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Old 03-10-2016, 11:57 AM   #1
Boggie1688
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Default Anyone ever take a Factory Tour in Japan?

Hey everyone,

I've recently purchased tickets to fly to Japan in September. I'll be gone the entire month, starting in Hokkaido and then moving south. The main goal of the trip is to eat, drink, and experience Japanese culture.

I'd like to work several factory tours into my trip. Subaru, Nissan, Toyota, and Mazda.

Does anyone have any experience with this? I don't particularly need to have an english tour. I don't speak Japanese and seeing the operation is enough. I've found info for the Nissan tour, but does anyone have any info on a Subaru, Toyota, or Mazda tour?

Lastly, I hear there are a lot of proving grounds in Tochigi prefecture. Does anyone know if these facilities provide tours?

Thanks!
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Old 03-10-2016, 12:13 PM   #2
john pifer
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You're probably going to have your fill after touring one of the factories.
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Old 03-10-2016, 12:30 PM   #3
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only the fukushima nuclear plant a few years ago
It sucked!
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Old 03-10-2016, 12:32 PM   #4
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Just remember to take off your shoes at the door!
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Old 03-10-2016, 03:29 PM   #5
I Like Cooters
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Here's a page describing how to get a tour of Subaru's Gunma Yagima Plant.
http://www.subaru.jp/about/showroom/vc/
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Old 03-11-2016, 02:10 AM   #6
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I hope if you do make it to the factory you share plenty of pics!
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Old 03-11-2016, 02:44 AM   #7
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Are you going on a Nissan factory tour, or the heritage museum tour?

http://nissan-heritage-collection.com/TOUR/
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Old 03-11-2016, 01:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dorian7 View Post
I hope if you do make it to the factory you share plenty of pics!
I will! I'm lugging all my camera gear with me and bought a nice wide angle lens just for this trip!

Quote:
Originally Posted by I Like Cooters View Post
Here's a page describing how to get a tour of Subaru's Gunma Yagima Plant.
http://www.subaru.jp/about/showroom/vc/
Thanks Cooter! This is very helpful and exactly what I am looking for.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Onehunga View Post
Are you going on a Nissan factory tour, or the heritage museum tour?

http://nissan-heritage-collection.com/TOUR/
I had the link to the factory tour. This is great too! I'll add it to the list of things to sort through before finalizing the itinerary.


I'm also trying to see if I can get into the bridgestone factory. I love the smell of tires!
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Old 03-11-2016, 03:21 PM   #9
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I'm sure a factory tour watching Subaru build a bunch of base model Foresters and Imprezas is going to be thrilling.

I've been to Japan and it amuses me what people that have never been there think Japan is like, as if it's some JDM supercar mecca like something out of a Fast and Furious movie.

I hate to pee on the parade here, but Japan is just like any other country, especially outside of Tokyo in the smaller cities. Temper your expectations.
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Old 03-12-2016, 01:04 AM   #10
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I was out climbing today and met a cool dude from Tokyo who was on his last day of his climbing vacation and had no partner. So I took him to five of the best routes in Little Cottonwood Canyon and had a great time.

He drives a Honda Fit at great expense so he can get out of Tokyo to go climbing and I told him about JDM madness and how people stick the beginner driver sticker on their Hondas, lol. He told me his friend has one of those stickers sewn onto his pants zipper.
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Old 03-12-2016, 01:15 AM   #11
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Quote:
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only the fukushima nuclear plant a few years ago
It sucked!
This. Been to japan...it sux. Pretty countryside though.
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Old 03-12-2016, 11:35 AM   #12
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This. Been to japan...it sux. Pretty countryside though.
Huh.. pretty sure you're alone on that one. I had a blast when I was there.
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Old 03-12-2016, 12:41 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by xDezor View Post
Huh.. pretty sure you're alone on that one. I had a blast when I was there.
Meh. Im a 6'3" 210 lbs Texan. I like my open spaces. Too crowded for my taste and im not huge on asian cultures.... Thanks to working in the oil patch I've been to Vietnam, South Korea, Singapore, Tokyo and Bangkok...not a fan.

Vienna is my kind of place
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Old 03-13-2016, 12:26 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by john pifer View Post
You're probably going to have your fill after touring one of the factories.
I'm thinking the same. With all there is to see and do in Japan, I'm not sure I'd spend time touring an auto factory on a vacation there, unless I had a really strong urge to see a particular manufacturer build cars. Don't get me wrong - it's pretty neat to see an auto factory run, but they are all fairly similar. If I felt like I wanted to immerse yourself into a country's culture, I wouldn't spend too much of my time in factories. With one month in the country, you probably have spare time to hit one, but I wouldn't do more than one.
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Old 03-13-2016, 12:45 PM   #15
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If you're willing to register at RS25.com, then you'll be able to read this fascinating story from 2004 about a self-guided factory tour.
http://www.rs25.com/forums/f12/t1384...avy-japan.html

Using "Hybrid Mode," which can be selected from a pull down menu labelled "Display Mode" on the right side near the top of the pane, displayed the thread in the order posted (oldest first), but I had trouble moving to the second page.

Last edited by I Like Cooters; 03-13-2016 at 01:07 PM.
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Old 03-13-2016, 01:01 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FaastLegacy View Post
I'm sure a factory tour watching Subaru build a bunch of base model Foresters and Imprezas is going to be thrilling.

I've been to Japan and it amuses me what people that have never been there think Japan is like, as if it's some JDM supercar mecca like something out of a Fast and Furious movie.

I hate to pee on the parade here, but Japan is just like any other country, especially outside of Tokyo in the smaller cities. Temper your expectations.

How long were you there? I think you are exaggerating the blandness. I lived there twice and visited back several years ago. On that most recent trip, we covered pretty much the entire main island(distance wise) from Hiroshima to Misawa. I saw drool-worthy cars every stop along the way. I agree it most likely won't be like "every car" like F&F; but, don't make it sound like he won't see anything either.

And if you're a "true" Subaru fan, the Gunma factory also has the museum. I'd take the factory tour over the STI museum/dealer.
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Old 03-14-2016, 07:46 PM   #17
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I worked for 3 years in a GM assembly plant. Got to see the Camaro Assembly line go up from the very beginning and participate in the building of the assembly line. I got to see every inch of the assembly line and learn a lot about the assembly process. Still after all that time I was still fascinated with the whole assembly plant and would look forward to going out on the assembly line floor every day.

I doubt they will let you take pictures, but if you are interested in cars and the technology to build them, it will be a blast.
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Old 03-15-2016, 02:29 AM   #18
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My wife is originally from Gunma. She said anyone can go for the Subaru tour but you need a group of at least 10 people. It's a 2 hour tour and it's free.
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Old 03-15-2016, 11:26 AM   #19
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Shoot 10 people?

There are only four of us, two couples. I'm not even sure the girls will want to go!

Either way, I got a few months to figure this out. I've been slowly gathering information and organizing it. That way, final planning happen 3 months out.

I noticed that Japanese companies don't tend to set schedules further than 3 months out.

IE: Bridgestone won't have a tour schedule set for September until July. Flights within the country of Japan can't be purchased over 3 months out. It is bizarre!
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Old 03-15-2016, 03:26 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boggie1688 View Post
Shoot 10 people?

There are only four of us, two couples. I'm not even sure the girls will want to go!
ummm, I'm positive the girls won't want to go.

Just hang around out front until you see a group and jump in with them. It's 10 minimum right?
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Old 03-15-2016, 06:00 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thenoodler View Post
My wife is originally from Gunma. She said anyone can go for the Subaru tour but you need a group of at least 10 people. It's a 2 hour tour and it's free.
I was told the exact same thing when my hotel's concierge looked into it for me recently
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Old 03-16-2016, 06:04 PM   #22
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I have gone to Japan many times, but did not really go to any factory tours because I didn't want to spend about 2 hours in a factory. There is just so much to see and do in Japan. I did go to the Toyota Mega Web and History Museum they have in Odaiba, that was fun, they will let you test drive cars there, as long as you have an International Drivers License. Best way to test drive a car is to ask the concierge to book a car since it is all in Japanese or go there early and book one there.

Yokohama offers a Nissan Factory tour both in Japanese and English (limited hours) and there is also the Nissan Engine museum there.

I did not make it to the Toyota factory tour on my last trip when I was staying in Tokyo (4 hour train ride), but I read that this one is worth checking out. The STi museum/gallery is very small, but the cars they put on display is really cool.

If you are into diecast car models check out Akihabara, there are small shops on the main street, but TamTam at the end is a great place to buy them and Yodobashi have some very cheap model kits.
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Old 03-16-2016, 09:53 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustyWRC View Post
How long were you there? I think you are exaggerating the blandness. I lived there twice and visited back several years ago. On that most recent trip, we covered pretty much the entire main island(distance wise) from Hiroshima to Misawa. I saw drool-worthy cars every stop along the way. I agree it most likely won't be like "every car" like F&F; but, don't make it sound like he won't see anything either.

And if you're a "true" Subaru fan, the Gunma factory also has the museum. I'd take the factory tour over the STI museum/dealer.
10 days. I did Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, and Hiroshima.

It's a beautiful country, don't get me wrong. But it's not this JDM fantasyland that people think it is.
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Old 03-17-2016, 04:23 PM   #24
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Quote:
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10 days. I did Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, and Hiroshima.

It's a beautiful country, don't get me wrong. But it's not this JDM fantasyland that people think it is.

I think you just had bad timing. I was there 14 days(the last trip) and saw plenty. Took about 2000 pics on the trip and bet half were cars. And 75% of that Subaru's. Saw most every "common" version of WRX and STi. Even saw the then new S-GT(not a fantasy car of course). Numerous LSTIs(sedans and wagons). B4s and several Blitzens. Skylines galore(old and new). Rx-7s/8s. EVOs(III was the oldest I saw). Even saw a GTR the 1st morining 8 months before it made it stateside. I was all giddy. I guess it depends on where you go and how much you pay attention. SOOOOO much to see there.
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