Had I set my expectation too high? What if I was disappointed? Travelling solo brings out split personalities – the one voice in my head saying ‘You have 1 day in Japan .. do you really want to spend most of it on a train?’ The rational voice replying … ‘Let’s go!’ And so … I’m here now. In Hamamatsu.
Walking past the factory, I gripped the metal fence bars and stared at the unassuming swathe of factory buildings. There was no hint here as to the impact this site has had on my 2 wheel world. No piles of rejected EFE heads, slabby top fairings waiting for paint or katana front fairing braces- ah well. I paused to gaze for a few minutes, waving my nose in the air and trying to soak up ‘something’. I imagined Hanma Shin in his workshop in there somewhere hack sawing H*ndas into bite size chunks and chuckled to myself, remembering the stickers I had packed in my bag that morning. Following the arrows, I tracked through the underpass which crossed the road and up to the steps of Suzuki Plaza.
I knew from my research that Suzuki Plaza was a small museum and exhibition centre near the factory and I’d gone online the night before from my hotel and booked a ticket. The accuracy of the train timetable had me land on the steps of Suzuki Plaza 5 minutes before my slot. Perfect. And there was noone else about. Even better, with not a soul around – I had the place to myself.
I was in. The foyer wasn’t all that. There, I said it. It’s that feeling I get when I’m reminded that as well as EFEs and GSXRs and GSs, that Suzuki also make the Swift and the Jimny. It took a collection of rare race machines to bring balance to the situation.
I checked in and took the opportunity to get a snap on the Katana displayed in Prime Position. Well, you would – wouldn’t you?
The rest of the exhibits and the museum were to be found via the stairs. Pop out for a quick ciggie because. Pinch myself. Giggle some more. Take a selfie. OK, back in. Let’s see what this is all about!