|My son driving his 1997 Nissan Laurel|
Most people prepare for these events months in advance making sure their cars are in tip-top shape. They come equipped with extra tires, tons of gasoline, tools, and extra car parts. People use the racetrack 24/7, so its very loud. When you need to get some rest, many people camp, or just sleep in their cars.
This 3-day festival is quite expensive. First, to drive to Ebisu, the tolls are around $100 each way. Next are the entrance fees atb20,000 yen (over $200.00 USD) for the driver, and 3,000 yen (over $30.00 USD) for a spectator. This can be pretty spendy if you participate in the three drift matsuris held each year.
Also, if your car breaks down at the racetrack and is too expensive to get back to your home, you can sell it to one of the car companies that does business in the area. We ended up selling my son's car to Power Vehicles because his clutch went out and there weren't any lifts available to properly install the new clutch.
Towing the car 4 hours back home would have been a huge expense. This was a big learning experience for my family, but this still hasn't deterred my son from buying another car. He's been eagerly saving his money and hopes to purchase another car in the new year.
Here is a link to the live web cam for Ebisu: