Ideas Behind Honda Facilities
Explore what Honda had in mind when each facility was established
1962 Suzuka Circuit
Opened on September 20, 1962, the Suzuka Circuit was influenced by the thoughts of Honda's key people. Honda's founder Soichiro Honda believed that our cars wouldn't improve unless they were raced. Honda's right-hand man and supporter of Honda's development, Takeo Fujisawa, envisioned a car-themed amusement park where visitors operate the rides themselves.
Since Japan lacked expert knowledge in circuit construction at the time, several rough drafts were created based on materials from overseas. Construction of the circuit was initially planned in an area filled with rice paddies, but based on the founder's belief that fields that produce precious rice must not be destroyed, the course was designed to avoid these areas. Then in September 1962, Japan's first fully-fledged racing circuit meeting the requirements of world-class racing was completed.
In the years since, the circuit has championed the development of the automotive industry through various races, including the Suzuka 8 Hours Endurance Race and the Japanese F1 Grand Prix.
At the Suzuka Circuit Park, Honda developed rides based on the concepts of "the joy of driving" and "families working together." This is in line with the hope that the facility will be an opportunity for children to experience and enjoy motorsports.
In September 1964, at the request of Japan's National Police Agency, Honda began providing instruction on driving skills for police motorcycles and patrol cars in connection with the opening of the Meishin Expressway. In response to improved vehicle performance appropriate for the age of high-speed motorways, a place for drivers to improve their driving skills was also needed. To address this, Honda began offering safe driving training sessions to regular companies and government entities. The training sessions would later develop into Traffic Education Centers that Honda operates today.
1985 Head Office Building and Welcome Plaza
Honda Welcome Plaza Aoyama
Welcome Plaza Aoyama is a showroom on the first floor of the Aoyama Building and opened on August 19, 1985, as a place where anyone can stop by and relax.
Honda's founder Soichiro Honda said he wanted it to be the kind of place where "a soba delivery man could stop by in between deliveries." Keeping with that sentiment, it was named a "welcome plaza" instead of a "showroom." Today, Honda engages in activities that convey these sentiments through exhibitions and events.
Honda's sentiment conveyed from outside the Aoyama Building
45-degree corner entrance
Aiming to make the Aoyama Building an open and welcoming head office, spaces on the first floor have been designed to allow people to freely come and go.
The main entrance is designed to be open, facing the corner at a 45-degree angle so that the view of the intersection is not obstructed.
The reason for the two-pillar design
The two large pillars at the main entrance are curiously shaped as two semi-cylinders facing inward.
The pillars were originally round, but at the time, round pillars gave a strong authoritative impression. At Soichiro's request, they were hastily cut to produce their current design.
Community engagement initiatives
Buildings in harmony with towns (security and disaster preparedness)
HondaWoods, which lights up at night for community security and to showcase its landscaping, is mainly planted with wild grasses and flowers so that people can experience the four seasons even amid a group of buildings. The trees are also adorned with birdhouses created by Honda designers and local children, providing a healing sight to onlookers.HondaWoods initiatives to develop forests that forge links with local residents have been developed at Honda facilities around Japan.
「Based on the idea of "no safety, no production," the corner of Honda's Aoyama Building that faces the intersection was designed with a rounded shape to improve visibility for the heavy vehicular and pedestrian traffic of the Aoyama 1-chome area. As a result, the building is constructed further back than its property line.Additionally, to prevent broken glass from falling to the ground below and posing a risk to passersby in the event of an earthquake, all windows on the side where people pass feature safety measures, including being enclosed by 1.5-meter-wide balconies.
Soichiro's water is offered free of charge, based on Soichiro's desire to make the building a place where anyone can feel free to stop by.Soichiro's water has been mellowed by using water from large Canadian cypress barrels on the 3rd basement floor. It is used in brewing the café's coffee and also serves as drinking water in times of disaster.
Mobility Resort Motegi
(formerly Twin Ring Motegi)
Based on the theme of "fusion between people, nature and mobility," Twin Ring Motegi was established as a place for people to experience the joy of driving in fun ways, with a focus on proposing a new motorsports culture and promoting the spread of traffic safety.
The Motegi Development Project was started in 1988 out of a desire to help improve people's lives and culture by providing the location and opportunities for anyone to experience the fun of recreation and motorsports while learning about traffic safety and acquiring scientific knowledge and skills, all while surrounded by nature. In 1994 the facility was officially named Twin Ring Motegi, and construction started.
During construction of the facility, detailed surveys of the site were conducted to ensure that the long-established environment was preserved as much as possible. The ecology of the plants, insects, birds and fish in the area was also ascertained, with preservation efforts taking place in parallel with construction.
Measures to prevent embankments from sinking, earthwork management systems, 3D CAD-based design and other groundbreaking construction methods using manmade satellites were employed, and the completed facility opened in August 1997.
To mark its 25th anniversary and reflect a theme of even greater co-existence between people, nature and mobility, in March 2022 the facility was renamed to Mobility Resort Motegi. The circuit located inside the facility hosts Japan's only races for MotoGP™, the world's most prestigious motorcycle racing series, and Trial World Championship, in addition to the popular SUPER GT category of car races, among other events.
1998 Honda Collection Hall
Honda Collection Hall was newly established within Twin Ring Motegi to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
It is the only space of its kind in the world, displaying some 300 items that tell the history of Honda from cars, motorcycles, and commercial goods such as power products to racing machines.
On display are motorcycles, cars and power products designed to be useful and appreciated. There are also the racing machines that continue to take on the world. The Honda products assembled here aren't just a part of Honda's history. They represent people's dreams and passion during Honda's early years, which have been passed down through time to the present.
The products are also on display in conjunction with numerous records, including contemporaneous photographs and stories, offering insight into what Honda was thinking when it made them.
Honda hopes to convey to people of all ages its history and how it pioneered in every era through its past products and racing machines. These ideas informed the design of Honda Collection Hall.