The following map shows how large the complex is. The green marker shows where the head office building is located. The red marker shows the bridge that connects the factory lands on both sides of the river. According to the tour guide, it is the longest privately built and owned bridge in the world. It doesn't even show up on the regular Google maps and only shows up in the satellite view. The blue marker shows where the main assembly line is located.
View Mazda Hiroshima in a larger map
The headquarters of Mazda is located in a pretty quiet and nondescript area of Hiroshima.
We started the tour of the factory by entering the head office building. Inside the reception area where many models of their latest models. Apparently in Japan, they don't use the standard naming convention as their worldwide models such as Mazada3, Mazda6, etc. but use unique names like "Premacy" which is sold as the "Mazda5" outside Japan.
Model of the rotary engine.
They still had the PlayStation 2 version of Gran Turismo 4 installed with the steering wheel. The game is not aged well. Maybe they will update their "driving simulator" when Gran Turismo 5 finally is released this October?
After that we boarded a bus which drove us over the privately owned bridge to the main factory. Beside the main factory was the Mazda Museum. The route of the tour took us through the Mazda Museum and to the main assembly line.
The information board of the Mazda factory lands. I constructed the Google map from this picture.
Information board which shows the timeline of Mazda.
Awards to the founder of Mazda I think.
Some of the first models from Mazda's past.
Evolution of the rotary engine.
Cross section of the rotary engine.
Next was the breakdown of the RX-8.
Results of the crash test of the RX-8.
Displays of the manufacturing process.
Next we enter the actual factory. This is the factory layout.
Even though we were not allowed to take photos inside the factory, I managed to sneak a few. I could have gotten more if there weren't so many people who were in the back of the line.
After the actual factory tour we were taken to the final area of the Mazda Museum which showed their prototype cars of the future.
These are some pictures of the factory grounds (again we were not supposed to take photos of the factory grounds). The large parking garages on both sides of the road store the newly assembled cars from the factory. Once they are ready for shipping, they are driven one by one to Mazda's private port onto a ship for export.
Picture from the privately owned bridge which links the two sides of the factory grounds.
Final thoughts, if one is visiting Hiroshima, visiting the Mazda factory is a nice short side trip and the tour only lasts about 2 hours. It is nice change of mood from visiting the Atomic Bomb Dome or Atomic Bomb Museum in Hiroshima.
However, when compared to the other tours offered by Nissan and Toyota, in my opinion the best factory tour is offered by Nissan of their Oppama plant in Yokosuka near Tokyo. In the Nissan plant tour, you actually walk on the assembly line floor as opposed to looking down from overhead platforms and the Nissan plant tour offers the complete view of the manufacturing process from initial assembly to final testing of the cars.