Nagoya Tip #1: Toyota Museum

Last summer, I had the distinct pleasure to travel to Nagoya to watch Harumafuji win on senshuraku. In response to several requests, I will definitely provide tips about Nagoya. But since I only spent a few days there, I don’t know nearly as much about places there as I do about Tokyo.

Nagoya was a great trip. Shinkansen was very fast, clean, and prompt. My wife and I had our two young children with us, so navigating Tokyo station with them (and luggage) was a challenge. But once we got to Nagoya, we were ushered around by either taxi or a friend of ours.

The sumo venue is right next to Nagoya Castle. I hear it is undergoing renovations in preparation for the Olympics in 2020. I will post about that soon. I have pictures. Also, I will post about the food. There are distinct culinary styles for Nagoya food. But first, I wanted to post about the real highlight of the trip: the Toyota Museum.

This was a fascinating experience. Some of you may know that Nintendo was actually started as a company that made Hanafuda cards. I actually have some Nintendo Hanafuda cards and will post pictures. Likewise, Toyota has a history in the textiles industry before making cars.

Toyota Museum Textile Machinery Pavilion

In the museum, you see the steady progression and advancement of the textile industry, starting with hand spun cotton and moving through modern automated spinning, weaving, loom technologies underlying cloth manufacturing. They have a hands-on demo where they take a ball of cotton and show you how it gets spun into thread.

From that huge room — which I spent far too much time in — they go to forging metal, then to pressing steel and making cars. It really is a great place to spend at least a few hours. I spent a whole day there with the kids. They’ve got more hands on demos of the manufacturing processes and little toys that the kids can make. We laughed when we found this giant piston with a museum staff member hiding, asleep, underneath. They’ve also got a robot band. There’s a restaurant there and a bit of an arcade for the kids.

3 thoughts on “Nagoya Tip #1: Toyota Museum

  1. Thanks for this Andy. On the subject of Toyota (the place), when I was passing through Nagoya very briefly last year, I watched a football/ soccer match with Nagoya Grampus playing (stadium is in Toyota town). It’s an incredibly large stadium and the fans were electric, Japanese fans at football and baseball are very fun to watch matches with.

    • Yes. Another experience I hope to enjoy. I’ve walked by the baseball stadium in Yokohama several times but I need to actually go to a game. I know it’s not Tokyo but that’s another great spot.

      • I saw baseball at the Mazda Zoom-Zoom Stadium in Hiroshima. The fans were absolutely incredible. Very different atmosphere to watching your average MLB game (not that there is a right way to watch it). I may try and get to a game in Tokyo this summer and report back!


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