NIHON LIFE: Tressa Yokohama, Toyota’s Mega-Mall


I finally got some free time to go check out Tressa Yokohama, a giant Toyota-owned mega-mall in Kohoku, Yokohama. In addition to your typical shopping mall features like a McDonald’s counter and escalators pointing every which way, showrooms representing all six of Toyota’s sales channels – Toyota, Toyopet, Corolla and Netz, plus subsidiaries Daihatsu and Yamaha – inhabit the consumerist wonderland.

From the outside, it resembles the main drag of a typical Japanese suburb. But the land on which Tressa Yokohama was built actually has a rich automotive history. Shige-san of Mooneyes informed me that back in the 60s, this was the site of not only a huge Toyota plant, but one encircled by a high-speed oval test course. The spot was home to Toyota’s young motorsports R&D department, known simply as “Division 7” and the group responsible for development of the awesome Toyota 7 race car. The die-hard Toyota nut in me got a chill just knowing I had stood on such hallowed soil.


Tressa Yokohama opened last year, adding to the Big T’s existing super showroom experiences Megaweb and Amlux, both in Tokyo. (By the way, we hear Megaweb is closing down at the end of the month so I’ll have to make it out there one last time!)


Perhaps it’s telling of Toyota’s current direction that the scene of such legend was plowed over for a hall of dealers that don’t carry a single sports car. It’s all just a parade of minivans, kei cars and two-box cars.


But all is not lost. As you can see from this poster, the courtyard area is sometimes used to introduce mall-goers to Toyota’s headier days with, for instance, a display of 2000GTs. The day I was there a fleet of new Crowns was being shown.


And when was the last time you saw a mall with a one-stop car accessory shop built into it? JMS is just like Autobacs and Yellow Hat, a store where you can buy everything from Cusco coilovers to air freshners to a set of Volk Racing rims to a bangin’ new Alpine deck. And in case you were wondering, JMS stands for Joyful Motoring Shop.


For those of you who can’t go whole hog on accessories for your actual car, there’s always the Tamiya Plamodel Factory store.


Everything in the Tamiya catalog is available here, from R/C cars to diecast battleships to plastic model kits.


You can even watch as a Tamiya model builder creates his own work of art in 1:24 scale. Fun job!

Next week will be Tressa Yokohama’s one year anniversary celebration, but I won’t be in Japan any more. It’s was nice to see, though, if only to collect a bunch of JDM car brochures all in one spot. Still, I’d like to think that if you listen real hard late at night, you can still hear the ghosts of Toyota’s youthful exuberance roaring around where the food court now stands.

If you’d like to visit, just hike on down to Shin-Yokohama station. From there it gets a bit tricky because you have to take a bus, but AFV Modeler’s site has excellent English directions.

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11 Responses to NIHON LIFE: Tressa Yokohama, Toyota’s Mega-Mall

  1. j_c says:

    I was kinda let down when I went to Mega Web in Odaiba in 2007. Toyota had all their F1 parts, Super GT Supra, and Le Mans car on display, yet everything in the dealer showroom wasn’t sporty at all.

    Judging from the kana, is JMS supposed to be pronounced Jems?

  2. Oyaji Gaijin says:

    j_c Said:
    “I was kinda let down when I went to Mega Web in Odaiba in 2007. Toyota had all their F1 parts, Super GT Supra, and Le Mans car on display, yet everything in the dealer showroom wasn’t sporty at all.”

    Stop by any one of the Auto Shows in North America. It becomes painful to see the Toyota display’s lack of anything sporty. The only two door models are the Yaris and the pickup trucks, both of which are twice as tall as they are wide. And the new Venza is supposed to be “sporty”, or as sporty as a cross between a station wagon and a mini van can be.

    Toyota’s best shot at a sporty model would be a chop top kei car with a 2 liter engine transplant and about $3,000 worth of racing suspension.

  3. joe says:

    What? has everyone forgotten the coalition between subaru and toyota? New AE86 ring a bell? I just hope the economy doesn’t get even worse so they wont cancel it like the NSX, S2000, Supra, S15….

    Looks like a great place, I really wanna check out Tamiya Plamodel Factory and JMS!

  4. Kev says:

    Whaa? Mega Web is closing down? Say it aint so! I hope the History Garage will still be open.

  5. toyotageek says:

    Ben, what are you telling us?! Where did you hear this terrible news about MegaWeb? LOL I know there was talk of Toyota rebuilding MegaWeb and the surrounding area – plans call for it to be done by 2013 – but the MegaWeb website doesn’t say anything about closing down (yet)…

    On the good news front – this weekend they are ‘selling’ rides in some classics, inclusing a Toyota 2000GT, Toyota Sports 800, 1971 Mazda Cosmo, 1970 Nissan GTR, and a 1971 Fairlady Z… all part of their 10 year anniversary. You better go back and buy some rides! 😛

  6. Nigel says:

    Wonderland you were in Wonderland, it all looks so close when you look at a map of the world. Any good video arcades left ? Some our best ones are gone.

  7. Ben says:

    The word on Megaweb is that the government is reclaiming the building and redeveloping it for a bid for the 2016 Olympics…

  8. DrewTSi_Si_STi says:

    The Tamiya shop is awesome, I would drop so much coin in there.

  9. colink says:

    That loks such a cool place to visit

  10. Kev says:

    Shame about the Megaweb closing down, but that whole Odaiba area where it’s located is pretty cool. The Big Sight indoor stadium is just down the road so I guess it makes sense to develop the whole area.

  11. Oyaji Gaijin says:

    Japan would be the only country to level a place like Odaiba for the Olympics. Everything is less than five years old. Along with MegaWeb, there is the Venus Fort shopping center, Pallet Town shopping center, the Aqua City shopping center, two medium sized amusement parks, and normally untouchable things like the Museum of Emerging Technology, and the Maritime Museum. There were a half dozen huge corporate headquarter type buildings under construction when I was there. These are not small buildings, each would be a large and extravagant destination in any country other than Japan. Nowhere outside Japan would they tear down such a long list of developments on the chance they might win out against the other three competitors for the Olympics that are seven years away.

    As far as the AE86 successor, if you believe in Santa Claus too, maybe he will bring one and leave it under the tree. But both of those are sounding more and more like myths and fanciful stories.

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