Super Street Network

 |   |  Tokyo Underground
Subscribe to the Free
Newsletter

Tokyo Underground

A small glimpse of the illegal Wangan-sen and touge scenes.

Feb 3, 2016

If you're a regular reader of Super Street you know all about the aboveboard tuner activities that go on in and around the city for Tokyo Auto Salon, but we also wanted to give you a snapshot of the underground street scene that generally isn't outwardly identifiable; it should go without saying we strongly suggest no one try any of this at home. After the 11-hour flight to Japan from California and our Fresh Tokyo meet, we headed toward a rest area to meet with a few racers. You might recognize a few of their cars since we've featured them, but we'd rather not mention the owners' names. We pounded bottled coffee from the vending machines to stay awake and within a few minutes drivers surrounded a map displayed on the wall. After a route was planned out, everyone hopped in their cars and attacked the highway. Apparently there are fewer cameras in tunnels, so every time we came across one the racers would floor it. One guy was nuts enough to do manji drifts from guardrail to guardrail. The ending point was at the famous Yokohama rest area, where on any given night you'll find racers meeting up.

Tokyo underground race cars in tunnel Photo 2/26   |   tokyo underground race cars in tunnel

On another night we travelled two hours from the city to a mountain pass for bona-fide late night touge runs. By the time we got there, a dozen cars were already parked in a tunnel. Out of respect, we introduced ourselves to Team Freees and Team Props. Judging from the spare tires and tools on the side of the road, we knew it was going to be long epic night. Of course we watched from behind the guardrails before gathering the courage to ride shotgun with these guys. Against all good judgment we hopped in one of the wildest drifters of the night in the Team Freees' green S13. The driver went balls out and came in door-to-door proximity with the lead car. But as you can imagine, torturing tires can only last so long and the green S13 driver eventually had to call it a night.

Obviously street racing is illegal, but for these guys the adrenaline is worth it. It's a culture that's not for the squeamish and you'll likely need balls of steel to do it on a regular basis. For a few of the racers, the underground racing scene is a lifestyle no track experience can ever replace.

Tokyo underground group of race cars Photo 9/26   |   tokyo underground group of race cars
Tokyo underground race car rear three quarter view Photo 16/26   |   tokyo underground race car rear three quarter view
Tokyo underground race car dangerously close to wall Photo 23/26   |   tokyo underground race car dangerously close to wall
Jofel Tolosa
575 Articles

BROWSE CARS BY MARKET

MORE FEATURES

With 575 hp, the 2018 Jaguar XJR575 is estimated to hit 60 mph in 4.2 seconds and a top speed of 186 mph
Kelly PleskotJul 24, 2017
To celebrate the 40th birthday of the 7 Series, BMW will show off a limited-edition model at the Frankfurt Motor Show this September
Kelly PleskotJul 24, 2017
Show your aquatic side with the new Bentley Continental GT Convertible Galene Edition, a new design from Mulliner that incorporates yachting themes
Conner GoldenJul 24, 2017
Whether you're a Toyota, Mazda, or Honda fiend, I think we can all agree we've all dreamed of owning a Skyline at one point or another
Jofel TolosaJul 24, 2017
Two LaFerraris recently took to the Italian Alps for a road trip, but along the way, the owner of the LaFerrari Aperta decided he’d become Ken Block
Jonathon KleinJul 24, 2017
Sponsored Links

SEARCH ARTICLES BY MAKE/MODEL

Search
CLOSE X
BUYER'S GUIDE
SEE THE ALL NEW
NEWS, REVIEWS & SPECS
TO TOP