Japan is famous for her factory tours. One of the best that we visited was the Mazda Factory Tour at the head office in Hiroshima. The Mazda Factory is located just a 6 minute train ride from Hiroshima and is very easy to get to. The Mazda Tour includes a guided tour around the Hiroshima Mazda Museum, then a bus trip through the plant. The visit also includes a tour of active production lines. All in all its a superb visit and a great free thing to do in Japan, for us it was the best of the Japan car factory tours.
What's in This Article?
- How to Book the Mazda Factory Tour Japan
- Where Is the Mazda Factory Japan?
- Where to Stay to visit the Mazda Factory Tour Hiroshima
- How to get to the Mazda Factory Hiroshima
- Mazda Museum Hiroshima History
- Mazda Factory Tour – What to Expect.
- Leaving Japan with Our Own Mazda
- Like Factory Tours in Japan?
How to Book the Mazda Factory Tour Japan
Tours of the Mazda Factory occur daily in both English and Japanese. There are no tours on weekends or company holidays. The English tour begins at 10:00 an the Japanese tour at 13:30. Each English tour takes about 90 minutes, Japanese tours are around 60 minutes.
The Mazda Hiroshima tours are free, but you must book in advance as there are limited tickets. You can make Mazda Museum Reservations via telephone or email Mazda Museum reservations on the Mazda website.
How Many People on a Mazda Factory Tour?
The capacity is 150 per tour – around 3 bus loads. Groups of more than 20 can only be accommodated on a Japanese tour.
Mazda Factory Tour Times
Where Is the Mazda Factory Japan?
The Mazda Factory in Japan is located 5 minutes walk from the JR Mukainada Station., close to Hiroshima. This is Mazda’s head office building.
Where to Stay to visit the Mazda Factory Tour Hiroshima
It easy to base yourself in Hiroshima and visit the Mazda Tour Hiroshima – stay near the train station for easy access, or grab a budget option in the city centre. Here are our recommendations.
APA Hotel Hiroshima-Ekimae Ohashi
732-0828 Hiroshima, Hiroshima, Minami-ku Kyobashicho 2-26, Japan
Very close to the train station (there is a covered walkway) there’s 24 hour reception and luggage storage here.
- Great location
- Flat Screen TV with BBC World News
- Fridge & Kettle in each room
- Private bathrooms and spacious public baths too
- Free Wifi in all rooms
Hotel Granvia Hiroshima
732-0822 Hiroshima, Hiroshima, Minami-ku Matsubaracho 1-5, Japan
Directly connected to the train station, this hotel gives you 6 restaurants, all rooms with wifi and air conditioning. There are also karaoke rooms if you want to indulge.
- Buffet breakfast available
- Laundry and dry cleaning
- Flat Screen TV
- Wifi in all rooms.
- Fridge and private bathroom in all rooms
730-0811 Hiroshima, Hiroshima, Naka-ku Nakajima-cho 9-5 , Japan
Great location by the Peace Memorial Park, this is a superb location close to the city centre. There’s free wifi throughout this budget option which has shared bathrooms.
- Shared bathrooms
- Wifi throughout
- Slippers and Free toiletries
- Beds have reading lights, table, electric socket and fan.
There’s a kitchen and coffee machine as well as a shared lounge plus a free breakfast is served here too.
How to get to the Mazda Factory Hiroshima
Mazda Factory Japan Map
How to get a Train to Hiroshima Mazda Factory
- Take a train from Hiroshima Station.
- The train should be eastbound on the Sanyo or Kure line.
- Trains depart every 15 minutes. Express trains do NOT stop here.
- Disembark at Mukainada Station.
- The train journey is about 6 minutes.
- Walk 5 minutes from the south exit. There are signposts.
- The train is covered on the JR Pass or costs 190 yen.
Be sure to pick up your JR Pass BEFORE you get into Japan – it will save you a FORTUNE on trains and makes life very easy. You can buy a 7, 14 or 21 day pass and get it shipped to your home address for free. Click for more information and to buy now!
How to get a Bus to Hiroshima Mazda Factory
- From Hiroshima Station take bus 11, 12, 13 via via Mukainada-eki mae(Mazda-honsha mae).
- Disembark at Mukainada-eki mae(Mazda-honsha mae).
- The bus journey is about 15 minutes.
Mazda Museum Hiroshima History
Since 1931 Mazda has been producing automobiles in Hiroshima. Born the Toyo Cork Kogyo company in 1920, the company’s main plant is here in Hiroshima. It has 3 plants and 4 proving grounds in Japan. There are a further 15 sites worldwide producing a total of 1.26 million cars in the year to March 31, 2014
Mazda Factory Tour – What to Expect.
There were about 25 of us on the English speaking tour and the excellent Ms Yamamoto took us on the 90 minute trip. The Hiroshima Mazda Factory tour also includes the Mazda museum tour.
First of all there’s a bus, which is an Isuzu, as Mazda don’t make buses. It takes you on the 10 minute journey from the head office to the Mazda car museum.
Mazda’s plant is huge, and runs 33 buses for employees and visitors across the plant. The plant includes its own energy generating plant (it’s coal burning) and four waste water treatment plants. There’s housing for single workers, plus there’s a bridge that is used ONLY by Mazda.
If you like Factory tours, then you’ll probably enjoy this selection that we did in Japan
We start with a 10 minute corporate video that tells us that the founder didn’t celebrate his 70th birthday as it fell on 6 August 1945, the day the Atomic Bomb dropped. We also learn that following the dropping of the atomic bomb, the plant was up and running with production of three wheeled trucks within 4 months.
Its a lovely corporate video with history, corporate information and a vision that has me drinking the Kool Aid as we head into the museum. There are other groups here including lots of school groups. However, while we’re in the museum and in the assembly line, there’s only our group, so you don’t feel crowded.
Then as we’re given a little of the history of Mazda, we get to see some of the historic models.
What to see at the Mazda Car Museum Hiroshima
Theres a three wheeled truck produced in 1935 – the first was produced in 1931. We see the first four seater car, the R360 Coupe, to the glorious Cosmo Sport 110S and the ubiquitous MX5.
The First Japanese Car to win Le Mans
We get to see the actual first Japanese car – the 787B – that won the Le Mans race in 1991, with a rotary engine. There’s the history and development of the rotary engine, produced between 1967 and 2012.
It’s not been copied by any other auto manufacturer says Mazda. It’s no longer in production, but research continues, Ms Yamamoto tells us.
Production Displays at the Mazda Museum Japan
There’s a display on the clay models that are made, and a full size plastic model. We get to see the stamping process as a display. Then we see the painting steps and then the bit that we’ve all been waiting for – the final assembly line. We’re not expecting much, but WOW.
The Mazda Factory Japan Assembly Line
We get to spend around 20 minutes in the final assembly area. There are no photos allowed to be taken here. While it’s nowhere near long enough, it’s a lot lot longer than we were expecting. First of all we are above the production line and we’re seeing cars move slowly below us, having boot liners and ceiling liners fitted. One worker isn’t happy with the fitting of the roof aerial and spends time calling over a supervisor and sorting it out.
Then we move on and we see the glue attached (by robots) to the windscreen and the rear windscreen. Then as we move (as slowly as possible) we can just see the windscreen being lowered in and pressed firmly onto the car.
We’re alongside a gorgeous dark blue colored MX5 that we’re seeing being put together as she slowly trundles along the line. We arrive at the end of this row and she’s lifted up by a hoist under the bodywork. Four wheel cradles slide under the wheels. The hoist moves so that she’s sitting in the wheel cradles. She turns the corner as we do, and hangs above another worker, who immediately takes to her underside.
The production line is for up to four different models of cars, so there are Mazda 3’s on here and our lonely, lovely MX5. The production line here is up to 1.2km long and a car can go from end to end in 15 hours.
Completed Cars at Mazda
We move on and see the buildings where up to 7,000 finished cars can be stored before they are loaded into a ship sitting here at Mazda’s own port. Cars are shipped domestically and around the world from here. Then we head back down the stairs, to say goodbye to the MX5 and we head back into the museum area.
Here now, where we’re again allowed to take photos, as we weren’t either on the bus, or in the assembly line, we see the Takine concept car. There’s also the dual fuel RX7, ready for gasoline or hydrogen, and the Mazda electric car.
Leaving Japan with Our Own Mazda
We have a final few minutes in the museum assembly area. The groups of kids show off their English and wish us all a hearty ‘Hello”. Finally, as we board the bus to return to Head Office we’re given our own Mazda to assemble.
Like Factory Tours in Japan?
If you’re a fan of factory tours and are in Japan, then you should also take a look at:
- Book your Mazda Tour (english language website)
- Where we stayed in Hiroshima – the Court Hotel
- Using a Japan Rail Pass in Japan
- What to Eat in Japan
- Our Guide book in Japan was the Lonely Planet Japan