One of the nicest places to visit if you are in Tokyo and have time to kill, is the Toyota History Garage in Odaiba. It’s a small but high quality car museum, cafe and book/toy store.
To get there, you need to head to Odaiba in Tokyo Bay.
Get yourself on the Rinkai Line, and if you’re coming from central Tokyo then you need to catch the train to Ozaki on the Yamanote Line, then swap trains (you want the one that goes to Shin Kiba). Get off at Tokyo Teleport station, and head to Pallette Town. It’s in the Venus Fort shopping mall, and it’s entrance can be a little tricky to find! But it’s worth it. If you are coming from the popular Shinjuku area, then by far the easiest way is to catch a train direct to Tokyo Teleport (you want the one that goes to Shin Kiba!) from the #1 or #2 platform, which you access via the station entrance at the base of the Takashimaya Times Square department store.
It isn’t a very big museum, and so the exhibits will rotate depending on what the current theme is. At one point it was to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Corolla, and so you had a nice selection of high performance older Corollas on display, along with some clay styling models. In January the display theme was cars from JDM cartoons.
Also a highlight is the huge range of model cars on display, the biggest selection I found in Japan.
There’s a book store there too, but while it’s quite big, I would say that Lindbergh’s down the road at the Super Autobacs would have a bigger selection.
Here’s some recent video footage of what’s on display.
There’s also the Nannini Cafe there as well, where you can have coffee and cakes surrounded by race cars and race engines scattered all over the floor. There’s a workshop there too, where Toyota mechanics work on restoration projects, and there’s a glass fronted window where you can watch them doing their stuff.
It’s well worth a visit if you’re in Tokyo. Hey, I might bump into you there sometime.