Toyota has a grand legacy in its homeland of Japan. It is as large a part of the automotive history there as Ford has here in the U.S. When visiting Japan with the Turbo magazine Tokyo Auto Salon Tour I was fortunate enough to be able to visit the Toyota Amlux Auto Salon. Being that I am a huge fan of Toyota I made sure to visit the museum dedicated solely to the history of Toyota.
Taking the train out to Ikebukuro, we walked through the popular Sunshine 60 district when we came to the six-floor Amlux building. Amlux derives its name from "AutoMobile" (am) and "LUXurious" (lux), representing "to have cars looked at comfortably in a luxurious atmosphere." I must say I have seen nothing else like it. Each floor is dedicated to a different aspect of the automotive market: urban car lifestyle, automotive quality, active car lifestyle, and cars and entertainment. They also feature a movie theater, Gran Turismo PS2 arcade, F1 racing section, TRD shop, cafe, design center, new model showroom, DJ booth, and other features. Unforgettable is the 30-meter waterfall, a nod to Toyota's commitment to the environment. Scattered throughout the museum are cute female employees in little blue dresses and matching hats ready to assist you.
There are plenty things to see and tinker with. It's a hands-on place where you can jump in the cars and check under the hood. My favorite vehicle was the Denso TRD race Supra. The selection of Japanese-only TRD products made me salivate but my wallet certainly couldn't match those prices. If you are a TRD fan with money to burn, however, Amlux is certainly worth a visit. Toyota's other museum, MegaWeb, does not have this TRD store and these products are not available in the U.S.
Pictures are better than words, so here are a few we snapped while visiting. For more information (in Japanese) visit: amlux.jp.