Hiroshima Museums: Mazda Museum マツダミュージアム
The Mazda Museum in Hiroshima has become a popular attraction for foreign visitors who flock to the free morning English language tours of the museum and production line.
The tour begins, after a short bus journey to the museum, with a short, introductory video to Mazda, its products and company history.
Mazda began life in 1920 in Hiroshima and made its first automobile in the 1930's - a three-wheel autoricksaw. Mazda is still headquartered in Hiroshima and has a similar economic effect on the city as Toyota has to Toyota city and Nagoya in Aichi Prefecture. The site where the museum is located also houses Mazda's private port, workers' housing and the assembly plants.
The 90-minute tour then moves to an exhibition area of Mazda models from the very first autorickshaw to its latest models.
Other sections are devoted to Mazda's rotary engine where a Mazda racing car that won at 1991 Le Mans 24-hour race is on display and the manufacturing process is explained. Visitors also exhibits of future developments planned by the company for its next-generation models.
Next up is a view of the production line where visitors can see Mazda cars being assembled (no photography is allowed here).
The Mazda Museum has a small shop and information area on the first floor, which stocks Mazda related goods along with products for the Hiroshima Toyo Carp baseball team and Sanfrecce Hiroshima soccer team, both of which are sponsored by Mazda.
Access - how to get to the Mazda Museum, Hiroshima
3-1 Shinchi, Aki-gun, Fuchu-cho
730-8670 Hiroshima Prefecture
Tel: 082 252 5050
Tours in English start at 10am; Japanese language tours begin at 1.30pm. Open daily except for weekends and company holidays.
Tours need to be booked online. There is no photography allowed of the production line.
The Mazda Museum is a short walk from Mukainada Station, two stops from Hiroshima Station on the Sanyo or Kure line. Enter at the Ujina Higashi Gate. *Express trains do not stop at Mukainada.