If you’re a fan of Japanese performance vehicles, you have probably thought of going to Japan for a holiday at least once in your life. I know I have many times. Not only for the car culture there but also for the traditions and history that the country still celebrates today. A few years ago I made the trip over with
my wife and did all the typical tourist stuff like going to Disneyland or climbing the Sky Tree in Tokyo. But being the true JDM enthusiast that I am, of course I was going to squeeze some car related trips into my holiday. One of those places was Toyota’s History Garage and Mega Web.
If you’re a fan of Toyota than this is a must for anyone traveling to Tokyo. It’s actually two museums that are separated by a shopping mall. History Garage is just as it sounds, showcasing some of Toyota’s classic cars whereas Mega Web is more of a new car show room where they display concept cars and new vehicles in Toyota’s lineup.
When we arrived we did a bit of shopping first before going to History Garage. Walking through the doors the first thing you see is a completely pristine, stock AE86 Levin sitting on watanabe rims. It’s rare to see such a clean example of these cars here in Australia so it was a unique sight. The museum is actually made up of 2 parts on two separate levels. Downstairs being more of a display area with thousands of models to look at.
There’s also a shop where you can purchase some of the models on display as well as a coffee shop where you can sit and watch old racing footage of some of Toyota’s past race cars. Next to the coffee shop was also a viewing window into a workshop where mechanics were restoring some classic vehicles
to later go on display. Every car in the museum was hand restored on site.
Some of the other cool things downstairs were the old racing engines that were used in some classic race cars like this 3S-GE 16 valve 4 cylinder that came out of a Toyota Corona Exiv used during the 1995
Japanese Touring Car Championships.
After wandering around all the displays I headed outside to look at some real cars, before I headed
upstairs. As soon as I opened the doors I was hooked. Sitting in front of me was a 2000GT Toyota that looked absolutely immaculate. Beautiful! These cars were one of Toyota’s flagship sports cars and were made in a very limited run of 351 vehicles produced between 1967 and 1970, making them extremely rare, and a price tag of over $1m if you ever came across one. If you cant afford the real thing, a model race car was available for roughly $150 Australian.
Once I picked up my jaw from drooling over the 2000GT, I headed upstairs to see where some of the serious cars were on display. At the time of my trip, History Garage had a racecar display on celebrating 50 years of Toyota racing. Some of the cars you may recognise like the TOMS Celica rally car or the 1993
Toyota TS10 LeMans car. Also on display was this 2006 Lexus SC430 SuperGT racecar. Some serious history in racecars here.
Upstairs also had an area with lots of awards, books, and various other memorabilia on display. Included in this was Toyota F1 driver Jarno Trullis’ race helmets and second place F1 trophy for the 2005 Kuala Lumpur Race.
One of the other cool features of History Garage was the go karts that weaved around the museum. But unfortunately these were aimed at children to teach car control for potential future race drivers.
We next headed over to Toyota’s new car showroom at Megaweb. First thing I noticed when we walked in was the high level of security that was present. Turns out there was a new car press release happening downstairs and some big name people in Toyota including the company president were there. Pretty crazy to walk into if you ask me. This museum was also broken up into 2 levels with new cars downstairs and upstairs being more concept and race cars on display. We couldn’t go downstairs as we didn’t have a VIP ticket for the press release. All the best stuff was upstairs anyways in my opinion like this 2008 Lexus SC430 SuperGT Racecar:
One company I have never heard of was Gazoo Racing. They had a display and shop set up where you could buy all parts from exhaust, suspension components, and body panels. One of their cars that caught my interest was their 86 Concept. The body consisted of Carbon Fiber boot, bonnet, roof skin, doors, rear wing, and lips and skirts. Inside red Gazoo racing bucket seats and steering wheel were fitted. The language barrier made it hard to know what else had been done to the vehicle. Still, it looked great in my opinion.
Nurburgring was also featured via a mini display where the Gazoo Racing Lexus LFA and Toyota GT86 took pride of place; both cars have previously competed in the famous Nurburgring 24 hour race.
Among some of the other concept cars that were on display that I found interesting was this hydrogen powered FCV concept car. This car will produce zero CO2 emissions and will run on water. The future of Toyota’s car industry is looking crazy and I wonder what kind of power these vehicles will be able to produce.
So if you’re a Toyota fan, or just a Japanese car enthusiast in general. Toyota’s History garage and Megaweb should both be on the list of cool car places to visit on your next trip to the land of the rising sun. Hopefully you can get as excited as I was to finally get to see some of these historic vehicles I have grown up loving.