Thursday 25 June
I’ve decided to take a day trip to Nagoya to see the MAGLEV Railway Park and also the Toyado Museum.
After a subway ride and then an hours ride on the shinkansen, then a 24 minute ride to the port side stop Kinjo-futo, I’m there. The signs easily point you to the MAGLEV Railway Park which is close by. I rented an audio guide for English descriptions and spent a bit over 2 hrs there. The top level has a museum and kids play areas plus a cafe.
If you’ve ridden the shinkansen you’ll be impressed by the smoothness. A visit here will show you displays of rolling stock, technology, and all the other hidden features you never knew existed.
Examples include earthquake and natural disaster prevention, wind tunnel minimization, and the development of commercial trains that will run at 500kms/hr. Current testing has world record speeds of 581kms/hr! I’d like to ride that!
It’s amazing to see how Japan has rapidly developed their train system from 1922. They’ve been quite a trendsetter with the world’s fastest stream engine back in the day.
Electrification was in place in the 1960’s. Perth only electrified it’s trains in the 1990’s!
I headed back to Nagoya station and was ready for lunch. My original tour guide hails from this city and gave me some recommendations – visit Esca, a shopping mall just outside the station which is underground.
I headed here, you had me at deep fried – English menu available:
Misokatsu (panko pork cutlet with sweet dark miso) at Yabaton 矢場とん
#38 in the map
First I started with some deep fried scallops which were just cooked, moist, and juicy. Usually, scallops are cooked longer but they’ve kept them very tender. Yum.
Next was the teppan tonkatsu, a sizzling plate of deep fried pork cutlet with a red miso soy sauce (a Nagoya specialty) poured over the top. I expected the pork to be firmer but it was tender and juicy. The red miso soy sauce is amazing! There’s such a depth of flavour which makes each bite deeply enjoyable. It also adds much needed flavour to the bed of shredded cabbage. So full and satisfied.
I did a quick round of the mall before re-entering the station and heading towards the far right to catch the subway one stop to Sako. I’m off to the Toyota Museum.
One could easily spend hours here. There are staff in each section which offer demonstrations (in English) of various things. I didn’t really get how Toyota started off in cotton spinning and weaving.
But it soon became clear. It’s a very manual process and use of mechanics made significant improvement with each advancement. All that was left was to motorise certain elements and I guess that’s where the motor and engine were born. This place is simply amazing!
Japan have and continue to be technological marvels. It’s just the technology, but the car making process led to efficiency improvements and waste reduction, a system of efficiency and productivity which is adopted in other industries. Six Sigma also has roots to this. Time to head back to Osaka.