Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology 産業技術記念館
The Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology close to JR Nagoya Station in Nagoya is one of Nagoya's best museums and a main attraction in this industrial power house of a city in central Japan.
The Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry & Technology is housed in the original red brick buildings of the Toyoda (the forerunner of present-day Toyota Corp) textile factory and research center.
The Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry & Technology is divided in two parts in separate buildings: the Textile Machinery Pavilion and the Automobile Pavilion.
Textile Machinery Pavilion
The Textile Machinery Pavilion begins with the history of spinning various types of fiber throughout the world including hemp, cotton, flax, wool, ramie, nylon and silk.
Wall panels in Japanese and English outline how cotton spinning was brought to Japan from India via China over 1,200 years ago. Glass cases house examples of hand woven textiles from all over the world and Japan such as Indonesian ikat, traditional Ainu clothing and local fabrics from Kochi and Tochigi prefectures. In this area of the museum there are demonstrations using early spinning wheels on how yarn was spun from cotton.
Also on display are replicas of pre-industrial and industrial spinning frames, many of them from Britain, such as James Hargreaves' Spinning Jenny, Samuel Crompton's Spinning Mule and Richard Arkwright's Water Frame.
Sakichi Toyoda (1867-1930), the founding father of the Toyota empire, developed a wooden hand loom in 1890 and went on to patent an automatic loom based on a British model in 1924, which guaranteed the financial success of his enterprise.
The Toyoda Wooden Hand Loom developed by Sakichi and his later Circular Loom (1906) and Type G Automatic Loom are also on display.
There are live demonstrations of these and other spinning frames and looms by attendants in a variety of languages.
The exhibits move on to more recent Taisho era power looms and contemporary looms controlled by computer.
The energy and noise generated by all these machines in operation recreates the atmosphere of a proper working factory, which this impressive, brick-walled space once was.
The second building of the Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry & Technology is all about car production. Toyoda's son, Kiichiro, who was sent to America and Europe to study production methods overseas, developed the model AA passenger car - Toyota's first mass-produced automobile introduced in 1936.
Various production line units are on display including a US-made 600 ton press and the the latest Japanese robot technology for welding and painting. There are also sections on car safety
A number of classic Toyota models such as the Cedric, Celica, Corolla and Corona are on show along with the iconic Model AA.
It was easy to spend half a day at the Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry & Technology, which had a number of fun activities for kids, such as making model cars and the Technoland area - a learning space for children with rides and an attached children's library.
The Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry & Technology also includes a restaurant "Brick Age" as well as a cafe and museum shop.
The foyer has an orchestra of music-playing Partner Robots to serenade visitors as they leave at 11.10am, 1.20pm, 2.40pm, 3.40pm and 4.40pm.
Take a local (futsu) Meitetsu train one stop north from Meitetsu Nagoya Station to Sako. The Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology is a 3 minute walk to your right from Sako Station.
Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology is the first stop on the Me~guru Nagoya Sightseeing Route Bus from Nagoya Station Bus Terminal.
The museum is about 25 minute on foot from Nagoya Station, if you prefer to walk.
Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry & Technology
1-35 Noritake Shinmachi 4-chome
Tel: 052 551 6115
Admission: 500 yen; a combined ticket with the nearby Noritake Garden costs 800 yen.
Hours: 9.30am-5pm (last admission 4.30pm)
Closed on Mondays or the next day if Monday is a holiday.
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