Aichi, Heart of Japan’s Technology and Traditions

Tamaya Shobei the 9th Karakuri Master

Aichi is seen not only as the heart of Japan, but the brain too. From the beginning, many new and exciting technologies have been created in Aichi. The first robots, wooden mechanical dolls powered by springs of whale baleen called Karakuri-Ningyo were perfected in Aichi, and even now over 25% of Japans’ robots are built here. Aichi’s technologies made it a world leader in textiles manufacturing with the creation of automatic power looms in the early 1920’s. The loom technology was gained from Karakuri Doll production processes, and later evolved into the manufacture of motor vehicles, and since then, Aichi has been a leader in automobile engineering, engine and safety development.

Karakuri Exhibition Museum and Inuyama Cultural Assets Museum Annex

The best place in Japan to learn about the Karakuri Mechanized Puppet Dolls - besides the several dolls on display, it periodically hosts workshop sessions with the last karakuri crafts master alive, Tamaya Shobei the 9th, Karakuri Master and head of the traditional Tamaya Family, which has been making dolls since the century XVII.

Toyota Automobile Museum
Toyota Automobile Museum

Cars and Culture, the Toyota Automobile Museum

Over 120 cars from all eras across the world and in pristine condition are on display, 98% are original. Not just Toyota, but American and European vehicles, including many different and famous brands too, Mercedez Benz, Ford, Mazda, Porsche, Subaru, Isuzu, Rolls Royce, De Soto, Jaguar, Nissan and more. One of the great points about this museum is,…you’re allowed to take photos! And there’s plenty to take! Highlights include a bright red and gold trim 1910 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost, an early Toyoda Model AA from 1939, a classic 1955 Ford Thunderbird in fire engine red with white walled tires, and more!

Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology

Museum of an Industrial Powerhouse, The Toyota Techno Museum

The Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology, (Toyota Techno Museum for short) is located on the site of the original company in central Nagoya, not far from Nagoya Station, and utilizes the historical red-brick buildings of the original automatic loom factory to display the history of the Toyota group, from its humble beginnings as a textiles manufacturer to its evolution into an international automobile producer and more.
Many of the well maintained and displayed textile machines still work, and seeing them in operation makes the museum come to life. The working exhibits are fascinating, and the friendly guides are eager to share their extensive knowledge, which makes this an educational, informative and enjoyable experience for people of all ages.

Noritake Garden
Noritake Garden

A Fusion of Japanese and Western Culture, at Noritake Garden

Among the top brands of prestigious tableware, Noritake is one of the more famous and treasured names in the ceramics industry. Started in 1904, the traditional Japanese craftsmanship of Noritake combined with western aesthetics created a range of high quality, elegant formal and casual dinnerware aimed at the European market.
Discover how fine bone china is hand-crafted and the various processes in the Craft Center, and compare them with the latest advanced technologies. Enjoy the Noritake Museum featuring classical Noritake ware from the early 1900’s and see the wide array of stunning designs through the years. You can even try your hand at creating original tableware in the workshop.

Arimatsu Narumi Traditional Townscape

Arimatsu, Narumi, Traditional Town of Traditional Tie-Dyed Textiles

In the south-eastern suburbs of Nagoya is Arimatsu, a small town that seems to have been caught in a time slip. Old houses, shops, and warehouses from the samurai period line a narrow street that was once the great Tokaido, the ancient highway linking the Capital, Kyoto, and Edo, seat of the Shogun’s power.

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