Resuming my adventure to Japan early this year, the one place that I never get bored of visiting is Toyota Mega Web, a popular tourist attraction in Odaiba, Tokyo. It's a gigantic car theme park with all Toyota's latest model on display. With History Garage just around the corner, one can also enjoy the exhibit of cars from the golden age. Let me share my visit to these two awesome places.
Toyota Megaweb and History Garage is situated at Palette Town/Venus Fort. You can reach there by alighting at Tokyo Teleport Station (via Rinkai Line) or Aomi Station (via Yurikamome Line).
With Mega Web building so huge and a Ferris wheel beside it, it is impossible not to spot the place. Coming up from Tokyo Teleport Station will take you to the entrance in no time.
GAZOO Racing is one of Toyota's racing division which actively takes part in Nurburgring 24 Hours Endurance Race. With its great achievement in motorsport, Toyota is proud to showcase their latest development and array of unique cars at GAZOO Racing Garage section or the 'Waku-Doki Zone'.
First two cars were non-GAZOO Racing related. They are current 86 model wearing fresh aero kits made for the road use by Toyota's other tuning arms, Modellista and TRD.
While Modellista focus is on the exterior, TRD offers more part upgrades for both visual and performance of the 86.
GRMN Sports FR Concept Platinum is an original GT86 concept unveiled at TAS 2013. Its design especially the low front face and the four round linear rear lights are rather inspired by the legendary Toyota Supra. Performance output has been improved to 325hp with the help of twin-charger system.
Next was GRMN 86 Concept, introduced at TAS 2014. With the experience they gained from racing at Nurburgring, they were able to create a lighter, track-focused version of its 86. Incorporating loads of carbon fiber upgrades in and out, and other significant upgrades while keeping its original 86 look, I wish this concept model will be realised for car enthusiasts to own.
2010 GRMN Sports Hybrid Concept II was the most unusual looking car in the hall. In fact, it is based on MR2 chassis and redesigned to increase driving enjoyment. Its powertrain is a hybrid of 3.5L V6 engine powering the rear wheels and an electric motor driving the front wheels, making it a 295 AWD car.
GRMN stands for 'GAZOO Racing tuned by Meister of Nurburgring' referring to the late Hiromu Naruse, Toyota's chief test driver who died in an accident while testing the LFA Nurburgring Edition. The concept car above was the final car he worked on, and his legacy continues with the GRMN name.
These two battle damaged GAZOO Racing display cars actually raced in Nurburgring 24 Hours endurance race. Left is Lexus LFA #88 which scored 3rd in the SP8 class in 2011, and right is Toyota 86 #165 which attained 6th place in the SP3 class in 2012.
There was Gran Turismo 6 racing simulator for visitors to enjoy realistic circuit driving experience, for free!
Apart from Endurance Races and SuperGT, did you know Toyota also takes part in NASCAR? This is #18 M&M's Toyota Camry driven by Kyle Busch in 2014 NASCAR season.
This 86 or better known as FR-S in the States was one of a kind. It has a bare top with custom body panels designed by Cartel & Mike Vu. This convertible concept was showcased at SEMA Show 2012.
More high-tech eco-friendly Toyotas were on display at Global Discovery Zone - from left, FCV Concept, eQ & i-ROAD. However, the one that caught my attention was the Fuel Cell Vehicle in blue, which is able to generate electricity to power motor by harnessing hydrogen. This world changing innovation has begun with the recent introduction of Toyota Mirai.
The best part of Toyota Mega Web is that there are more than just cars in this place. Many fun exciting games are available for people of all ages to have a go in them.
See when I meant Toyota Mega Web is gigantic. The lower 1F is even more spacious and you could find all the latest Toyota line-up here. Feel free to get in and out to evaluate the showroom cars. There's even a section called 'Ride One' where you can test drive your favourite car.
You've got to try the thrilling virtual car ride experience shown on a 380 inch screen at the Mega Theater.
From time to time, Toyota Mega Web hosts a range of events related to motorsport. During my last visit, they even brought in super-cool race cars of different makers to their hall for public display. Seriously, there isn't any place as cool as Toyota Mega Web! :D
Now, let's move over to History Garage for all the best classic car collection. It takes less than 5 minutes to reach this place from Mega Web and easily accessible via 1F and 2F. The above picture is the 1F entrance.
When I was visiting History Garage, they were promoting the upcoming release of the animation Initial D Legend 2. Therefore, I was fortunate to see another 100% accurate replica of Takumi's tofu car. Lucky!
This Initial D movie version of AE86 was identical to the one I initially saw at TAS 2015. In fact, both replicas were made by the same workshop famously known as Carland 86 at Kyoto. I am pretty sure the engine bay is as beautiful as how the exterior body looks.
Initial D fans like myself would spend some time at this area admiring the artwork done by the creator Shuichi Shigeno, ...
... and the collection of Initial D diecasts and merchandises.
There is a diecast shop called 'Grease' inside History Garage where they offer varieties of high quality miniature cars of different sizes and brands. The collection here is pretty amazing, so watch your wallet when spending on these rare collectibles.
History Garage had their own team of specialists to restore the valuable vintage cars, which you can watch them working right in front of your eyes. Those completed build will then be placed in the exhibit area.
The exhibits are spread across the compounds of History Garage, and they changed position periodically. You can even head outdoors for some fresh air and admire some great classics while sitting down enjoying a cup of delicious coffee.
Take the stairs up to 2F to find museum of vintage cars manufactured between 1950 and 1970 decorated alongside with period-right diorama and background. The place will definitely take you back in time.
These are some of the cool classics that ever exist in this world - the BMW Isetta, a three-wheeler microcar from the 50s, the cute Fiat 500, and of course the brilliant Jaguar E-Type.
The deeper you walk in, you'll come across a bigger hall that accumulates every remarkable cars ever to come out of Japan like the Celica GT TA22, Skyline GT-R KPGC10, Fairlady 240Z, Cosmos, and etc. You can be sure that all the cars here are in excellent working condition!
I remember my first time visiting History Garage in 2010, I was very fortunate to stumble upon three legendary historical prototype racers that once made Japan proud in 24 Hours of Le Mans. What a memorable sight.
My personal favourite at History Garage has to be the 1967 Toyota 2000GT. It is seen as Japan's first supercar on par with the better marques of Europe at that time. Today, the 2000GT is recognised as the most collectible, desirable, and valuable car ever produced in Japan, and I could understand why few willing to pay USD$1.2 million to own one.
The 'Corridor' has tons of miniatures cars, books and memorabilia for true car fans to adore.
I hope this article will enlighten some of you who have been wanting to visit Toyota Mega Web and History Garage in Odaiba, Tokyo. Tons of exciting car collection and plenty of fun activities for you to learn and play with. It will definitely keep you busy for the whole day. So, don't forget to mark this places down when you're on your way to Japan. :D