Toyota, Japan

Today’s sightseeing was limited to a visit to the Toyota Museum and the Motomachi plant which is one of three situated in the City of Toyota where the company’s headquarters are to be found.  The museum was actually a celebration of Toyota’s commitment to environmentally friendly cars, safety and mobility, quality and other activities such as motorsports.  It was all glitz and glamour and quite futuristic.  The highlight was a demonstration by a robot who played several pieces on the trumpet (photo) and a demonstration of the i-unit – a futuristic single occupancy vehicle (the pink one in the first photo).  Other similar but smaller such vehicles were displayed.  One looked like a Segway and the other two looked like very high tech wheelchairs (photos).  The plant tour was quite extensive and demonstrated again, the commitment to quality.  It was fascinating to watch the robots at work. In the welding area, 96% of the work is done by robots.  People are more prevalent in the assembly area though robots help with the heavy lifting.  Photos were not permitted.

After lunch we headed off to the mountain area of Takayama.  The bus ride took the balance of the day.  The scenery was lovely and as we are at a higher and cooler altitude, the trees have started to change colour. The trip from Nagoya to Kanazawa, which is our next stop, will have taken us through about 100 tunnels.

I thought I would fill the space today with an explanation of Japanese toilets.  The basic model, which is in my hotel room, is shown below.  You can see that it requires some detailed instructions for use.  It operates as a toilet, bidet, delivers a warm spray, and has a heated seat.  In public washrooms, it will also have the option of playing music to drown out any unpleasant sounds.  I am told that some public bathrooms will also deliver a shower.  I find it better not to try any of the extra features!!

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