This is the 2nd part of my Osaka series. Previously, I posted a section on the Osaka waterfront...more than 1 year ago...(man, I have been lazy in posting), here is the link to that:
Part 1: Osaka Waterfront
I took these pictures on the same day, Mar. 30, 06.
After visiting the Osaka waterfront, I decided to go hunt out the headquarters of major electronics companies in the Kansai region. I wanted to visit the Panasonic headquarters/factory, but this time I had not done my homework, I did not book in advance, and therefore was not able to go. Instead I found that Sanyo Electric had its headquarters in Osaka, so why not visit their site and see what was there?
Other factories and headquarters of companies that I visited:
Toyota Headquarters and Auto Assembly Plant in Nagoya
Nissan Auto Assembly Plant in Yokosuka (suburb of Tokyo)
Front Gate of Nintendo HQ (scroll down...unfortunately, visitors are NOT allowed, there was a sign IN ENGLISH at the security desk!)
Side note: The good thing about Japan is that large companies are more than willing to let you visit their plants/factories (unlike in security paranoid North America where there isn't even a viewing deck at the airport for looking at planes). Its pretty interesting that a lot of the products that they export to the rest of the world is developed at these places. At the Nissan plant, we were the only ones there and they hired an interpreter just for our group of 2!
Why am I writing this? Because for tourists to Japan, all they seem to want to show you are temples and shrines and temples and shrines and MORE temples and shrines but they never promote Japan's hi-tech industries, which for me is MUCH more interesting than seeing *another* temple or shrine. Wouldn't it be interesting to see the plant that built the car that you will be able to buy in your home country?
This provides all the information you need
It was located in a suburb of Osaka, and had one of the least impressive corporate office/showrooms in Japan (maybe an indication of their ranking as an electronics company?)
The showroom had 1 floor and I was the ONLY visitor there. As usual, the showroom was (over) staffed with 4 girls I think at the reception.
Sorry for the bad quality pictures. And now things from the showroom, Sanyo's first ever product:
Some other products I found interesting, first ever portable VCR:
A personal computer in 1979:
HDTV compatible TV in 1991!
LCD TV + GPS Navigation in 1995:
Crazy Japanese word processor:
After being let-down by Sanyo. I went to the Namba area of Osaka. If you arrive at Kansai International Airport, and take Nankai Railway's rapi:t train, you will arrive here:
What is so interesting about the rapi:t train, well because it looks like this (have you ever seen a train that looks like this?!):
I could not find a good picture that I took. The photos are courtesy of: http://www.geocities.jp/twilight_train1200/rapit.html
Namba or Minami area:
The famous neon signs of Osaka:
There are little food stands everywhere, this one selling takoyaki:
And last but not least, a picture of a subway station in Osaka, check out those crazy lighting fixtures! (I now have a new found appreciation for lighting design...from work)