Toyota plays a huge role in Nagoya’s economy and Mazda has a similar impact in Hiroshima. Although Mazda (pronounced Matsuda in Japan) is not as large as Toyota, it produces over a million vehicles annually and is an innovative player in the Japanese auto industry.
The Mazda Motor Corporation was founded in Hiroshima in 1920 and its headquarters, development laboratories, factories, shipping facilities and museum are still located there.
The museum provides an overview of Mazda’s history including a look into the technology of its automobiles. Visitors are also provided access to their actual assembly line, where they can see a variety of different car models being produced. To visit the museum, reservations are required in advance. Guided tours are offered weekdays at 9:30 AM and 1:00 PM in Japanese and at 10:00 AM in English. Each tour lasts approximately 90 minutes and reservations can be made up to a year in advance.
Visitors to the museum first gather at the Mazda headquarters and sign in at the front desk. When the tour is scheduled to begin, a Mazda tour guide directs visitors on to a bus to take them to the museum building nearby.
The tour begins with a historical overview of the Mazda Company from its early days, where it was manufacturing the three-wheeled trucks, to the present day. Highlights include the Mazda Cosmo (the world’s first rotary engine car) and the 4-rotor Mazda 787B. From there, you will be taken to see how the design and build process works at their Ujima plant. The tour concludes with a view of Mazda’s attempts at making hydrogen fueled cars and some of their concept vehicles. At the end of the tour there is a shop featuring Mazda branded merchandise.
The Mazda facility is accessible via the JR Sanyo line from Hiroshima station going east, exit at the Mukainada Station. From there the headquarters are merely five minutes away on foot.
Address: 3-1 Mukainada-cho, Shinchi