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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yattaaaaa! Got it! "The BRG": the first Mini 5-door on the road in Shiga, Japan.
Love everything about the car so far, but will confess to being a bit stumped by the navigation system - it's been 18 years since I owned any kind of car, and I've never had one with navigation before. May actually have to read the manual!
Absolutely delighted with my choice of colour, including the contrasting roof and bonnet stripes. Looks great, I think, with the black Victory wheels.

Here's the full(ish) spec:
F55 Mini Cooper S in British Racing Green, black bonnet stripes, white roof, folding wing mirrors with chrome finish. Chrome line exterior. JCW spoiler.
16" alloy wheels, black Victory spoke (plus chequered flag valve caps!)
Automatic sports transmission, electronic damper control, mini driving mode
Multifunction JCW sports leather steering wheel, stainless pedal covers
Carbon black colour line, piano black interior surface, anthracite headliner
Cloth/ leather sports seats (diamond / carbon black), armrest, auto air conditioning, Head Up Display, storage compartment pack, light package, visibility package (inc. heated windscreen), Media XL package, Professional Navigation system, Mini Excitement pack
LED headlights, daytime running lights, fog lights
Rear-view camera + rear parking distance control
Comfort access, driver assist package (inc. adaptive cruise control)

















 

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Congratulations Shigaman! I know you've been waiting a while for the car but it sure looks like it was worth it! The colour combo is beautiful. That picture with the rainbow is gorgeous. Happy driving!
 

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Stunning car love it. No wonder you two look so happy. Pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Play with the sat nav I find it quite easy though I haven't yetgot to grips with the handwriting recognition or voice control.I just select the post code from the alphabet it gives you to . Select from
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Congratulations Shigaman! I know you've been waiting a while for the car but it sure looks like it was worth it! The colour combo is beautiful. That picture with the rainbow is gorgeous. Happy driving!
Thanks, Whee! Glad you approve! Actually, I have no complaints about the delivery time. They told me 3 months at the outside, and in the end it was with me in jut 10 weeks. Couldn't be happier with the service I've received from Mini Shiga.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Good looking MCS and the black roof white stripes work really well.. enjoy.:)
Are those your winter wheels.????????
Thanks, Dinger - glad you agree about the contrasting roof and stripes. I thought it would work, but you never quite know till you see it "in the metal". I couldn't be happier with the colour and finish (had 'G'zox' glass coating applied by the dealer, which will hopefully keep it looking great for years to come). Those are my summer wheels/tyres, but my winters will look the same: I bought another set of Victory spokes with Pirelli winter tyres. The dealer is looking after those in their "tyre hotel" and will swap them over when I take the car in for it's 1-month check in December.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Stunning car love it. No wonder you two look so happy. Pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Select from
Thanks, Jeremy - yes, we're chuffed to bits. Have spent the last 18 years on buses and trains - fantastically reliable in Japan, but tiring to use on a day-to-day basis. Could have bought a second hand car years ago, but decided to hang on till I could afford a car I really wanted to drive. My son is studying Medicine at Bristol Uni and while he's a British citizen, because I'm an expat we've been paying full fees (fair enough) - with living expenses etc. has worked out at about £50,000 per year. He graduates next June, so there's light at the end of the tunnel, both for him and us! The day after I paid his last tuition fee was the day I placed the order for my Mini! Still have to get to grips with the Navigator. I'm normally OK with technology (long-time Mac user), but this is going to take some time...:)
Ian
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Looks great in a classic British colour
Thanks, Peterg - I'm delighted with the colour, though I could so easily have gone for one of the reds, or Volcanic Orange, or Pepper White; in fact, there aren't many colours I don't like.
 

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Beautiful looking car, I hope you enjoy it. Have been out and about in mine today and I am still smiling. Great colour combination, as for the Navigation I ve had it in many cars and it does take me a bit of getting used to but Im getting there and I m sure you will to.
Once again congrats.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Beautiful looking car, I hope you enjoy it. Have been out and about in mine today and I am still smiling. Great colour combination, as for the Navigation I ve had it in many cars and it does take me a bit of getting used to but Im getting there and I m sure you will to.
Once again congrats.
Thank you, Simon. Fortunately my road trips next week are all on roads I already know, so I can take my time with learning how to operate the Navigation system. I've only just realised that the operation manual is built in to the console, but I now know where I need to look for basic instructions. Thanks again.
 

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Stunning


I've been to Japan once (to Fukuoka and the surrounding areas) and almost every car was white!


Does the MINI fall under Kei Car regs?
 

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Gosh after paying that much in fees Iwont moan about what we pay any more. You'll have great fun going through the options on screen. . Amazing what these cars can do!
 
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Fabulous looking car mate!! Like the Union Jack sill strips - a nice little hidden bit of bling ;0) Now, go and tear up Japan!!! :0)
 

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Stunning photos! So glad you are happy with the car Shigaman.

The British Racing Green really suits the car and so does the white roof/ 16" black wheels combo! I hope it was worth the wait and that you're happy with the spec! Sounds like you had every option ticked anyways!

Great photos again and I wish you loads of happy miles :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Stunning
I've been to Japan once (to Fukuoka and the surrounding areas) and almost every car was white! Does the MINI fall under Kei Car regs?
Thanks, Profiteroles - The F55 doesn't qualify for Kei car status - apart from the engine being too big (kei max = 660cc) the car is too long (kei max = 3.4m, F55= 4m), and too wide (kei max = 1.48m, F55 =1.73m). Still, the relatively low emissions on the Mini do put me in a lower road tax bracket.
I've only been to Fukuoka a couple of times, but I used to live further south on Kyushu. A beautiful part of the country. Did you drive while you were here? Although I haven't owned a car for ages, I have driven here quite a bit in the (distant) past. Have to say I much prefer driving in the UK. Many Japanese drivers tend to have a rather...errr...flexible attitude to road rules here - so, for example, overtaking on the inside is commonplace (you really have to keep your wits about you and use the mirrors constantly). In the cities, you share the road with legions of folk on bicycles and mopeds, who weave in and out of the traffic at will, and in country areas the roads are generally narrow and flanked on either side by deep drainage ditches. I've know more than one person who's driven into one of these. There are almost no roundabouts - so it's pretty much all junctions with traffic lights (that auto stop/start on the engine will certainly earn its keep!) - and, worst of all, the speed limits are low - just 50 km on many country roads and generally 80km on the pay-as-you-go motorways (though the consensus is that you can drive anything up to 100km with impunity: Ooooh!). Police speed traps abound. Still, all that said, the roads are well surfaced (pot holes rare), and out in the country at least, you can drive amid some stunning scenery. I love filling up here too - garage attendants greeting your arrival with enthusiastic shouts, one wiping down your windscreen as another fills the tank, offers to clean off your floor mats while you wait etc. etc. I'm so much looking forward to exploring more of the country in The BRG, and in no time at all, "driving Japanese" will become second nature (watch out on the left-hand side!).
Thanks again for the comment. I hope you and Junior are getting along just fine (I'm sure you are!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Fabulous looking car mate!! Like the Union Jack sill strips - a nice little hidden bit of bling ;0) Now, go and tear up Japan!!! :0)
Thanks, Mister M! My thoughts exactly on the door sill strips! Union Jack mirror caps, rear-view mirror covers and roof decals are quite popular here, but a bit too in-your-face for my liking. The UJ door sills (which were actually thrown in by the dealer) let me fly the flag with a bit more subtlety (and style?) I think. Driving to Kyoto on my first commute in The BRG this morning. Will cut my bus/train travel times by about half, but I'm still leaving extra early so I can enjoy some fun and games en route!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Stunning photos! So glad you are happy with the car Shigaman.
The British Racing Green really suits the car and so does the white roof/ 16" black wheels combo! I hope it was worth the wait and that you're happy with the spec! Sounds like you had every option ticked anyways!
Great photos again and I wish you loads of happy miles :)
Cheers, Midnight! Over the moon with my F55 - though my wait was next-to-nothing compared to yours! Very happy with the spec, although I do wish ever-so-slightly that I had gone for the sun/moon roof. They are not very popular here - partly because of the searing heat and humidity of the Japanese summer, and partly for reasons of economy. As you say, I had ticked most of the other boxes anyway and decided to save the cash on the roof - but driving alongside Lake Biwa the other night, I thought how nice it would be to be able to open up the roof and take a look at the stars (when stopped, obviously!). I do like the anthracite headliner though, and obviously there wouldn't be very much of this with sun roof. I'm very happy with what I've got...as I hope you are! :)
 

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Thanks, Profiteroles - The F55 doesn't qualify for Kei car status - apart from the engine being too big (kei max = 660cc) the car is too long (kei max = 3.4m, F55= 4m), and too wide (kei max = 1.48m, F55 =1.73m). Still, the relatively low emissions on the Mini do put me in a lower road tax bracket.
I've only been to Fukuoka a couple of times, but I used to live further south on Kyushu. A beautiful part of the country. Did you drive while you were here? Although I haven't owned a car for ages, I have driven here quite a bit in the (distant) past. Have to say I much prefer driving in the UK. Many Japanese drivers tend to have a rather...errr...flexible attitude to road rules here - so, for example, overtaking on the inside is commonplace (you really have to keep your wits about you and use the mirrors constantly). In the cities, you share the road with legions of folk on bicycles and mopeds, who weave in and out of the traffic at will, and in country areas the roads are generally narrow and flanked on either side by deep drainage ditches. I've know more than one person who's driven into one of these. There are almost no roundabouts - so it's pretty much all junctions with traffic lights (that auto stop/start on the engine will certainly earn its keep!) - and, worst of all, the speed limits are low - just 50 km on many country roads and generally 80km on the pay-as-you-go motorways (though the consensus is that you can drive anything up to 100km with impunity: Ooooh!). Police speed traps abound. Still, all that said, the roads are well surfaced (pot holes rare), and out in the country at least, you can drive amid some stunning scenery. I love filling up here too - garage attendants greeting your arrival with enthusiastic shouts, one wiping down your windscreen as another fills the tank, offers to clean off your floor mats while you wait etc. etc. I'm so much looking forward to exploring more of the country in The BRG, and in no time at all, "driving Japanese" will become second nature (watch out on the left-hand side!).
Thanks again for the comment. I hope you and Junior are getting along just fine (I'm sure you are!)
Actually it was a coach tour I went on with my then-boyfriend (he was Macanese but living in the UK after going to uni here). The tour was from Hong Kong, and the guide only spoke Cantonese and Japanese... so I had to rely on my bf to translate for me. Was quite funny! We stayed in some of the hotsprings hotels - that was an experience! We were going to go over mount aso in the cable car but when we got to the visitor centre the sulphur cloud meant we had to cancel it - so we went round the 1950s visitor centre instead (watching an "educational" movie about the volcano that was truly horrific - I kept expecting Troy McClure to make an appearance). The last two nights we stayed in the 5-star Grand Hyatt Fukuoka which was nice! It's built into a shopping centre so quite handy for the late night spree! All in all great fun, and the coach journeys were really interesting going through all the country roads and little villages.

But yeah, lots of white cars! If I lived in Japan and drove a green car I would have to call it Suntory Melon (crazy drink!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Actually it was a coach tour I went on with my then-boyfriend (he was Macanese but living in the UK after going to uni here). The tour was from Hong Kong, and the guide only spoke Cantonese and Japanese... so I had to rely on my bf to translate for me. Was quite funny! We stayed in some of the hotsprings hotels - that was an experience! We were going to go over mount aso in the cable car but when we got to the visitor centre the sulphur cloud meant we had to cancel it - so we went round the 1950s visitor centre instead (watching an "educational" movie about the volcano that was truly horrific - I kept expecting Troy McClure to make an appearance). The last two nights we stayed in the 5-star Grand Hyatt Fukuoka which was nice! It's built into a shopping centre so quite handy for the late night spree! All in all great fun, and the coach journeys were really interesting going through all the country roads and little villages.

But yeah, lots of white cars! If I lived in Japan and drove a green car I would have to call it Suntory Melon (crazy drink!)
That's quite a coach tour, Profiteroles! Hot spring resorts are the best. Were you in Beppu, perhaps? I've never climbed Mt Aso, though I've passed it several times on the train. Every year there are stories about climbers perishing in the mountains due to sulphur fumes and other poisonous gasses, not to mention landslides. Around 60 climbers were killed by the eruption at Mt Ontake last month. Anyway, glad to know you survived your own trip to tell the tale!

Yes, when I arrived here (1988) pretty much 90% of cars on the road were white and Japanese. That's changed considerably over the years: Japanese cars still prevail (as you'd expect) but a lot more foreign cars now too - the German cars are all popular (including, dare I say, the Mini!!! :))
 
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