During a recent business trip to Japan I was lucky enough to have an extra day to visit the Tamiya HQ in Shizuoka, Japan. In order to visit you need to call in advance (Japanese only, a friend of mine arranged it).
I was staying in Tokyo, very close to Shinagawa station and my friend also helped me out with which trains to take:
Shinkansen has 3 grades named "Nozomi (=hope)" "Hikari (=light)" "Kodama (=echo)". Nozomi is the fastest one, but no Nozomi stop at Shizuoka-station. Hikari is the middle, there are 2 Hikari per hour during the day, but only one stops at Shizuoka. Leaving Shinagawa-station 10 minutes past every hour and it takes 56 minutes from Shinagawa to Shizuoka.
Kodama is the slowest Shinkansen and stops at every station. Leaving Shinagawa-station at 04 and 34 of every hour and takes 79 minutes from Shinagawa to Shizuoka. The cost of non-reserved is 5670 yen for one way ( same for Hikari and Kodama) .
So I got my ticket at the machine (pretty easy, English language available) and was on my way.
It’s a very nice trip and if you are lucky you can see a view of Mt Fuji on the right hand side of the train. Once in Shizuoka, I grabbed a Taxi and used a cheat sheet my friend had prepared.
Once I arrived, I walked in the main entrance and gave them my name (have to make reservation remember). I was given a map and was free to walk around for as long as I wanted.
I spent an hour and a half in the showrooms before I asked the receptionist if she could call me a Taxi to go back to Shizuoka station. She gave me a Model Magazine, took my picture and also told me about Shizuoka Hobby Square, which is right next to the train station, so if you have some time before the train leaves check it out. It has exhibits from other model companies that are also based in Shizuoka.
After visiting Hobby Square I got the next Hikari back to Shinagawa and read the Model Magazine on the way back.