Aichi's Toyota Automobile Museum (Photo: Bariston / CC BY-SA 4.0)
Aichi's Toyota Automobile Museum (Photo: Bariston / CC BY-SA 4.0)
- 3 min read

5 Museums for Car Lovers in Japan

Appreciate all things automotive at these 5 unique spots

If you're an automobile aficionado, there are a range of fantastic museums across Japan where you can learn more about cars and see many models up close. Here are five of the best car-related museums from across the country, and some information on what you'll find at each venue.

Shikoku Automobile Museum, Kochi

Opened back in 1990, the Shikoku Automobile Museum in Kochi is home to a range of domestic and international car models, with a specific focus on race cars and classic cars. For fans of things on two-wheels, there's also a sizeable collection of motorbikes. Some of the car models on display include the likes of Ferrari, Lamborghini, Alfa Romeo, and Cobra to name just a handful.

896 Otani, Noichicho, Konan City, Kochi Prefecture 781-5233

One of the pieces on display at the Shikoku Automobile Museum
One of the pieces on display at the Shikoku Automobile Museum (Photo: Sole21 / CC BY-SA 3.0)

Motorcar Museum of Japan, Ishikawa

The Motorcar Museum of Japan is located in Ishikawa Prefecture, and boasts an impressive collection of around 500 different vehicles. There are Japanese, European, and American models at the venue, with many of them being extremely rare. One of the most noteworthy cars on display is the Rolls-Royce that transported Princess Diana during her visit to Japan.

40 Ikkanyama, Futatsunashimachi, Komatsu, Ishikawa, 923-0345

Retro!
Retro! (Photo: Kzaral / CC BY-SA 2.0)

Toyota Automobile Museum, Aichi

Possibly the most well-known of Japan's car-related museums, the Toyota Automobile Museum aims to highlight the evolution and culture of automobiles from around the world. The museum prides itself on the fact that the vehicles here are pristinely maintained, and almost all of them are still in roadworthy condition. Free guided tours are also available in English at the museum, making it easy for those who may not speak Japanese.

41-100 Yokomichi, Nagakute, Aichi 480-1118

The Toyota Automobile Museum
The Toyota Automobile Museum (Photo: Morio / CC BY-SA 3.0)

Honda Collection Hall, Tochigi

The Honda Collection Hall in Tochigi spans three floors, with sections dedicated to regular and racing motorcycles, racing cars, and car parts. There's also a reading room which has a wide variety of car-related books, videos, and pictures to peruse, and the museum shop has a host of limited edition goods that you can't find anywhere else - perfect for collectors!

120-1 Hiyama, Motegi, Haga District, Tochigi 321-3533

A 1964 Honda RA271, Japan's very first Formula 1 vehicle
A 1964 Honda RA271, Japan's very first Formula 1 vehicle (Photo: Gilbert Sopakuwa / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Nissan Engine Museum, Kanagawa

The Nissan Engine Museum is located in Yokohama, and has a range of displays including historic engines and vehicles. There are 28 different engines on display, each of which had an important role in Nissan's engine development. The engines are grouped into "eras", such as engines from the 1960s and 1970s when full-scale motorization began in Japan, and engines from the 1980s and 1990s when Japanese automobile production grew rapidly.

2-番地 Takaracho, Kanagawa Ward, Yokohama, Kanagawa 220-8623

Explore the inner workings of Nissan's engines
Explore the inner workings of Nissan's engines (Photo: Morio / CC BY-SA 3.0)

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Join the discussion

Bonson Lam 3 years ago
It is great to see that Shikoku Automobile Museum in Kochi also features motorcycles, often these two wheel fanatics get overlooked (it is also being rectified with an exhibit in Brisbane at the moment). Funny enough, I haven't been to any of these museums, so thank you for highlighting them. I do like the car museum in Odaiba, you can even chat with ex-F1 mechanics restoring old cars. That's what I call a living museum! https://en.japantravel.com/tokyo/mega-web-history-garage/61512
Sander van Werkhoven 3 years ago
Nice list! I've been to the Motorcar Museum and the Toyota Museum, both are great! The Toyota Museum can also easily be combined with a nearby factory tour. For years I've been wanting to visit the Nissan and Honda museums, but didn't fit my schedule so far. As for the one in Shikoku, I didn't know of that one, but I'll definitely check it out whenever I'll visit that area again!

As for more car museums:
* The Suzuki Plaza near Hamamatsu has a wonderful collection of their cars and motorbikes (and a few looms), and a separate floor about the design development and production of cars. Free but with reservation only: https://www.suzuki-rekishikan.jp/english/
* Similarly, Mazda has a combined museum and factory tour in Hiroshima. Also free and only with reservation: https://www.mazda.com/en/about/museum/
* The Ikaho Toy, Doll & Car Museum (a.k.a. the M Yokota Collection) has to be one of the most eclectic collections in the world. Besides cars and, well, toys and dolls they also have teddy bears, showa era stuff, pro wrestling, chocolate, wine and beer, squirrels and lot more. Definitely worth a visit! http://www.ikaho-omocha.jp/
* This spring I had planned to visit the Fukuyama Auto & Clock Museum, but for obvious reasons that didn't happen: https://www.facm.net/
Sander van Werkhoven 3 years ago
Nice one, never seen that one before even though I must have been close quite a few times! I've been to the tiny but great TIn Toy Museum in Yokohama and have seen a similar collection in Niigata, but stuff like this never gets old.
Lynda Hogan 3 years ago
There's a couple on my bucket list - in Suzuno and a small one in Saitama that I've been itching to go to for forever, but it only opens a few hours a week and its been hard to time it. Good to see there are other options out there. :)
Kim Author 3 years ago
Saitama really has a lot of hidden gems!
Elena Lisina 3 years ago
I like car and train museums! Always wanted to visit some in Nagoya!
Kim Author 3 years ago
I'm sure there are lots more car museums than just this list, too! :)
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