PLENTY FOR SUPPORTERS TO SEE IN TOYOTA CITY...
WALES will kick off their 2019 Rugby World Cup campaign in Toyota City, which is located in the Aichi prefecture (territory), roughly 180 miles south of Tokyo.
But as well as cheering on the men in red, there is plenty for supporters to do and see in Toyota City and the surrounding area.
You can experience the spellbinding beauty of the Korankei Valley and sample some of the region’s locally brewed saki but there’s only one place to start with this city – the Toyota Motor Corporation.
Such is the importance and significance of the car manufacturer in the area that the city, originally called Koromo, was renamed after its principal employer – Toyota.
The automobile industry is a huge part of the city, so much so that the Aichi prefecture boasts some of the smoothest roads around. Their name is also attached to the local soccer and rugby teams.
As such, you simply can’t visit the city without swinging by the Toyota Automobile Museum.
Accessed easily via rail on the Linimo Line and costing the equivalent of about £6.75, the museum tries to educate its visitors on the history of car manufacturing, explaining how both domestic and overseas social and cultural landscapes influenced the designs of cars through the years. The museum houses roughly 140 cars from around the world – not just Toyota’s – and one of four replica Toyota AAs, the first passenger car ever produced by the manufacturer, sits proudly in the reception area.
For a more contemporary look at the automobile industry, check out the Toyota Kaikan Museum, which a stone’s throw away from the corporation’s head office.
Here you can take a largely interactive look into Toyota’s 21st century approach to production, geared mainly towards the environment, which includes the Toyota Mirai, a car that runs on hydrogen and only emits H2O.
One of the prefecture’s other star attractions is its castles.
It’s estimated that 5,000 castles once stood in Japan, but now there are just 12 considered to be original and only five are deemed national treasures of Japan.
One of them is Inuyama Castle, the oldest standing castle in Japan, around an hour away from Toyota City, though easily accessible by rail.
The distance from the cities of Toyota and nearby Nagoya give it a very authentic feel and the streets on the approach to the castle are lined with traditional shops, museums and food stalls.
You will be required, not for the first or last time, to take your shoes