Today is our last day in Japan before we fly back to the United States and man, it has been a long day. We started the day at 8:30 a.m. to go to the Toganji Temple, also known as the Big Buddha in Nagoya. Next to the giant, green Buddha statue, was a shrine to pray for pets. After a brief visit, we all went to Nanzan University’s library to work on our final paper. We had around two hours at the library where we could work on our paper and access some research articles if we needed them.

Right at noon, we all left the library to go visit the Toyota Takaoka plant, which was the highlight of the day! We had to rent a bus to visit the site and it took us around 45 minutes to get to the plant. We stopped at 7-11 for a quick lunch and I regret not starting a photo album on convenience store food considering how many times we had eaten at a convenience store. Anyway, we arrived at the plant and it was huge. It was apparently the size of 123 soccer fields put together! During our tour, we got to see how cars were made; it was like a longer and better version of a “How things are made” video. We learned that there are four steps in making a car: stamping, welding, painting, and assembly. Each of these steps was at least 92% automated, which was impressive. Our tour guide told us that it takes between 17 and 30 hours to complete a car, including testing, which was so awesome!

We also learned about the “just in time” methodology, where they ordered the parts just in time for the process so that they keep their inventory as small as possible, which saved space and energy. We ended the tour with seeing the completed cars being tested and we got free pens as gifts, yay!

We are on our way back to Narita, where we will stay our last night to fly back to the United States tomorrow morning. Thank you and goodbye, Japan!

Big Buddha in Nagoya