Located in Hamamatsu City, Japan, Suzuki Plaza is a three-story facility that charts the evolution of the company from its founding as Suzuki Loom Works in 1909 to the multi-national industrial powerhouse it is today. In a pretty clever twist (cleverer than a lot of the company's current bikes, amirite?), the museum's schtick is that the visitor is traveling through time from the current day back to the company's humble beginnings. Floors aren't "floors" as much as they are time periods, and the staircases between them are "time tunnels" decorated to give visitors the illusion of actually moving backward through the years.
The ground floor represents the modern day and houses a collection of current Suzuki products, primarily cars, bikes, and outboard motors of all things. Many of the exhibits are interactive and can be "tested" according to the website. I'm not entirely sure what that entails, but it's intriguing! Does it mean I can take the Katana they have there out on a test ride? Who knows? Whatever it means I dig a good interactive display.
The second floor features displays documenting the creation of a vehicle from concept to showroom floor. There's a theater on this floor and lots of historical data. There are also displays showing factory assembly lines, the process of making clay models for prototyping, even a pretend office with mannequin designers working at computers. It's all very Japanese—company housing, company hymn, company burial, etc.—and puts an emphasis on how amazing Suzuki is, but there is a lot of cool stuff to see so I'll forgive it.
The third floor is the big show here. When you step out of the
staircase time tunnel you find yourself in a replica of Suzuki's very first building complete with one of Michio Suzuki's vertical pedal-style looms. The loom actually works, and there are specific days when visitors can come and see it do its thing. This floor also houses Suzuki's historic vehicles so there are a ton of rad little Kei cars and all the cool bikes you'd expect to find.
Suzuki Plaza is the most difficult museum of the four featured here to find and get into (again, like the company's bikes, amirite?) There's no admission fee, but the facility is not open to the public on a walk-in basis and tends to cater only to large tourist and school groups. Individuals can schedule a time to visit, but only in the late afternoon once the big tours have come through. From the pictures it looks like it's totally worth the trouble, though, so if you're in Hamamatsu you should check it out. Sadly, there's no virtual tour but you can check out the floorplan at the museum's website.