Japan produces some of the world’s best cars and motorcycles, so it’s no surprise that its tires have a great reputation too.
The island has a long history of rubber manufacturing and now produces performance tires that are exported worldwide.
If you are looking for replacement tires for your car, motorcycle, or bicycle, Japanese tires are usually a cost-effective and reliable choice.
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Best Japanese tire brands
Japanese tire companies have been manufacturing tires for over a century and now export their tires worldwide.
Here are some of the best Japanese companies for sourcing replacement tires for your vehicle.
1. Sumitomo Rubber Industries 住友ゴム工業株式会社
Sumitomo is a global rubber company and a subsidiary of the Sumitomo Group, one of Japan’s largest conglomerates.
It is a leading producer of tires for personal and commercial vehicles, along with other rubber products like gold balls.
Dunlop, Falken, and Ohtsy tires are Sumitomo Rubber Industries brands.
About Sumitomo Rubber Industries
The Sumitomo Group is over 400 years old and was started by Masatomo Sumitomo, a dealer in books.
The company grew over centuries to become a conglomerate with interests in a wide range of sectors.
|Chuo-ku, Kobe, Hyogo, Japan
In 1909, the Sumitomo Group invested in the Japanese subsidiary of Dunlop.
The two companies had a close business and operational relationship in Japan, and in 1963 Sumitomo gained control of Dunlop Japan, changing the name to Sumitomo Rubber Industries.
Twenty years later, Sumimotor acquired the rest of the Dunlop Tire Corporation.
Sumioto also has close commercial relationships with Goodyear, making the company one of the world’s leading tire producers.
Are Sumitomo tires good quality?
According to Automoblog, Sumitomo tires are solid, but it is not an outstanding brand.
Sumitomo was making some of its tires in China but has recently terminated its operations there. The tires are durable, with some models having a 90,000-mile lifespan.
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2. Toyo Tire Corporationトーヨータイヤ株式会社
The Toyo Tire Corporation is a Japanese tire company from Itami, Japan. The company has been manufacturing tires for over 75 years.
Their current product lines include tires for passenger vehicles, SUVs, and vans. They also have a strong reputation for off-road and luxury vehicle tires.
Toyo tires are exported worldwide and respected for their quality and all-season performance.
- Year-round performance
- All-Terrain Radial Tire
- Size: 225/45R17 94W
- Rim size: 17 inches
- 1477 pounds load capacity
- 500AA Uniform Tire Quality Grade Rating
- W Speed Rating
- 45,000-mile lifespan
About Toyo Tire Corporation
Toyo Tire & Rubber Company was founded by Rikimatsu Tomihisa in 1945.
Within 20 years, the company had expanded its tire manufacturing operation to the United States as the Toyo Tire USA Corporation.
The US subsidiary produced and distributed tires for trucks and other commercial vehicles.
Sports car tires
Executive saloon tires
Toyo diversified its tire offering to include passenger replacement tires, growing its customer base massively.
The company invested in U.S. manufacturing to reduce supply chain costs and offered competitive pricing to customers.
In the 1980s, the company entered motorsports and produced tires that won numerous championship titles, sealing the reputation and legacy of the brand among amateur and professional racers.
Are Toyo tires worth it?
Toyo tires are a technical buy. The company’s motorsports legacy shines through in the quality and expertise with which the tires are manufactured.
According to SD Wheel, Toyo tires are consistently high-quality and have exemplary all-around performance.
This is because Toyo invests millions of dollars in refining the compound and materials of its tires, with proprietary technologies like its Nano Balance Technology.
3. Yokohama Rubber Company 横浜ゴム株式会社
The Yokohama Rubber Company is one of Japan’s leading tire companies and operated in the U.S. as the Yokohama Tire Corporation.
The company mainly produces and exports automobile tires but also manufactures rubber belts, fenders, molded rubber products, and rickshaw tires.
Yokohama tires may also be known in Japan as Advan tires.
The company has also established itself as a sustainable manufacturer of tires, making extensive efforts to reduce waste and emissions, and improve the fuel economy of vehicles that use its tires.
- Year-round performance
- All-Terrain Radial Tire
- Size: 225/55R17 97V
- Rim size:17 inches
- 1609 pounds load capacity
- 740AA Uniform Tire Quality Grade Rating
- V Speed Rating
- Competitive price
About Yokohama Rubber Company
The Yokohama Rubber Manufacturing Company was founded in 1917 as a partnership between the Yokohama Electric Cable Manufacturing Company and the BF Goodrich Company.
In the 1920s, they established a rubber products manufacturing facility in Yokohama that produced tires, hoses, and other rubber products.
The company sold its tires domestically as the Goodrich brand.
|Minato City, Tokyo, Japan
Performance vehicle tires
By the late 1930s, the company has changed its tire brand name to Yokohama and expanded its manufacturing operations.
It also acquired a rubber factory in Singapore.
Growth of the company continued through the 1940s and 1950s when it when public on the Tokyo Stock Exchange and the Osaka Securities Exchange.
Are Yokohama tires the best Japanese tires?
Yokohama tires are a reliable choice for most drivers, with a consistent deep tread that holds up in a range of weather conditions and terrains.
The all-season tires from Yokohama are the most popular with passenger vehicle drivers and the wide range of tires makes it easy to find a cost-effective but good-quality set for your car.
4. Inoue Rubber Company
Inoue Rubber Company, also known as IRC is a Japanese tire company with over 90 years of tire manufacturing expertise.
It is not only highly rated for its performance tires for all major forms of cycling, but also manufactures some of the world’s best OEM and replacement tires for motorcycles.
IRC tires are used by Honda and Yamaha, which use the company because of the quality of its tires.
- Enduro-style cycle tire
- Performance suitable for professional single track and enduro/enduro cross riders
- Size: 87-5712
- Rim size: 18 inches
- Gekkota rubber compound enhances tire grip
- High sidewall rigidity and traction
- High stability and durable
- M Speed Rating
About Inoue Rubber Company
IRC is named after its founder, Mr. Inoue, who established the rubber company in the mid-1920s.
The factory initially produced bicycle tires and inner tubes in Nagoya City, which were sold domestically and exported.
|Minamieki, Nakamura-ku, Nagoya City, Japan
As the motorcycle took off in post-war Japan IRC took advantage of the increased demand by manufacturing motorcycle tires and tubes.
Growth in the motorcycle part of the business supported expansion into Southeastern Asia, and by the 1960s, the USA.
Why choose IRC tires?
IRC tires are highly rated bicycle and motorcycle tires. Amateur and professional road and racing cyclists rate the abrasion-resistant rubber and performance tread.
The variety of tires is great two with cycle tires suitable for Cross-country, MTB
Cyclocross, Gravel, Road bikes, and even sports wheelchairs.
IRC cycle tires deliver a smooth ride thanks to the wide range of proprietary compounds and tire engineering technology they use.
Best Japanese tire brands FAQ
How can I find my vehicle’s tire size?
You can find the tire size you need for your vehicle printed on the tire sidewall or the inside of the driver door. You can interpret the numbers and lettering of the tire code using the following example:
P 225/55R17 97V
– P = vehicle type
– 225 = width
– 55 = aspect ratio
– R = construction
– 17 = rim diameter
– 97 = load index
– V = speed rating
Can I mix tires on my vehicle?
No. It’s not ok if all four tires aren’t the same because each tire will have slightly different treads, engineering, and road performance. Mixing tires will likely invalidate any warranties on the individual tires.
What is the minimum tire tread in the US?
Exact measurements vary from state to state, but the minimum legal tire tread is usually 2/32 of an inch.
Japanese tires are a reliable choice for replacement tires on your vehicle Their strong expert market means that your mechanic will be familiar with these brands and able to install them professionally.
You can learn more about the range of tires available in your region on the company websites of each Japanese tire manufacturer.
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