There's nothing like Matsuri at Ebisu Circuit. Three times a year—spring, summer and autumn—Japan's drifting mecca leaves its gates open for 36 straight hours. While the Matsuri was always a grassroots event, it now attracts countless amateurs and pros alike from all around the world.
The Ebisu Circuit race complex is located in the mountains of Nihonmatsu and its vast facility holds a total of seven individual tracks plus two skid pads. Tracks like Kita (North Course) and Touge Course combine technical turns with tricky elevation changes, while Higashi (East Course) and Nishi (West Course) offers a wider layout for manjis and high-speed entries. The most notorious track is Drift Stadium, immortalized by Daigo Saito's "jump drift," also known as Minami South.
And unlike the firm restrictions that regulate the Sports Car Club of America, the marshals at Ebisu are shockingly lenient, you'll find fully-built pro drift cars alongside beat-up drift missiles that look like scrap metal on wheels. With hardly any barriers and a low, low price of entry, it's no surprise Ebisu has become so popular.
YouTuber Sean Alessi captured the action that went down during this year's Autumn Matsuri. And while we get a glimpse of the locals like Naoki, Suenaga and Andy Gray, we're also introduced to new faces that have come to experience Ebisu for the first time.
It's a 36-hour party at Ebisu's Drift Matsuri and there's truly nowhere else on Earth quite like it. If you're motivated to visit Ebisu and experience the Matsuri for yourself, be sure to check out the PowerVehicles website, which offers the Drift Heaven Week "vacation" packages that coordinate with the spring, summer and autumn events. For now, you can also check out Sean Alessi's Autumn Matsuri video below.