Don’t want to fly to Japan? The Honda Collection Hall is now fully tour-able on Google Street View. The museum, located on the grounds of Twin Ring Motegi circuit in Tochigi Prefecture, houses three stories packed with Honda heritage. It’s a must-see mecca for Honda-heads. Fortunately, you can now can see it without leaving the comfort of your own computer.
The museum is split into half, with cars on one side and motorcycles on the other. Since Soichiro Honda loved motorsport and in his mind Honda has always been about racing, the company’s vast archive of competition machines inhabit the top floor.
The second floor is where the classic cars and motorcycles reside. Included among them are machines from the extended Honda family — lawn mowers, outboard motors, jetskis, generators and more.
The first floor has a vast automotive library, a typical JNCer could spend a lifetime in, and a smaller wing for rotating exhibits. There’s also a gift shop stocked with Tomica, stuffed ASIMOs, and various trinkets. Perhaps one day our Google overlords will make online transactions available here, but for now just thank your lucky stars that it’s not possible. Your wallet will appreciate it.
Long time JNC readers might remember the story of our first trip to the Honda Collection Hall. Back in 2003, before GPS was commonplace, we rented a Nissan March and foolishly tried to drive to the museum ourselves. What should have been a leisurely 90 minute jaunt from Tokyo ended up taking us five-and-a-half hours. Apparently, bi-lingual signs don’t exist once you get off the main highways and into the countryside. Google Maps sure would’ve come in handy back then.
Is it still worth making the pilgrimage to see if for yourself? Absolutely. Google Street View doesn’t show you, for example, the building behind the museum, in which the museum’s vehicles are restored and maintained.
Also, a Honda representative told us that they an even bigger warehouse, not open to the public, where an extra 400 vehicles are stored. Those are rotated throughout the Collection Hall periodically, so what you see when these Google images were captured is not necessarily what you’ll see when you go there in person. Trust us, it’s worth it.