By Matt Brogan. Nishiku, Japan.
As we finish our coverage from Japan this week, we take a brief picture tour of the Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology (TCM).
Established jointly by the 13 companies that make up the Toyota Group, on the site of the company's original Spinning and Weaving factory, TCM houses a wide array of looms, from the company's origins and through to present day, as well as a detailed step-by-step showcase of the group's now well known automotive history.
The Toyota Group originated from Sakichi Toyoda, the inventor of the automatic loom, and his oldest son Kiichiro Toyoda, who began production of looms and cars. Their aims were to pour all their strength and resources into developing the economy and community through invention, and through "being studious and creative".
TCM pays homage to the Toyoda family's hard work and is an insightful resource showing not only well preserved relics from a bygone time, but in also demostrating how the technology of each piece, and indeed its many components, have evolved over time.
A hand's on museum, the building is set up in such a way that any one, no matter what age, can learn something of the history of the company - and indeed the automobile's history - while at the same time being inspired a little by the group's story.
The facility boasts a number of sections including a Textile Machinery Pavilion, an area that demonstrates Metal Working technologies, an Automobile Pavilion, Metals Testing Centre and Prototype Plant, Iron Working Plant (from the former Toyoda Automatic Loom Works), Steam Engine (a working example of the unit used to drive the automatic looms), Technoland (a hand's on learning facility for kids), as well as a cafe, library and gift shop.
If you happen to find yourself in Japan with a day up your sleeve, the trip to Nishiku (near Nagoya) won't disappoint, with anyone interested in cars (or looms) on any level bound to get something from the experience.
Below is a gallery of just some of the museums many displays: