It’s been a month already since my lasst post, but today I finally found some time to prepare another recap post of this years Japan trip. This time I’m sharing more than a dozen photos and some great memories from my return to Suzuka, meeting good friends Hiroyuki Fujita of Budd & Joey Company and Taizo Shimazaki of Handsome Lures fame.
Even after two months the memories of this day are vivid in my mind and I even remember the slight hangover from the farewell party in Osaka the night before. :)
Thanks again to everyone who came to say hello that night and special thanks to Shingo for organizing everything. I think it was a Saturday morning, when we left Osaka in direction Suzuka and I remember the excitement of going together to this special place that I remember so well from previous visits.
I was surprised how quickly the 3-hour ride went by, when the first tea fields came in sight. The ventilated green fields are a typical view for this area and it’s the one thing that I remember most from my first trip to Suzuka when I first met Mr. Fujita three years ago.
After a warm welcome we sat down in the air-conditioned front-room of the workshop and started right away with a lively conversation. The guests had the pleasure to have a first hands-on experience of the Fenwick 60th Anniversary Rod (a Budd & Joey Collaboration) and everyone was delighted by look and feel of rod and grip.
Around lunchtime we went to a nearby restaurant that I remembered well from last years visit. It was great to sit together again at this place enjoying a delicious meal and talking. Stuffed with a healthy portion of Ramen and Gyoza we went back to the workshop to have a sneak peek at the upcoming “Bumpkin Jack” release. It was the first time that I was able to get a glimpse at finished lure bodies ready for coloring. I was amazed by accuracy and perfect body shape of every single lure blank and seeing two of the soon to be releases colors was fantastic.
The “GBLS” (Grain Black Shore) color pattern looked incredible and when I heard that there will be a “Dalmatian” color release of this lure, I was delighted.
The Dalmatian pattern is one of my favorite Budd & Joey colors, with it’s fine and perfectly aligned spots creating a beautiful contrast against the ivory base color and orange belly line.
After having a look at more lures and color pattern details as well as more inspiring talk about coloring techniques and methods, we went to the main hall of the workshop. I remember the heat in this room all too well from my first visit during a hot summer in 2013. Again it took me a while to get used to more than 40°C after spending most of the day in well air-conditioned places, but I somehow survived. :)
We had the chance to have a closer look at materials and machines, while Shingo and Mr. Fujita had a lively exchange about woodworking techniques and ways to make creative use of even simple tools.
It was great to be back at this inspiring place and to meet good friends in fantastic atmosphere. There’s a special bond between us and I was more than happy to hear, that we would spend more time together during the next days (detailed report and photos to follow).
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