Day 5 – Toyota City & the Shinkansen to Osaka
Thursday was a very early wake-up call for the entire delegation. We were up and in the lobby by 6:00 a.m. to head to the Shinkansen bullet train for the first leg of our day’s journey to Nagoya. Nagoya, capital of Japan’s Aichi Prefecture, is a manufacturing and shipping hub in central Honshu.
The Shinkansen is Japan’s network of bullet trains which take passengers to all different corners of the county. The bullet train reaches top speeds of 199 mph (320 kmh). Our end destination of Osaka was just over a two-hour train ride away, but would have taken more than 8 hours by car!
The bullet train was an interesting experience, very clean and very busy. We were served authentic Japanese breakfast bento boxes during the ride.
We arrived in Nagoya a little after 9:00 a.m. and everyone moved quickly to get off the train and head toward the buses, where we were met by representatives from Toyota. They welcomed the group and helped load us all onto the buses to head toward Toyota City.
Once at Toyota City, the group received a tour of Toyota’s Shimoyama Plant and their fuel cell development facility.
Toyota provided the group lunch and then gave a presentation to the group before we explored the Toyota Automobile Museum.
In the afternoon, the Toyota representatives escorted the delegation back to the Nagoya Shinkansen Station to complete the second leg of our journey to Osaka. Osaka is a large port city and commercial center on the Japanese island of Honshu.
After a short hour train ride, the delegation finally arrived in Osaka, and another quick bus ride brought us to our final hotel, The Hilton Osaka.
At this point, it had been a long day with an early start, but many of the delegates rallied for a group dinner at the Mekiki in Ginj Izakaya.