reclaimed land.
After paying up 700 Yen ($7.66) you merge right onto the wide triple lane highway. You immediately enter a tunnel that goes right under the water, connecting the main island to the next section of reclaimed land.
Out on the other side you pass the Oii exit which also has a small Parking Area, a place where a lot of cars used to meet during those adrenalin fueled nights not so long ago.
From here you can choose to join Route 1 of the Shuto Expressway, which runs pretty much parallel to the Wangan ("B" for Bayshore) all the way down to the center of Yokohama city.
We stay on the Wangan and keep going straight.
You can kind of get an idea why this road was so popular with those seeking high-speed thrills as some of the straight parts can go on for miles…
…with only a few gradual curves to add to the excitement.
There are quite a few tunnels along the way, and with no cameras in any of them they are always the place where you can step on it a bit.
About ten minutes after joining the Wangan at Odaiba you reach Haneda Airport, which sits on its own massive peninsula, extended outwards into the bay. They are currently adding a new terminal, which will probably allow it to share more international flights with Narita Airport, which is a good hour outside the city in the Chiba-ken countryside.
After passing under countless runways at Haneda the Wangan continues on…
…under the longest tunnel so far…
…which connects on to Ukishima island in Kawasaki where you can take a left turn onto the Aqua Line, the massive underwater tunnel that connect Tokyo to the Chiba peninsula.
After the tunnel you pop back out and pay up another 600 Yen ($6.50) as you enter the Kanagawa-ken Expressway system.
It's then back into yet another long tunnel…
…and back out onto Higashiogishima Island, a very industrial section of Kawasaki with everything from docks, warehouses and oil refineries. At this point I got overtaken by that black Porsche Panamera you see in front of me here.
From here you can see the first glimpses of the Yokohama Bay Bridge, illuminated in purple on the left side there.
Before getting there however you pass over another bridge.
As the road dips down from the center of the bridge you get a nice view of Yokohama city bay with the Landmark tower and Minato Mirai area in full view.
It's then onto the Daikoku Docks, or Futo, the same place where the Daikoku Parking Area is located. Since it was Friday night it would have been a pity to drive by without taking a look at what had gathered that night…
…so I took the left exit and spiraled downwards to the bottom, entering the world's most famous truck stop!
The turnout was pretty good with the usual assortment of cars from your VIP rides…
…to your more exotic machinery…
…without forgetting those beautiful classics.
The bosozoku were out in full force with their bikes, revving their engines in an attempt to annoy everyone present.
As I took a quick walk through the massive parking lot I bumped into this ridiculously widebody JZA80 Supra. I have seen my fair share of wider than wide body kits but this thing was simply in its own class!
The Abflug kit has been customized to add a good 10 cm of extra girth on each side. Not sure what to say.
It must have been wide-body-night as I also spotted this Veilside kitted BNR32 sporting massive blistered fenders.
The bosozoku continued to roll in taking over most sections, including this area directly in front of the Police station that is located within the PA.
More VIP style, with a modern twist and packing some nice performance mods too judging from the front mount intercooler.
A lonely BNR34 and FD3S away from the chaos of the meet.
Ferrari 348 on BBS, not my favorite Ferrari but it still looks the part.
From the Daikoku PA it was back up the spiraling access road…
…onto the Yokohama Bay Bridge.
The Wangan continues a little further through Honmoku Futo and past Yokohama city, but this is where my journey would end making a left turn towards Yokohama Park…
…where I grabbed the exit down onto the "low roads" and made my way back home.
Hope you enjoyed taking a ride along this legendary stretch of highway!
-Dino Dalle Carbonare