Addictive danger: Kanjo street racing

Kanjo street racing is illegal, fast, and very dangerous, yet for Kazuhiro Furukawa, there's little to top it.

Alex Goy Editor / Roadshow
Alex Goy is an editor for Roadshow. He loves all things on four wheels and has a penchant for British sports cars - the more impractical the better. He also likes tea.
Alex Goy
2 min read
Watch this: Kanjo: Illegal street racing in Tokyo

Kazuhiro Furukawa is the president of Car Craft Boon. He modifies cars, mostly Hondas. He'll turn your car into a show vehicle, a circuit racer, or set it up for Kanjo street racing.

Kanjo racing is illegal. It's a public highway, but for those who race on it, it's a raceway with a moving slalom built in.

Racers start at an unspecified location and hit the roads en masse. Twenty cars at a time race around people like you and me -- just going about their daily business on their way home, or to work, to the shops, or wherever.

Furukawa insists Kanjo is an activity for the young. He says it's a perfect place for the young to go out and fool around, have fun, and generally be young. But he also points out the dangers of racing on the public highway.

Unsurprisingly, the cops take a dim view to people racing modified cars on the open road. Furukawa himself has been arrested numerous times and predicts that should he be caught again, he'd have to close his business.

Kanjo street racing is not for the faint of heart (pictures)

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Police presence is one thing, but an intangible criminal record is nothing compared with what can happen out there. People crash. People crash and they die.

The cars that Furukawa modifies are mostly Hondas, as he likes the way they drive. He says to make a Kanjo car, you leave the engine stock and modify the suspension for best grip.

While there's bucketfuls of danger involved, the lure of the Kanjo is great. The thrill of race in controlled conditions is big enough, but as with most things, having the opportunity to play in the open is a thrill.

While Furukawa claims that it's only for the young, he says that some skills learned on the Kanjo have filtered through to this circuit driving: he slaloms through cars on a track, as he did in public.

"Kanjo cannot," he grins, "get out of me."