Hiroshima is known for its atomic past, but did you know that it is also the birthplace of Mazda, the automobile giant? Founded in 1920, Mazda Motor Corporation produces over a million cars a year, and while the company now has several plants around the world, the original facilities at Hiroshima’s Ujina suburb remain the global headquarters. The site is a major R&D, manufacturing, and shipping hub, and plays a huge role in the local economy.
A museum is located on the Hiroshima plant and if you’re a Mazda fan, this is a must-visit destination. The Mazda Museum (マツダミュージアム) presents an overview of the company’s history, a look into the technology of its automobiles and the prospects for its future developments. The collection of vintage Mazda vehicles is second to none, and there is a superb section on the their unique rotary engine technology. You can also visit an actual manufacturing assembly line and see various cars being produced.
Open to the public, access to the museum is only through guided tours. The tours are free but must be booked in advance from Mazda’s website (English or Japanese tours are available).