Automaker Headquarter Hopping

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We’ve mentioned this before, but if you go to Tokyo you can visit the headquarter buildings of at least three Japanese automakers. Here’s the Nissan home base in the upscale Ginza district. Naturally, the hot new car was the Fairlady Z/370Z and there were no less than five of them on display out front.

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The gleaming white showroom indoors was a fitting backdrop for the Nissan GT-R SpecV. The color it’s wearing is Ultimate Black Opal, a very dark purple that looks almost black. It’s an exclusive color to the SpecV.

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Remember, there are two showrooms in Ginza. The smaller one is at the Ginza 4-chome crossing, across the street from the Mitsukoshi department store. This one is a few blocks down, but the word is that the whole operation is moving to Yokohama soon. Nissan has already purchased a skyscraper there. Carlos Ghosn just loves moving!

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Honda’s headquarters is at another upscale district, Aoyama Itchome. Get off at the Tokyo Metro station of the same name and you can’t miss it. In my haste to meet ASIMO I forgot to snap a photo of the outside so here’s an older one. There’s always a display of cars on the sidewalk in front of the building, which rotates every week.

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Inside there’s more cars and motorcycles and a small gift shop that sells exclusive Honda goods, including limited edition diecast cars. I was mesmerized by the movie on the main screen, a history of Honda’s products through the decades set to a truly heartstring-tugging musical score.

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Last but not least is Subaru, which has its HQ in Shinjuku. Shinjuku station is massive, but just exit out the Odakyu Department Store side. You can’t miss it.

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This is the somewhat anticlimactic front of the Subaru building. Those steps don’t lead anywhere, in case you were wondering.

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I love the old school font that says “Subaru Buil” (short for “Building”) above the entrance.

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Inside there’s only space for two cars, a Forester and a WRX STI. They are mostly in the habit of displaying new cars, but if you like Japanese (new) car brochures, you can get more than you can possibly carry home, free of charge, at any of these locations.

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8 Responses to Automaker Headquarter Hopping

  1. Kev said:

    That Subaru building sure is an anticlimax! You can see the sign from a long way away, then when you get there, there’s just a little corner of the ground floor with one car in it…not even keyrings to buy :)

  2. BuddyJ said:

    So where do the little steps lead at Subaru?

  3. Ben said:

    BuddyJ – I think there’s a small window where you can peek inside the showroom, lol. The proper entrance is the glass door to the left.

  4. MarkG said:

    The Nissan showroom on Chou Dori has a small gift shop upstairs. They sell plenty of model cars in colours exclusive to Nissan outlets. Take yen though, because they don’t accept credit cards.

  5. j_c said:

    no photos of Asimo? It was down for maintenance/upgrades when I was there!

  6. Ben said:

    j_c – haha unfortunately no. I didn’t stick around for one of the daily shows.

  7. GEN2TWINCAM said:

    Hey! Dig the orange Honda Z!
    I sure miss mine.

  8. I would love to get some brochures on the new GTR V-SPec. That car is awesome, and as a Nissan fan it must be one of the ultimate must-have toys! Godzilla Rules OK!