Visiting the Land Cruiser Factory & Automobile Museum (Where Are We – Japan 9)


After a five-week stay with our families and friends in the Netherlands, our days in Japan have been on a rollercoaster. It’s hard to believe we’ve been back for two weeks already. So many great things have happened.

And all that within the short distance between Mount Fuji and the cities of Toyota and Nagoya. No wonder we continue not exceeding an average of 50 kilometers per day.

On our return we joined one of Japan’s biggest Land Cruiser events, the Land Cruiser 40 Meeting East. Expect a full blog post on this with many photos in a week or so.

Read  More: Joining The Land Cruiser 40 Meeting East

As I am writing this, we are hosted by a wonderful American family, whom in fact we met at the event I just mentioned. They will live here for 3 years while Will works for Toyota, Emily, Gage, Nora, and Collin go to the International School, and Jennifer is busy managing everything for and around this big, active, and fun family.

Arguably one of the biggest moments of our stay in Japan, if not on our journey, was to return to our Land Cruiser’s place of birth. Not just the country. Not just the city – called Toyota, by the way. But to the factory where it was assembled in 1984. Production of the 40 series was ending around that time, with the last one being manufactured around 1986.

Recommended Books on Overlanding

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Man in the Saddle – Paul van Hooff

I Can I Will, Women overlanding the World

Overlanding the Americas – Graeme Belle

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Emily in mountainbike outfit, Will and Jennifer.
A well deserved treat after the Nagoya HASH run.

The Land Cruiser Factory in Toyota (Toyota Auto Body)

There are a number of Toyota factories in the country and there is one in Takaoka that is open to the public. However, visiting the Toyota Auto Body factory in Toyota (yes, that is the name of the town) is quite another matter. People in the Land Cruiser community helped us get an organized tour.

Thanks, Masa (Cococruiser) for initiating this, Mr. Muramatsu (Cruiserland) for taking us, as well as Mr. Okyuama who was kind enough to join us as a translator.

At Toyota Auto Body factory [website] they currently manufacture LX570, the 70 series, and the 200 series. Unfortunately we were not allowed to take pictures inside (but Coen took lots of notes) so here are the few shots of the exterior and the entrance.

Read More: The Land Cruiser

After the visit Mr. Muramatsu and Mr. Okuyama took us to an off-road park [website] near Nagoya where we shared lunch and had a rough off-road spin in a Mega Cruiser.

Travel Guides for Japan

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DK Eyewitness Guides – Japan

Fodor’s Travel Guides – Essential Japan

Lonely Planet Travel Guides – Japan

Products from Amazon

Read More: The Land Cruiser’s Ins & Outs

The Toyota Automobile Museum

If that was not enough, people in the Land Cruiser community got us invited for a visit to the Toyota Automobile Museum [website] where we got a super informative guided tour by Mr. Towaki from the curator’s team.

I (Karin-Marijke) am not particularly a car aficionado by any means but I will say that this is one of the best and most beautiful museums we have ever been to.

The display of some 130 cars (of the 750 that the museum owns) is professionally done and the English audio guide is excellent.

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From hundred-year-old cars to the best-known vintage cars, and from the fanciest sports cars, to a display of European, North American and Japanese cars of the 20th century, it was all there.

Fortunately, Coen could take photos here and thus now has some 200. Here are a couple of his favorites. Let us know which one you like best.

We’ll hang around in and around Nagoya for a bit and look forward to a HASH meet-up this Sunday!

Read More: Books on Japan

Check it out: the Landcruising Adventure Baseball-shirt Collection

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15 thoughts on “Visiting the Land Cruiser Factory & Automobile Museum (Where Are We – Japan 9)”

  1. Of all the photos I like your jeep the best because at the end of the production run all the part fit perfectly.Also I find your engine superior to the current model.If you were in coventry uk they would have rewarded you with a new jeep.Toyota should look into the matter

  2. I like the seventh picture, the light brown car TOYODA AA.
    Because this ornament 豊田 is a original the current logo mark.

  3. I like the 3rd picture best, the spoke wheel: pure and beautiful art.
    Thanks much for this foto log,


    • Depends on what your definition of comfortable is. There is no AC, very stiff suspension, but we can sleep, eat and work inside or outside! If we are looking for comfort, we would have stayed at home 😉

  4. I will hopefully get my hands on and old Land rover Santa Ana in a month. Can’t wait to get it fixed and cruise Spain ( and the world!!).

  5. My husband and I are in the process of planning a trip to Japan in February 2019. We are big Land Cruiser enthusiast and the general tour and museum do not cover Land Cruiser’s. My husband is in the process of doing up a FJ45 and we have a 200 Sahara, he is a mechanic so seeing the Land Cruisers would be amazing. Would really appreciate if you can point me in the direction of how you managed to get a tour of the factory?

    • Hi Chantell, how great that you are planning a trip to Japan! We are sure you will like it. I’m not sure if you will encounter much Land Cruisers in Japan though, especially in the bigger cities and around the tourist places. As for a visit to the factory, I can only say that we did not manage anything, we actually were invited as special guests. The Land Cruiser section of the plant isn’t open to the public for visits. However we urge you, do visit the museum, it is excellent and you won’t regret it. I spend a full day and could spend another if I wanted. Check if they have special demonstration runs on weekends:


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