Japan has a flourishing automobile industry. And it follows that the tire industry needs to be large enough, too. In 2018, Japan manufactured 146.75 million tires according to figures from JATMA. JATMA is the Japan Automobile Tyre Manufacturers Association. Below are the top 7 brands.
- Bridgestone Corporation
- Toyo Tire Corporation
- Sumitomo Tire
- Yokohama Tire
- IRC Tire
- Shinko Tire
- Falken Tire
Good quality tires are important from the point of view of safety. They are also necessary for a fuel-efficient and comfortable ride. The tire industry in Japan saw tremendous growth from the 1990s to 2008. The tire brands mentioned above all provide great quality.
Bridgestone Corporation is the largest tire manufacturer in the world. It is also one of the oldest companies and was founded almost 90 years ago. When it comes to tires, it is one of the most trusted brands. It has its presence in over 150 countries. It makes tires for heavy vehicles, cars, as well as motorcycles. They also make tires for aircraft and construction and mining vehicles.
The company is known for its innovation. Over the years, they have consistently come up with new materials. Their focus is on making durable and safe tires. SUSTYM, for instance, is one of their innovative materials. It combines both rubbers and resins. The material is pliable and durable. The use of Japanese technology is prominent in the tires.
Bridgestone tires are known for their superior quality. The rubber used is flexible. However, it is strong enough to hold shape. The tires made for on-road cars have multiple contact points with the surface. This gives better stability. Overall, these tires are very safe. The cost is slightly high. However, they provide optimum efficiency. The tires are a good choice for the mileage conscious.
- Durable tires
- Good safety elements
- High-quality raw material
- Stringent quality checks
- Good tread life warranty
Toyo Tire Corporation
Toyo Tires has been around for 75 years. The company’s philosophy is to keep the fun in driving alive. They also focus on a good performance. They try to continuously improve their products. Also, they aim to exceed customer experience. They rely on new technologies and creativity to make products that deliver performance. Toyo, too, has a presence in several countries outside Japan.
The company uses Nano Balance technology. This ensures superior quality. It creates composite polymers for making tires. The high-strength rubber design provides improved water resistance. Their unique processes also help them speed up manufacturing time.
- Silent tires
- Airless tires
- Fuel-efficient tread rubber used as a raw material
- High-performance tires
- Great for wet roads
- Open Country M/T Mud Terrain – Hook-shaped blocks for difficult terrain
- Open Country R/T Radial Tire – Better grip suitable even during snow
Sumitomo Tire is the child company of Sumitomo Rubber Company established in 1901. It is a reputed brand for good quality tires. The brand aims to build trust by making quality products. It has its roots in deep traditional values. At the same time, the brand continues to improve its technological know-how.
Sumitomo makes passenger car tires as well as commercial tires. It makes tires for light trucks, too. Also, it has a special range of winter tires. This is a brand you should consider for a mix of quality and value. Their designs are innovative. They use precision engineering to give the best quality.
Sumitomo is a reputed brand. Its real-world performance sets it apart. Optimum traction and rugged designs are its strengths. The company also provides good customer support.
- Superior winter traction
- More wet-braking distance
- Extended tread life
- Good safety standards
Yokohama is a century-old company based in Tokyo. It is known for its designs and use of technology. It was the first tire company to get the ISO certification. Yokohama’s tires go through strict quality checks. It is also a company that uses green initiatives in manufacturing. The brand has a significant presence in the US.
In 2019, Yokohama Tire was named as the official tire of GTA. It was also the official tire in the Super Lab Battle USA. It was also the main sponsor for the Premier League Club Chelsea. Their exhaustive product range caters to different tire needs. They make tires with various speed ratings and aspect ratios. They also cater to different terrains and seasons. The brand makes both on-road and off-road tires. Advan, Geolander, and iceGuard are some of the variants available.
The tires provide great stability when turning. They maintain optimum contact with the surface for safe turning. The drive is extremely smooth. If you are looking for reliability, these tires are for you.
- Tires are easy to balance
- Smooth ride
- Low-noise tires
- Specialized tires for different terrains
- Geolander MT G003 Mud Terrain – Great balance and performance
- Tg015 Lt285/75R16 – Good comfort on-road and good traction off-road
Inoue Rubber Co. Ltd makes tires under the brand name IRC Tire. They make tires for motorcycles, bicycles, and wheelchairs. The company has been producing tires since 1926.
Their motorcycle tires are made for extreme conditions. They also make off-road tires and tires for dual sport. However, they make tires suitable for on-road riding, too. The tires for cycles are made for mountain bikes, gravel roads, as well as commuter bikes. They also make wheelchair tires for Paralympic sports.
An interesting fact about IRC is that they use rice bran ceramic in making tires. Rice bran powder is mixed with resin and heated to a high temperature. When cooled, the material is kneaded with rubber and molded into tires. This unique process leads to very strong tires.
- Great grip
- Full-spectrum hydro coating
- Good customer service
- Strong tires
- IRC 87-5450 – Design with narrow grooves for better hold and stability
- IRC WF-920 – Widest and lowest profile design
Shinko tire started as a bicycle tire manufacturer in Osaka. However, in over 50 years since it first started, it has now become a very reputed brand. Shinko specializes in motorcycle tires. It started motorcycle tire manufacturing in 1998. The designs are made in Japan and manufacturing is done in South Korea.
Shinko has since spread its operation in several countries. This includes the USA, Europe, and Indonesia. Today, Shinko Tire makes over 2000,000 tires per month. The brand’s specialty is adventure motorcycle tires. However, they have tires for on-road riding, too. The superior grip is definitely a highlight of these tires. Even on loose, gravel roads, the tires give adequate stability.
Shinko tires are the preferred tires when it comes to adventure sports. It provides a smooth ride on highways. The surface grip is good for both dry and wet conditions. The strong rubber compound prevents any damage to the body during off-road use.
- No-slip tires
- High durability
- Great stability during turning
- Shinko 777 Front Tire – High mileage and load capacity
- Shinko Dual Sport 705 Series – A versatile tread pattern for street and trail riding
Falken Tire is owned by Sumitomo. However, it is now a stand-alone tire brand. Its focus on ultra-high performance makes it a popular brand. The brand started in Japan in 1983. Soon, it spread its operations to Europe and North America. Azenis, Ziex, Sincera, and Wildpeak are its variants.
It uses 4D Nano Design for simulation. As a result, tire production is faster. The company uses advanced technology for precision. The tires have a high degree of circularity. This improves stability. The material used has great strength thus improving the stability further.
- Flexible contact points on the tires
- Consistent high-quality
- High-precision manufacturing
- Comfortable ride
- Wildpeak M/T R35 – Superior Mad Grip
- Azenis FK510A SUV – Summer tire with a low profile, looks great!
Choosing the right tires for your vehicle can improve drive quality. Aspects such as climate conditions, road quality, and speed need to be considered. Safety is also an important consideration. Also, the braking quality of the tires and stability needs to be kept in mind. The tires should be checked for their size before buying to ensure the perfect fit. This is especially true when buying online.
Here’s a video that explains how to choose tires for your car.
If you want to buy a car in Japan, here’s a helpful read for you – How to buy a car in Japan.