The Toyota Kaikan Museum and plant tour offers a behind-the-scenes look into Japan’s automotive past and future.
The museum is a 15-minute walk from Mikawa-Toyota Station.
From Nagoya Station take the JR Tokaido Line towards Toyohashi. At Okazaki change to the Aichikanjo Tetsudo Line in the direction of Kozoji. It takes about one hour and 20 minutes in total, and costs ¥1,020 one way.
The Kaikan Museum is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and is closed on Sundays, company holidays and for occasional maintenance
Plant tours are held once daily, last approximately two hours and are free of charge
Online or telephone reservations are required for the tour
The automotive industry plays a vital role in Japan’s economy, and Aichi is home to one of the world’s largest automakers: Toyota.
The influence of the Toyota Motor Corporation on Japan is enormous. You just need to look around Aichi to see its impact. But if you want to really understand how the company functions, and where it is headed, you should pay a visit to the informative and entertaining Toyota Kaikan Museum and take the plant tour.
Whether you are a devoted car enthusiast or just a curious tourist, the museum and tour offer something for everyone, providing a fascinating glimpse into the workings of a global manufacturing giant.
The starting point of the tour, which is offered in both English and Japanese, is the Toyota Kaikan Museum, a shining exhibition of Toyota’s engineering excellence. Here you can see examples of the newest models that have rolled straight off the factory floor, even getting behind the wheel of some of them.
Various exhibitions touch on the history and future of Toyota Motor Corporation. On display is the company’s latest technology, with robot displays. If you are lucky, you may witness first-hand demonstrations of Toyota’s latest artificial intelligence technology.
The next stop is the Toyota Plant assembly line, where you can see in real time how the vehicles come together from an overhead vantage point. Then make your way to the Toyota Plant Welding Shop, where robots take over from man. Watch in amazement as these immense, dexterous machines piece the automobile together with surprising grace and precision.
The tour concludes back at the Kaikan museum, where your knowledgeable tour guide will answer your questions and teach you about jidoka (“automation with a human touch”), and the Toyota Way.
Car lovers will not want to miss out on the two other Toyota-based museums in Aichi. The Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry provides an excellent tour through the history of the company with interactive exhibitions of robotics and modern production technologies.
If you prefer classic cars from decades past, you’ll enjoy the Toyota Automobile Museum and its exhibition of cars from Japan, Europe, and the US from the late 19th century up to the 1960s.