Beyond the magnificent temples and shrines of Kyoto, Japan, you’ll find the headquarters of Kyoto Tools (KTC). They are the premier tool company in Japan and their quality is world renown.
KTC was founded in 1950 by three craftsman who were focused on creating high quality tools made of the highest grade steel available at a time when steel was in high demand to the post-war reconstruction.
KTC’s big break came when they began supplying on-board tools for Toyota and the automotive industry began expanding rapidly. This specialization in automotive tools led KTC to manufacture the Nepros line of tools which are now used to maintain Forumula One Race Cars as well as the Japanese military.
Kyoto Tools has dedicated a building in Kyoto to their tools and you can visit the KTC “MONOZUKURI” Museum which is a hands-on museum and a place where KTC wants you to experience their “spirit of manufacturing”.
Exhibited at KTC Monozukuri Gijutsukan Hall are roughly 3,000 tools. This is an open showroom with the largest display of tools in Japan, from top-quality Nepros tools, to conventional and specialized tools.
You can also get a hands-on feel of how to use the KTC tools by experiencing the training pit for car maintenance, or actually handling the tools in the Tool Cafe.
The museum also features a display showing KTC’s 50 years of history through the changes in tools and pamphlets, from when it was founded to the present day.
The museum itself was built incorporating energy-saving features, such as an eco-ice system for cooling, which equates to an energy reduction equivalent to planting 1,200 trees. Also by creating a rooftop garden, energy consumed by air-conditioners in the second level saves 2 to 3 degrees in summer. This is Kyoto’s first rooftop garden and is not only a green space, but also serves as the building’s third floor where employees can relax, and talk to customers.
If you get templed out in Kyoto, take a side trip and visit Kyoto Tools. You need reservations but it will be worth it.