OT: Manufacturing related attractions in/near Tokyo?
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  1. #1
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    Question OT: Manufacturing related attractions in/near Tokyo?

    I'm heading to Japan next week for around a month, partially for business partially for tourism.
    Does anyone have any advice for manufacturing related sites to visit (museums, tours, retail, interesting neighborhoods, anything)? I will mostly be in Tokyo but will likely have chances to travel around the country a bit, I will have access to a car as well as the fantastic public transit.
    I have heard good things about the Toyota plant tour but am unsure if I will be able to reserve a spot on short notice.
    I'll also be visiting a lot of things related to design/craft, contemporary art, and vintage autos.

    This is my second visit to Japan, I was there for 2 months a couple years ago. My Japanese language skills are poor but I am very comfortable traveling in the country and going off the tourist track. I am staying with a Japanese friend who will be showing me lots of auto related stuff and possibly some small shops he knows.

    There was a previous thread about this but it was over 10 years old so I thought it might be nice to revisit the topic. Thanks in advance!

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    Most manufacturing is done outside of Tokyo.

    There are some areas in Tokyo, but not easy to find. Best to ask the people you visit.

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    lots of good museums- list here- List of museums in Tokyo - Wikipedia
    i went to the transport museum, it was good. I would visit several more on this list next time.

    Minowa, a neighborhood in NE Tokyo has a lot of small workshops- we stayed there, and walking around the neighborhood saw small machine shops, cabinet shops, and other machines running.

    I really enjoyed the buildings of the japanese architect who renamed himself Von Jour Caux- crazy art deco stuff, with really good ironwork by contemporary japanese blacksmiths.
    Most is in the southern suburbs, not a very long train ride out.
    Tokyo Scum Brigade: Von Jour Caux: The Philosopher's Stone

    Casual Japanese Bystander: Von Jour Caux in Ikebukuro, Part 1

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    Are Mitutoyo products any cheaper from the local tool shops?. I heard of a guy 20 years ago who found it was cheaper to fly to Japan, buy precision bearings for a CNC rebuild at retail prices and head home the next day rather than buy locally.

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    I don't know about Mit products in particular, but I know two different people who are in the high end audio business (pro sound and stage crew types) and both have made "trips" out of flying to Japan, buying what they wanted in JP, staying a few days and then flying home. Apparently the cost of the flight + the purchase is less than what they would have spent ordering it and shipping it to the US.

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    Thanks to those who responded. Ries, those Von Jour Caux buildings look amazing. I'm deeply interested in architecture as well and love to find out about hidden gems like that.

    I will try to report back to PM if I visit especially cool manufacturing-related stuff!


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