08 Jun

Nobby-san, Hot Springs and the Aston

Nobby-san, Hot Springs and the Aston

“My mission of introducing Engine to Japan was made at the great personal sacrifice of missing the first English test at Lords,” says MC. “But it had to be done for the good of UK plc. And what a great game I missed. Thanks to Cricinfo, I followed most of it online.”

My good friend and not-very-secret-agent Nobby Kondo (he, rather than 007’s ‘Universal Exports’ is our dealer) and I, spent a fascinating day at NHK’s R&D open day and experienced the glory of ‘everything 8K’ played out on a big IMAX-type screen. It was amazing to see sports action played out at the equivalent of 120 fps and with 22.2 surround sound, in a preview of their plans for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics. How was Engine going to manage the subtle complexity of that, I wondered?

Suitably revved up, Kondo-san and I headed for the hills in his Aston Martin, for which I’d been able to help source some parts. Our destination was Hakone, a mountainous region which boasted an active volcano and blessed with a very pleasing resort hotel.

To my surprise, the Aston rolled to a stop at halfway up a mountain and Nobby turned to me with a wicked grin. “OK MC, you drive!”

As one who drives automatics, doing a hill start with 600 bhp beneath my foot led to four or five minutes of very unBond-like sweat, whilst I got to grips with cornering on the deep winding mountain pass. In the excitement, I even forgot to play Deep Purple’s ‘Highway Star’ in the amazing audio set-up in the car.

An hour later we were safely enjoying the Hakone hot springs where we found free champagne on offer during Happy Hour, as well as excellent sushi. It was then that I realized that if the wild beast of an Aston Martin could be tamed on an unknown mountain pass, we could surely crack the weighting of a few more audio tracks for the Olympics…watch this space!!”

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