Toyota Kaikan Museum and Factory Tour in Nagoya: The Best Stuff isn't in the Photos
If there are any difficulties, light systems and message boards help fix the problems quickly - if it's not right the entire assembly line stops. And speaking of which - the whole floor moves with the car, so workers don't have to walk alongside moving vehicles. As for noise, it's surprisingly quiet. There are noises you'd expect, some banging, screwdriving, and so on. But it's quieter than the average bar. Workers have very strict schedules due to the assembly line process, but they change stations frequently to avoid fatigue and boredom.
During my visit, the tour included Kaikan, the assembly shop, and transportation to/from the assembly shop by minibus. There was no welding shop visit, although a video demonstrated the process. At the time of this writing, it appears that a visit to the welding shop is included. You are required to wear appropriate clothes, mainly no sandals or high heels.
But Toyota Kaikan is a highly recommended stop for car fans or just anyone interested in finding out how cars are put together! I understand Mazda has a factory tour in Hiroshima, too, though I wasn't able to visit due to timing issues.
To get to the Toyota Kaikan, take a train all the way to Toyota-shi Station and then a bus to the headquarters, or walk from Mikawa-Toyota Station as I did. Either way, expect to spend over an hour getting there from Nagoya Station. It's open 9:30-17:00, and admission is free, though they are closed on Sundays. Tours are also free, but are only given, with reservations, on weekdays at 11:00 (arrive by 10:30), and last two hours. They are in English and Japanese.