I Love Japanese Cars.
**Really ridiculously picture heavy**
**Really ridiculously picture heavy**
I was raised by a father who loves cars, and as the daddy's girl I was, am, and have always been (don't get me wrong though--I'm a momma's girl too), it's only natural I would love cars too.
Especially Japanese Cars.
Not to divulge too much, but my father did spend a fair amount of time in Okinawa before I was born and owned a Nissan Skyline (prior to the turbo charged version) as his first car. I have heard about Japan and their lovely cars since infancy, plus add in Sailor Moon on TV since I was in elementary school (at 5am on ABC Family) and my love for Pokemon games following in suite from my cousin--is it really any wonder why I love this place so much?
Anyway, the same day we went to Haruna Shrine, since it was still early morning, Ryosuke suggested we come here--the Toy and Doll Car Museum( おもちゃと人形 自動車 博物館). This place is literally made so everyone in my family is happy for hours.
There are three main parts of the museum.
Upon walking into the museum (and paying a hefty fee of 1080yen) you will be greeted by a bunch of teddy bears.
Then walking into the room full of them, you will be given a history of famous people in teddy bear history a long with worry about the health of many of the ones that are in bird cages handing from the ceiling. Literally any nook and cranny they could fit a teddy bear, they did.
Super cute though, and while I was too lazy to read all of the history entries of the various women in the glass displays, it was amazing to see all kinds of teddy bears from all over the world and from the past to now.
My mom loves teddy bears, like a lot. She is convinced she can have a pet bear and even though it is a carnivorous predator wants one of her own. So I tried my best to take a bunch of pictures for her, but the problem was, I am only using my phone and the glass doesn't seem very good to cancel out any reflection of all the lights in the place so I'll give you a few.
A walk through Showa period Japan
I like history, and old things especially if they involve Japan. Not a history buff when it comes to America but East Asia, and it's long history really gets my groove goin'. I didn't even know that this was part of the museum and it's really an added bonus! When there aren't horrid crowds of people...
It was probably the worst time of the year (Golden Week) to visit this place considering both of our anxieties with crowds of people in small places--but also this small section of the museum involves small exhibit rooms and a narrow hallway.
It was a really cool way to see old signs, and toys, and a old candy shop--I was so fascinated by it all that I kinda forgot to take more pictures...
Also there was a weird girl with an unnecessarily serious face while having her boyfriend take pictures... Being the horrid people that we are, Ryosuke took a picture doing an impression of her...we laughed too much about it.
After that you are essentially forced into a room of all old toys from the time in a big huge display case! It was amazing, especially because my eyes were drawn to the beautiful display area of Sailor Moon goods. Also, old Godzilla toy!! I LOVE GODZILLA!!!!
After the toy display area, came my most favoritest part--the carssss.
Classic Cars like Woah
Ryosuke clearly knows me best. The main point of coming to this place was for this, the Classic Car Museum!! I'm really bad at planning anything, there may be plenty that I want to do, but it all depends on what is realistically feasible to either our wallets, or time, or gas, etc. So that then makes me unsure of what to do and probably frustrates Ryosuke more than he'd like to admit.
So since we had plenty of time and he didn't want our only reason for driving this far to be for this shrine that I should've taken more couple pictures in...he suggested this beautiful land of amazing cars.
First there was this room that had a couple display areas of a single car in a Showa period setting with a bunch of cars lined up against the opposite wall. Then a room of cars that were not allowed to be taken photos of...not exactly sure why.
No more pictures beyond this point--Ryosuke sneakily took a couple, but they are a bit blurry, so just this one.
Then I saw the sign, for the real show--up to the second and third floors, is the real 'Car Museum' from the Yokota Collection. If you are a car fan, you know about this place. Especially if you are a fan of Initial D. Considering that the setting of Initial D is basically Gunma, hardcore fans will know about this place and spazz to take a bunch of pictures.
After climbing the stairs you are greeted by this amazing scene. Real life Initial D, not like the Chinese live action with Jay Chou (which I did thoroughly enjoy).
The next area is up another set of stairs, to the real show. I almost cried. I wanted to show this to my father more than any one in the whole wide world, so I literally took pictures of every single car in this show room. I will spare you the photo dump, but if anyone really wants--please leave a comment and I'll make a separate post of all 70something pictures.
I was so perfectly happy with this. But there was more!
After a bit of a confusing hallway, there was a small old candy shop--where I should have bought a candy donut making kit... and many other candies that are usually difficult to find, but we didn't get anything there and kept on through the confusing hallways.
In this museum there is also a Squirrel Park, a International Winery, and a coloring booth for the cute kewpie-chan plastic doll (the mascot of Kewpie mayo) to color with pain pens at the end of the whole museum.
The Squirrel Park, was just a small enclosed space, sort of outside, with some squirrels. You could buy a small packet of food for them to come up and reach for, but since they are such small animals there was already a lot all over the place and no point in trying to feed them more.
After we ended up in the food court/cafe area and also saw the Kewpie coloring booth but decided we needed to eat first. I wasn't driving so I tried the 200yen glass of the daily wine with my meal.
The food...to be completely honest, was really terrible. I suggest eating right before you go. To get through everything, and if you want to take more pictures (though the time I spent on that third floor showroom of cars..was probably a good twenty minutes just there), it really takes a couple of hours.
The food is presented in a white bag that looks like it was steamed, and I'm sure it was...which gives nothing to the flavor and gives the blandest taste. The wine was also super strong for my weak self, but I used so much concentration on coloring my little Kewpie-chan that I pretty much lost my buzz by the time we left.
I had really a great time and despite the really expensive price tag on just getting in, and on all the gifts that I wanted to buy but ended up not getting at all... I would love to go again and take more, better pictures and one day hopefully take my parents.
Please if you have the chance to go, make sure that you do!
Thanks for reading!