It’s one of the iconic things to do in Japan – take a factory tour, especially as most of the Japanese factory tours are free. Japan is the birthplace of just-in-time manufacturing, so a visit to a factory should be fascinating! Toyota is Japan’s biggest car manufacturer. Toyota plant tours take place at the Toyota headquarters in Toyota City just outside Nagoya and is easy to reach. So here’s all you need to know about visiting the Toyota Factory in Japan.
Note that the Toyota Factory tour is currently suspended. There’s more information here.
THIS POST MAY CONTAIN COMPENSATED AND AFFILIATE LINKS MORE INFORMATION IN OUR DISCLAIMER
About the Toyota Factory Tour Nagoya
The Toyota plant tour in Nagoya includes seeing the full production line process at Toyota Nagoya. This also includes their amazing multi-model systems which allow for the production of all models of vehicle on the SAME production line.
The tour is free, but you must book in advance, there are details below on how to book your place on Toyota’s free factory tour.
No photographs are allowed in the production area, although you can take photographs in the Toyota museum and showroom.
How long does the Toyota Factory Tour Last?
The tour takes place once a day from Monday and Friday and is offered in Japanese and English. You must pre-book your tour. You can book your Toyota Factory Tour here. The Toyota Factory tour lasts 2 hours.
How to visit the Toyota Factory Tour Japan
The Toyota Factory Japan Tour is free at the Toyota City / Nagoya plant, but you must pre-book your tour. Tours usually start at around 11:00 but you must be present at the Kaikan museum 30 minutes prior to that.
How to Book a Toyota Factory Tour
You can book a tour up to 3 months in advance of the date that you wish to visit. Prebook your Toyota Factory visit here.
Where is the Toyota Japan Factory Tour?
The Toyota Nagoya Tour is located at Toyota City, close to Nagoya. You can reach the plant and museum within around 50 minutes from central Nagoya on the Meitetsu Toyota Line to Toyota-shi station.
How much is the Toyota Factory Tour and Museum Japan?
The Nagoya Toyota tour and visit to the museum at the Toyota headquarters is free. The tour is conducted in both Japanese and English on separate schedules. The Toyota Kaikan Museum at the Toyota plant is also free to visit.
The Toyota Kaikan Museum is open from 09:30 to 17:00 from Monday to Saturday and is closed on Sundays and holidays.
Who should take the Toyota Factory Tour Japan?
If you’re a car fanatic then you’ll love the Toyota Nagoya Plant tour. If you’re interested in just-in-time production methods then this is a fabulous place to visit. If you like free things to do in Japan then this is also a great experience.
Experience the Toyota Factory Tour Japan
Visiting the Toyoya plant in Japan is not difficult. The Nagoya Toyota factory is easy to reach from Nagoya, so we did it as a day trip – and arrived there at 10 am, ready for our 11 am tour. The Toyota Factory Tour even has its own train station (so if you’ve got a JR Pass it’s EASY to get to).
Be sure to pick up your JR Pass BEFORE you get into Japan – it will save you a FORTUNE on trains and make life very easy. You can buy a 7, 14, or 21-day pass and get it shipped to your home address for free.
The best way to travel around Japan is by train – and you can save a fortune on train travel in Japan by buying the JR Pass BEFORE you get to Japan. You can buy the JR Pass from a number of outlets. We recommend:
Get your JR Pass from KLOOK here. – estimate 2 weeks for delivery of the exchange order
Buy a JR Pass from JRAILPASS here – get it Fedexed within 24-48 hours to any location including a Fedex office or your hotel in Japan.
There is a cafeteria at the Toyota Kaikan museum where you’ll check in, so if you arrive early there are places to sit, get a drink, and eat snacks.
What Tours to Take in Nagoya
As well as the Toyota Factory tour in Nagoya there are a host of other activities and places to see in Nagoya.
- You can take a day trip from Nagoya to Magome and experience this ancient post town – with a guide – Get details here
- If you like hiking, then hike the Magome – Tsumago trail under your own steam or take a guided tour here
- Enjoy a maid cafe experience in Nagoya – check details here
- Take a train trip to Inuyama Biyori and dress in a Kimono from Nagyoa – check prices here
- Have great family fun with a robot experience – with robots serving you tea!
- Take a guided walking tour of Nagyoa – with an included subway ticket for the day – Prices and booking details here
- Visit Legoland Nagoya – for a great famiy day out – pre-book tickets for Legoland here
- Visit the Nagoya Aquarium – pre-book your tickets for Aquarium Nagoya here
Visit the Toyota Factory Tour Museum
The Toyota Factory museum is free to enter and you do not need a guide to explore it. As we had arrived early for our tour we spent an hour exploring.
You also get to look around at all the cars that Toyota hopes you will buy. The best was the car fitted for those with disabilities. It’s possible to sit in most of the cars and really check them out while you’re here.
One of the best things about the Toyota Museum Japan is the fact that they have a robot that has an artificial lung that plays the trombone. And it is pretty damned cool.
Our Experience of the Toyota Factory Tour in Japan
As on the Mazda tour, there are no photos allowed on the tour of the Toyota plant. And when we head off we’re bussed between various parts of the plant, which is impressive and incredibly efficient.
We see several parts of the production line. We learn about just-in-time manufacturing and how quality is valued over quantity and speed.
It’s interesting that I thought it would be groundbreaking and look like it. But it looks like a regular production line until you look a little closer. Their multi-model lines are designed to build multiple models on the same line, which is pretty awesome.
There are way more people involved in the production lines than I expected (there are 7,500 people employed here in the Nagoya factory), and many fewer Toyota factory robots than I anticipated.
Perhaps I’m missing something, but the Mazda factory tour beats it hands down. However, if you’re in Nagoya, then you shouldn’t miss this tour. And yes, a reminder, it’s free.
It was good. But was it great? No. So I left Toyota, the car in front, feeling like it was definitely the brand behind after my trip to their factory.
And that’s interesting (to me at least). That in my trip to Japan, I’ve had my brand perceptions turned on their head. Mazda, who I felt pretty ho-hum about – I’m now gung ho about. Toyota is the opposite. Those instant noodle packets that I saw in shops and thought, pah, no, looks cheap and nasty are now the ones that I will buy above all others. Yup, I’m definitely sold on Cup Noodles. Oh, and Asahi beer. Yup, I’ll take that and the Asahi free brewery tour and tasting over a poor Sapporo beer and tour and expensive beer hall experience any day.
Just goes to show, that when you dig in a little, perception differs wildly from reality. Now, if only I were in the market for a car… I suppose I’ll make do with cup noodles and beer!
The last word, though goes to the robot… he’s not quite Asimo, but he plays a mean tune…
Alternatives to the Toyota Factory Tour
If you are unable to find a space on the Toyota Japan tour we recommend the following alternatives
The Mazda Factory Tour
Another free car factory tour, this is easy to get to and also close to Nagoya. You can read more about it here.
The Toyota Techno Museum
This is also known as the Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology, or the Toyota Museum Nagoya. It is located in central Nagoya. There is no factory here but you’ll find a lot of exhibits on the car production process.
The Toyota Techno Museum is easily reached from Sako station and is close to Nagoya station. The museum is open from 09:30 to 17:00, the last entry is 16:30 and admission is 500 yen. The museum is closed on Mondays and also on Tuesdays if Monday is a national holiday.
The Toyota Automobile Museum
This museum displays cars from the late 1800s onwards from Europe, Japan, and America. You will find it close to Geidaidori Station. The museum is open from 09:30 to 17:00, with the last entry at 16:30. The museum is closed on Mondays, and also Tuesdays if the Monday is a National Holiday. Entrance is 1000 yen.
More Free Factory Tours in Japan
The Toyota Factory tour is just one of those available when you visit Japan. Here are other factory tours that we recommend for your visit to Japan.
The Mazda factory tour: Another great free car factory tour – perhaps even better than the Toyota Factory Tour.
The Asahi Brewery tour: Available at 8 locations throughout Japan this tour not only provides an understanding of Asahi’s history but also gives you free beer tasting at the end – and they’re not small measures!
The Cup Noodle factory – There are several places where you can visit a cup noodle museum in Japan, but for us visiting the birthplace of noodles in Ikeda was on the list. Make your own cup noodles here.
Travel Tips for Exploring Japan
- Considering travel insurance for your trip? World Nomads offers coverage for more than 150 adventure activities as well as emergency medical, lost luggage, trip cancellation, and more.
- Download and install a VPN BEFORE you travel to Japan > discount coupon here
- Read our guide to the Japan Rail Pass here
- Check the details of the 2023 Japan Rail Pass Increases here
- Buy your Japan Rail Pass before you arrive in Japan
- Book the best tours and guides in Japan on, GetYourGuideand Klook
- Learn to cook Japanese food in Chef’s kitchens in Japan
- Save money in Japan with a Wise debit card
- Find the right accommodation for you via Booking.com
- Book an incredible ryokan experience in Japan
Resources we used to plan this trip:
- Book your visit on the Factory Tour
- How to get to the Toyota Plant Tour Japan
- What CNN thinks the tour
- Japan Guideon Tours and Museums
- Information on getting and using a JR Pass
- Where we stayed in Nagoya: The Eco Hotel
- Our Guide book in Japan was the Lonely Planet Japan
We receive a fee when you get a quote from World Nomads using our affiliate links. We do not represent World Nomads. This is not a recommendation to buy travel insurance.
ASocialNomad is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com, amazon.co.uk, and amazon.ca. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.