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After watching too many editions of Jay Leno's Garage on YouTube in the last few days, culminating in one about a '70s Japanese car, I started to wonder ...

Is there any car museum or collection of cars that is open to the public in Okinawa?

I'm interested in seeing old Japanese cars and expect due to Okinawa's unique history that there should also be old American cars that have been brought over in the past half century.

But anything will do, including museums that have just a section with cars.

I tried Googling in English and Japanese and asking the owner of my hostel. But there could be something little known or in the north of the island or related to one of the US bases.

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@Karlson: I get the impression that list is not necessarily complete, but you never know. – hippietrail Mar 7 '14 at 15:07
That's why it's not an answer. :) – Karlson Mar 7 '14 at 15:08
I found other lists too, like lists of museums in Okinawa. But I tried to word my question to allow for private collections that don't mind visitors too. – hippietrail Mar 7 '14 at 15:10
@hippietrail how about car shows? – Heidel Ber Gensis Mar 7 '14 at 16:41
up vote 5 down vote accepted

The Okinawa Classic Car Association (沖縄クラシックカー協会) has a small showroom atop a garage specializing in, you guessed it, classic cars. All visitors welcome.

ガレージルマン  (Garage Le Mans)

In Ginowan on the main island, not far from the US Army base, so I imagine they've had the odd long-nose visiting in the past. Open Mon-Sat 8:30-18:30, map here.

The one problem for you is that they appear to specialize in the one thing that's neither Japanese nor American, namely European cars.

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How on earth did you find this? It's perfect because I'm heading to Ginowan tomorrow anyway after getting a tip that a secondhand bookshop there specializes in books on Okinawan/Ryukyuan languages! – hippietrail Mar 10 '14 at 13:46
Googled "classic car okinawa" in Japanese, and this was the second hit! – jpatokal Mar 10 '14 at 21:37
I popped in for a look this afternoon about 5pm. You just say hello in the office and they invite you to go up the stairs and have a look. There was an '80s looking Jaguar, a '70s MG and an '80s MG, an Austin-Healey‎, and what I think was a replica Morgan. They had some interesting posters on the walls of classic Japanese and American cars. Downstairs there was a car under a cover which was an early '70s Nissan Fairlady (Datsun 240Z). It would probably be most interesting when the guys are there but not busy and if you're into those particular cars so you can chat with them. – hippietrail Mar 14 '14 at 12:56

This website is a mini search engine of all Automobile Museum in Japan, by prefecture. It doesn't say how many total museums there are in Japan, but it appears they have quite a lot listed. However, there are "no results for Okinawa-ken" so I'm going to go ahead and say unfortunately the answer to this question is "No"

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On a personal note, the Toyota Automobile Museum just outside of Nagoya is probably one of the best in the country for seeing historic cars and the development of automobile technology in Japan over the 20th century – Manmaru Mar 10 '14 at 3:32

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