Late Night Udon With A Couple Of Kansai Street Drifters

If you’re only interested in highly polished show cars and/or four-figure horsepower numbers, this probably isn’t the story for you. In fact, we’re taking a look at something on the totally opposite end of the modified car spectrum.

This story begins during a recent trip to Kansai, where I accompanied some friends visiting from Australia. After a day of exploring various areas of Osaka and enjoying some of the local food, I received a message back from old friend confirming a dinner rendezvous and some extra-curricular activities.

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I’m grateful to have made quite a few friends in Japan since I’ve been living here, and Ryoma was one of the first. Ryoma had promised to take us to a popular local udon spot, so we hopped into our rental Toyota Alphard and headed out of the city towards his local Family Mart.

As we arrived, we were greeted by an SR20-swapped C33 Nissan Laurel and Ryoma’s RPS13 Nissan 180SX. You might notice quite quickly that his 180SX is far from a show car, but let me tell you from experience, those body panels tell some wild stories.

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These days, drift cars seem to become overcomplicated very quickly with crazy steering angle kits, hydraulic handbrakes and huge power. You’ll find none of that here; Ryoma’s 180SX is as simple as it gets. Apart from an S14 turbo and an electronic boost controller, it’s pretty much standard power-wise. Add some used aero parts, basic suspension upgrades and modified steering knuckles, and that’s all he needs to get the job done.

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After some conversation – and of course a couple of conbini snacks – we followed the drift car duo into what can only be explained as a heavy industrial area. Watching and hearing Ryoma’s 180SX cruise along with its straight-pipe exhaust and battle scars was quite a surreal experience; something you’d expect to see in an early Drift Tengoku VHS or street drifting compilation.

Now, remember when I mentioned that udon ‘restaurant’ earlier? Well, you’re looking at it. We were equally confused at the time…

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Apparently, this spot is popular amongst locals and has quite a bit of history. If you haven’t quite caught on yet, that’s a vending machine that serves hot udon. While we were all eager to escape the cold in a warm noodle shop, Ryoma reassured us that this udon would hit the spot.

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I’m not going to tell you this was the best udon I’ve had – it was far from it – but while in the company of two drift cars, cracking jokes with their owners and soaking in all of the heat possible from a cardboard bowl full of noodles, it was something you’d never experience anywhere else.

Eager to escape the cold, we devoured the rest of our noodles and piled back into the Alphard. For the next hour or so, we followed the 180SX and Laurel deep into the mountains, but for somewhat obvious reasons, you’ll have to let your imaginations do the rest.

Alec Pender
Instagram: noplansco

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I love everything about this. We need more drivers and less big money builds.




Awesome article and photos. Love to see more of this type of car and experiences.


Thanks, can do!


Having just sampled some vending machine ramen from the exact same style of machine recently(in an alley way with over 50 other mixed vending machines in Sagamihara), I can agree it's not the best, but for what it is and the cost, it can't be beat.....and it's all about the experience! Cool article!


Is it possible to find these photos in higher resolution? I would like to put them on my phone wallpaper :)


Big fan of these articles about regular homies doing normal carguy stuff. Builds that can be run everyday, and don't have 500k-$1M budgets with multiple 'partners'. Keep it real


Love this small, simple story. For me, that's what speedhunters is all about tbh;
To show us rural car culture all around the world, I resonate with real, driver oriented stories like this!
Also love how both the 180 and laurel have a halfcage, sick!
Great shots and wording as always :)