One of our favorite places to visit in Tokyo has always been Toyota’s Megaweb showroom. Located in the Odaiba shopping district, it was perfect for getting a car fix while non-petrolhead traveling companions did some nearby souvenir collecting. Sadly, it has been announced that Megaweb will be shuttering its doors on December 31, 2021.
The sad news was announced this morning, as the real estate company that owns Palette Town, the mall that Megaweb is attached to, is planning to redevelop the site. That means the History Garage (above) classic car showcase, Grease diecast car shop, test drive track, restoration garage and even the giant Ferris wheel just outside the building will all be going away.
It has not been announced what will replace the sprawling complex, but Toyota Motor Corporation will be participating in the redevelopment. Hopefully that means a new showroom to take its place.
This is a bummer. The history garage and resto shop were some of my favorite car exhibitions ever.
That is a bummer, but I’m not terribly surprised. I have been fortunate to visit Megaweb several times and noticed that it was pretty quiet the last few times I was there, making me wonder how they could afford such a large space. If Tokyo is on your travel plans this year, it is a great site to visit (even for a Nissan gearhead like me), but in an ever-changing Tokyo landscape, I suppose this too would change as well….
Was quite sad to see this story, I really hope that Toyota do indeed continue their public presence somewhere in Tokyo.
While Japan holds many delights for the petrolheaded tourist, few are as easily accessible as the MegaWeb complex. No need to master a complex pre-booking system, no need to navigate the maze of Japanese roads, no need to even pay an entry fee, just hop on a local train and stroll in.
It offers the chance to check out Toyota’s JDM range, from Daihatsu keis to the latest Century, clamber aboard each, and take photos etc to your heart’s content. Then in the History Garage you can see significant cars from Japan’s history close-up, including the priceless 2000GT. The shop is also great, that’s where I found a copy of Shin Yoshikawa’s 2000GT book for its cover price – not cheap, but a lot less than it goes for online.
If we lose all this, it’ll be a real shame. On the other hand, being optimistic one could imagine a reborn MegaWeb with more space and light around Toyota’s classics, bringing them into the same arena as its racing and current production models. There’s a significant potential upside, a lot could be achieved in a new space.
I’ll be waiting to hear Toyota’s plans for sharing their cars with us in future.
Well said, Tom.
I picked up my copy of the 2000GT book at the Toyota Museum in Aichi – couldn’t believe the (still not cheap, as you note) price!
I was fortunate to get my copy directly from Shin when the book was published. We had an exclusive book release and signing at Cabe Toyota at the time. 🙂
At one time a few years back, there was talk of Palette Town and MegaWeb being demolished to make way for some Olympic venues, but that never happened… until now, post Olympics, I guess. And I was hoping to visit at least one more time before it actually went away for good. Sad day. Hopefully a new Toyota-something will emerge from the rubble.
Speaking of the Odaiba district– last time I was at Megaweb, I walked further down to see if I could find the parking lot where they hold the New Year Meeting, and I had heard that it too was being demolished for Tokyo 2020 Olympic “improvements”, but just checking the satellite images on Google Earth, I see that it still exists. Any guesses if the New Year Meeting car event might happen there again in the future?
It’s likely that the organizers (all getting on in years) were looking for a reason to end the show, and took the potential of Olympic construction. It’s probably not going to come back any time soon but I hope I’m wrong!
Aww, Megaweb was a must-visit destination for car people who visit Japan. And having the opportunity to walk into the History Garage while they were working on Japanese car icons will be irreplaceable (unless they rebuild it).
There will never be another chance for me to see the cam cover off a 2000gt up close while it’s being worked on. There are plenty of other cars and experiences people have had that won’t happen again. This is truly a sad day for car culture.
What becomes of the cars? Do they get moved to the Toyota Automobile Museum in Nagakute City? I always enjoyed the Megaweb each time I visited Tokyo. The Toyota Automobile Museum in Nagakute City is also a great museum, but it’s not the easiest to get to from Tokyo. We’ve seen some great and unique car museums shut down in the USA over the past few years.
I’m sure the cars will go to the Toyota Automobile Museum pool. The museum often sent cars to Megaweb for display or maintenance and it seemed there was an established route.
Megaweb and the History Garage are basically just another extension of Toyota and the Toyota Automobile Museum in general. All the cars are part of Toyota’s vast vehicle collection, and many vehicles would, and still do, migrate between venues.
I’ve enjoyed many an hour at Megaweb, my favorite time being the 50th anniversary gathering for the Sports 800. That’s also when I got to meet the late great Hiroshi Yoshida.
Hiroshi Yoshida was great indeed!
sad to see great place to be when visiting i could stroll there all day have a chat with the mechanics at the pit garage hard to see it going makes me very sad ,
ichi go ichi e
Well said 🙁
I’m glad that I was able to see this in 2019. It was amazing to see. Even the Tomica museum/displays there.