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Published: August 19th 2015
Toyota Commemorative Museum
Most foreigners probably don't realise (I certainly didn't) that Toyota started as a textiles equipment manufacturer, specialising in particular in (at the time) cutting edge looms, and building a respectable business out of it too. But somewhere along the line the founder's son decided to blaze a new path in automotive manufacturing, and as they say, the rest is history...
After five days in historical Kyoto to cap off my sojourn in the Kansai region, I made my way eastwards for a brief stopover at Nagoya en route to my ultimate destination that is the capital Tokyo.
Not exactly a particularly famous or popular tourist destination, Nagoya nevertheless is in fact the third largest city in Japan, and its economic importance comes from being the automotive heartland, in particular the headquarters for Japan's car manufacturing giant Toyota. Along with Yokohama (other automotive hub and industrial city), one could think of the two as Japan's version of Detroit in the US, though roaming Nagoya's streets, its rather difficult to think of the two as being alike in any other way at all. In any case, with this in mind, I couldn't help but be reminded of an American movie starring Michael Keaton called Gung Ho that I saw as a kid, about the Japanese automotive manufacturing revolution, and its effects on the American auto industry...
Never wanting to pass up the opportunity to check out a city's local highlight, I spent a fruitful afternoon at the Toyota Commemorative Museum, learning that the company in fact initially started as a manufacturer
of high-performing textile looms, before moving on to its better-known business of automobiles, almost forced by circumstance. As they say, the rest is history.
Stayed at Nagoya Wasabi Guesthouse.
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