Tokyo’s Company Showrooms
Visiting a company showroom during your holiday might seem a bit odd, but you can actually have really unique experiences while checking the latest technologies coming out of Japan.
Large Japanese companies have gone to incredible effort and expense to create large spaces to showcase their technology, know-how, and better build their brands. In most cases they aren’t even trying to sell you directly, but simply introduce the public to their products, so that makes for a low-pressure excursion that costs absolutely nothing to check out.
While other global companies have been making waves in personal technology, Japanese companies still have plenty to showcase. One of our favorites is the Panasonic Showroom in Odaiba, featuring just about every kind of technology Panasonic develops. This is a massive structure that takes a fair amount of time to go through, and if you make a reservation you can check out the Technics Theater Room, showcasing the latest high-end professional audio equipment.
Sony’s showroom in Ginza is still going strong, and is constantly being updated. It’s also a great opportunity to get hands-on time with their latest products, especially the cameras, as they have a display of colorful and moving objects to properly test out their stuff. There are always new events and displays, so it’s best to check them out online before you make a visit.
Panasonic has yet another showroom in Shinbashi, not too far from Ginza, called the Panasonic Living Showroom. Beyond their Odaiba showroom, this is much more focused on everyday life, and you can experience their products hands-on. Everything from interior fixtures to home appliances, and even the chance to have personal spa treatments using their latest personal facial devices.
If you’re just focused on one room in the house, it’s really worth visiting the Toto Showroom in Shinjuku. Japanese toilets are now becoming quite popular around the world, and Toto features a whole host of them among all of their other home fixtures. It’s a really well-designed space hidden away in an office building, but is a great experience if you’re nearby. One of the highlights is actually the bathrooms which they call “try-lets”, meaning that you can actually test out their different toilet seat functions for real. Sounds crazy, but once you’ve seen a toilet that gives you a blow-dry you’ll never look at the loo the same way again.
While not exactly a typical showroom, Shiseido has done an amazing job in creating Shiseido: The Ginza located in (you guessed it) Ginza. With three very different floors showcasing Shiseido’s latest products, you’ll also find beauty salons, a bodycare lounge, professional photo studio for that perfect passport photo, and even dressing tables you can rent for a touch-up. One of the highlights is the first floor display area that also has digital mirrors, allowing you to try-on different cosmetics in real-time without actually applying them.
Also out in Odaiba you can find Toyota Mega Web, a massive showroom dedicated to all things Toyota, and even has a small test drive course where you can check out different cars they produce, including taxis. You’ll need to have a valid international license to do a test drive, but it’s a simple process (albeit on a tiny 1.3km track).
If it’s cars and robots you’re looking for, Honda’s showroom in Aoyama-itchome shows the latest in Honda cars and motorcycles, but also has scheduled shows of their Asimo robot which you can check out for no cost. Definitely worth checking out if you’re in the area and it fits your schedule.