The brief history of Toyota
No matter which part of the world you come from, you probably have heard of the name Toyota. Did you know, however, the inspiring story behind this globally recognized Japanese car-manufacturing brand?
Toyota Industries Corporation was founded in 1926 under the name Toyoda Automatic Loom Works, Ltd. The founding father of Toyota, Sakichi Toyoda, was a visionary who strived to bring change to his society from early years. As a 14 year old boy he was already thinking about how he could be useful to the people and serve his country. After he graduated from elementary school, he helped his father in the carpentry trade. On days when he had some free time, Sakichi read newspapers and organized study groups among the local youth to encourage self-learning.
His life story is very inspiring, and teaches us that great achievements are born from sacrifices, hard work, and big dreams. Sakichi’s first invention was the Toyoda wooden handloom, for which he received a patent at the age of 24. This loom increased the efficiency of the traditional loom by 40 to 50 percent. This was the start of his journey as an inventor.
Devoted to innovation and technology, Sakichi traveled to places like the USA, the UK, and China to learn different ways of efficiency in the production process from others. Even during the times when traveling was very challenging, he did not stop pursuing his dreams. He would underline how important it is to be open-minded – “Open the window. It’s a big world out there!”
On-site learning on the Japanese-style management
If your interests focus on the field of management, Toyota factory is a must-go place during your stay in Japan. The Toyota Production System (TPS), also known as Just-in-time (JIT) manufacturing, is aimed at reducing production time and increasing efficiency.
Your trip will be a great learning experience to discover the Japanese attention to details and their commitment to always strive for perfection.
In addition, you will be able to see the newest models of the Toyota cars at the end of the tour!
The tours in Toyota’s manufacturing plants take place every day from Monday to Friday and are free of charge. You will be taken to the assembly line of one of the three plants: Motomachi Plant, Takaoka Plant, or Tsutsumi Plant. The meeting point for plant tours is the Toyota Kaikan Museum. You have an option to choose between English and Japanese tours. The duration of the tour varies depending on the number of people, but it is usually around 2.5 hours. You can book your tour at the official Toyota website.
Toyota Plant Tours information
Toyota Kaikan Museum
1 Toyota-cho, Toyota-shi, Aichi Prefecture 471-0826
The Toyota Kaikan Museum and Toyota facilities are near Nagoya. If you are going to use local transportation, one of the best ways to get there is from Nagoya. There are many options available, as listed below.
- From Nagoya Station, you can take the Higashiyama Subway Line to Fushimi Station (3 min.). Then, you get on the 50 min. shared track Tsurumai Subway Line-Meitetsu Toyota Line to Toyotashi Station. From there, you can either take a 20 min. taxi or a 25 min. Meitetsu bus.
- From Meitetsu Nagoya station (4 min. walk from Nagoya Station), you can take the 20 min. Meitetsu Nagoya Line to Chiryu Station, and then the 20 min. Meitetsu Mikawa Line to Tsuchihashi Station. From there, you can either take a 10 min. taxi or a 15 min. Toyota Oiden bus (and walking).
- From Nagoya Station, you can take the 30 min. JR Chuo Main Line to Kozoji Station, and then the 50 min. Aichi Kanjo Line to Mikawa-Toyota Station.
- From Nagoya Station, you can take the 30 min. JR Tokaido Main Line to Mitakawa-Anjo Station, and then continue on the same line for 10 minutes to Mikawa-Toyota Station.
- In case of routes 3 and 4, from Mikawa-Toyota Station, you can either take a 20 min. walk, a 5 min. taxi, a 5 min. Meitetsu bus, a 5 min. Toyota Oiden bus (and a 5 min. walk).
It is important to plan your visit in advance. Depending on the month of the year, all the tours may be fully booked for a few weeks. You can make a reservation starting three months prior to the desired tour date.