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  • Writer's picturelifeofandra

Tobacco and Salt Museum, Tokyo


Tobacco and Salt Museum, Tokyo

The Tobacco and Salt Museum offers copious amounts of information about the history of tobacco and salt, focusing on how things evolved in Japan.


Founded by Japan Tobacco Inc., it first opened in Shibuya in 1978, then relocated in 2015 to Yokokawa, Sumida, where it currently is.


It's probably one of my favourite museums in Tokyo. I honestly found it fascinating and I genuinely didn't expect to see that much information about both tobacco and salt.


Tobacco and Salt Museum, Tokyo

Opening times and Admission


Open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm (last entry at 4.30 pm).

Closed from the 28th of December to the 3rd of January. (Temporary closure 9-12 July 2024)

Admission is 100 Yen for adults and 50 Yen for children.

It takes 2-3 hours to visit.



How to get there


The museum is a 10-minute walk from Honjo-Azumabashi Station on the Asakusa Line and a 12-minute walk away from Oshiage Station on the Hanzomon Line.


If you're already in Sumida, you might want to check out the 'Sumida Hokusai Museum' which is a 25-minute walk from the Tobacco and Salt Museum.


Tobacco and Salt Museum, Tokyo

Salt


On the first floor, you will find the museum shop and ticket information.

The second floor has 'The World of Salt' - the permanent exhibition room and a 'Special Exhibition Room'.



The World of Salt has 3 sections which cover World Salt Resources, Salt Production in Japan and The Science of Salt.



The World of Salt section has quite a few samples of salt from around the world of various shapes, sizes and colours as well as information on how it is obtained. The giant cylinder/block you can see in one of the pictures above is rock salt from Poland.


Tobacco and Salt Museum, Tokyo

The Salt Production in Japan section provides a wealth of information on how Japan has produced salt historically as well as currently. All the miniatures, videos and images help you have a clear understanding of the different processes and tools used. It was highly educational and very well-structured.


Tobacco and Salt Museum, Tokyo

The last section, The Science of Salt provides information about the chemical/physical properties of salt as well as its impact on the human body.


Tobacco and Salt Museum, Tokyo

Tobacco


On the third floor, you will find the ' History and Culture of Tobacco', a permanent exhibition room with the following sections: 'The Birth and Spread of Tobacco Culture', Tobacco Cultures Across The World, Tobacco Culture in the Edo Period and Tobacco Culture in the Modern Era.


Tobacco and Salt Museum, Tokyo

The first section, The Birth and Spread of Tobacco Culture displays a few artificial tobacco plants, an interactive display with information about different species of tobacco and plants native to the Americas, as well as replicas of relief carvings from the Mayan ruin of Palenque.


Tobacco and Salt Museum, Tokyo

The relief carving depicting a god smocking a cigar is the oldest known tobacco-related artefact.


Tobacco and Salt Museum, Tokyo

The Tobacco Cultures Across the World section has a wide variety of objects on display - tobacco pouches, pipes, snuff bottles, cigarette holders and other smoking-related items.


Tobacco and Salt Museum, Tokyo

You can easily spend a long amount of time just marvelling at the impressive collection exhibited.



The Tobacco Culture in the Edo Period section goes through the history of tobacco being introduced in Japan, the techniques used to process it, especially how it was cut as well as its presence in art forms such as ukiyoe and kabuki.




You can also see a tobacco-cutting machine, a cigarette-making machine as well as a cigarette vending machine.



In the last section, the Tobacco Culture in the Modern Era you can see how tobacco-related objects, advertising and cigarette pack design have changed since the Edo Period.



Have you ever been there? If so, I would love to hear what your favorite exhibition was, in the comments below.

I hope life is treating you well.

Take care.


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