In a warehouse seemingly plucked from Manchester’s Northern Quarter, the Glion Museum in Osaka is a real hidden gem, perfect for any automotive enthusiast.
The journey before the destination
After spending our last night in the capital contorted in one of Tokyo’s famous capsule hotels, we were up, checked out and on the way to the main station to catch the bullet train to Osaka.
As our luck would have it, after spending 8 hours in a pair of toppled and stacked refrigerators, it was raining and raining hard. Carrying oversized backpacks attempting to navigate our way through Tokyo on foot to avoid the outrageous taxi prices, absolutely soaked through.
Amazingly, we located the station, bought the tickets and caught the train without any real hitch. As we sped away from Tokyo and arrived in Osaka, I found myself wondering whether or not we’d still be spotting supercars on the streets on every corner. After exiting the subway and standing at ground level for the first time, the questions were answered.
A Lamborghini Countach, followed by a Huracan Spyder sped up the street, only to be met by a trio of Aventador SVs and a pair of Uruses. Fumbling with my phone I managed to document as much as I could, but the pair of us were somewhat gobsmacked.
What I hoped was a typical day in Osaka was, unfortunately, a special occasion and an event held in the city every year known as Lamborghini Day. I, regrettably, didn’t realise until too late and missed any other Lambo sightings for the rest of the day – but following tags on Instagram showed off the final venue of the event – the Glion Museum.
Osaka’s incredible Glion Museum
We pencilled in a museum visit for later in the week and when the day finally arrived, we were more than impressed at what the venue offered. The space isn’t just a museum, but a showroom for some mad American stuff too.
Wander into the first warehouse section and there’s a collection of Corvette’s, Mustangs and Chargers. The room after that, it’s almost exclusively Hummers – an incredible visual oxymoron to see in the narrow streets of Japan. But it was the museum itself that won my heart over.
Nip into the largest of the warehouses, hand over your 1,000 yen entry fee and you’re transported into a room filled with an unrivalled selection of dream metal. A recently flogged Alfa Romeo Giulia sat next to a Lotus Esprit and opposite that, a Ferrari Dino and Alpine A110 – the first time that I’d seen either of these cars in person.
Taking a look at the wall adjacent and there’s a pair of immaculate Skylines with a Hakosuka and Kenmeri sitting side-by-side. The dynamic duo are joined by the worlds first rotary-powered machine, a Mazda Cosmo and perched beside that – the highlight of the entire room – a pair of Toyota 2000 GT’s.
There was only ever around 350 of these quirky Japanese sports cars produced and they are highly collectable. With each car able to fetch a cool $1,000,000 in a good day in the auction, it may have been the most valuable two-car garage I seen on the entire trip.
The rest of the venue is comprised of older stuff – stuff that I’m nowhere near qualified to talk about. A BMW 507 paved the way to one of the additional three classic warehouses, but that’s about all that I could identify as a known silhouette.
More than anything, I couldn’t help but wonder exactly why these cars were all parked here. A little bit of everything is how best to describe the selection and I spent the rest of the time strolling through the unknown, taking in the lines and the designs of an era truly gone-by.
Well, until our time at the museum was up and we headed to the aquarium just over the road. That’s well worth a visit too if you’re in the area – they’ve got these mad whale sharks and they’re bigger than just about anything I’ve ever seen in the water.