[Gunma Prefecture] Complete guide to the World Heritage Tomioka Silk Mill” - Access, highlights, etc.

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We would like to introduce you to the charm of Tomioka Silk Mill that holds the key to Japan's modernization and is accessible in two hours from Tokyo.

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What is Tomioka Silk Mill?

Tomioka Silk Mill is a model silk mill established by the Meiji government in 1872 under the guidance of French engineers in order to modernize Japan. The government decided to create a government-run model factory equipped with Western-style silk reeling equipment in order to improve the quality and production of raw silk, train technical instructors, and spread modern silk reeling technology throughout the country. Even today, 150 years later, it still maintains its majesty as it did when it was first established. Tomioka Silk Mill was registered as a World Cultural Heritage Site in 2014 as ``Tomioka Silk Mill and Related Sites''.

Check out the official website of Tomioka Silk Mill!

Access to Tomioka Silk Mill

From Haneda Airport to Tomioka City
Haneda Airport (Tokyo Monorail) - Hamamatsucho Station (Yamanote Line) - Tokyo Station (Joetsu/Hokuriku Shinkansen) - Takasaki Station (Joshin Electric Railway) - Joshu Tomioka Station (approx. 2 hours 45 minutes) minutes)

From Narita Airport to Tomioka City
Narita Airport (Skyliner) - Ueno Station (Joetsu Shinkansen/Hokuriku Shinkansen) - Takasaki Station (Joshin Electric Railway) - Joshu Tomioka Station (about 3 hours 45 minutes)

From Niigata to Tomioka City
Niigata Station (Joetsu Shinkansen) - Takasaki Station (Joshin Electric Railway) - Joshu Tomioka Station (about 2 hours)

From Kanazawa to Tomioka City
Kanazawa Station (Hokuriku Shinkansen) - Takasaki Station (Joshin Electric Railway) - Joshu Tomioka Station (about 2 hours 20 minutes)

It is about a 15 minute walk from Joshu Tomioka Station to Tomioka Tomioka Silk Mill.

3 highlights of Tomioka Silk Mill

West Cocoon Warehouse

The National Treasure "West Cocoon Warehouse" was built in 1872 as a warehouse mainly for storing cocoons. Preservation and repair, seismic reinforcement, and preparation for utilization were carried out at the same time.On the first floor, a glass room with a steel frame for earthquake reinforcement was constructed, and a material exhibition room (gallery) and a multipurpose hall were set up. I did. In the exhibition area on the second floor, you can experience a space that has been used for many years as a cocoon storage warehouse.

Silk Reeling Plant

The ``center'' of Tomioka Silk Mill, where raw silk was extracted from cocoons. At the time of its founding, as many as 300 factory girls wearing hakama were pulling thread here, making it one of the largest production scales in the world at the time. In December 2014, it was designated as a national treasure along with the two cocoon warehouses, and is a valuable industrial heritage that still represents Japan's modernization.

Company housing 76

In the Taisho era company housing, you can experience the lifestyle of the people who worked at the Tomioka Silk Mill, and the furniture and tools that were actually used are on display. Why not try imagining the scenery at that time? In addition to the ecological exhibit where you can get a close look at silkworms that spit out the cocoon silk that is the raw material for raw silk, you can also, by reservation, try your hand at reeling silk using a hand-reeling machine that was used before the spread of mechanical silk reeling.

How to tour Tomioka Silk Mill and audio guide

At Tomioka Silk Mill, you can listen to an audio guide of Tomioka Silk Mill by downloading a free dedicated app. Recommended for those who want to learn about the history and value of Tomioka Silk Mill at their own pace using the audio guide in Japanese, English, and Chinese. If you are considering a tour with a group, we recommend a guided tour with an interpreter. Reservations are required to arrange an interpreter, so please check the reservation details in advance from the page below. Commentators will provide commentary in Japanese and English (reservation required).

About Tomioka Silk Mill guide reservations

“Tomioka Silk” is a great souvenir

``Tomioka Silk'' is recommended as a souvenir from Tomioka Silk Mill. At the Tomioka Silk Gallery, you can find cocoons produced in Tomioka, raw silk drawn using a French silk reeling machine, raw silk made with Joshu hand-reeling machine, silk tapestries woven using Tomioka Silk and the weaving techniques of Lyon, France, and silk tapestries woven using traditional picture weaving techniques like Tomioka Silk Mill ukiyo-e. Tomioka Silk Premium Collection's original tie "Renga" made from 100% cocoons from Tomioka, "Akebono" silk organdy stole, "Painting Scarf" in collaboration with a French painter, silk cotton handkerchief "Okaiko & Kuwanomi", book covers, etc. We display and sell a large number of attractive purely domestic silk products that pursue the essence of silk, from pen cases to business card holders to cosmetic products.

Learn more about Tomioka Silk

Written by

The Tomioka City Tourism Association utilizes the tourism resources of Tomioka City, including the Tomioka Silk Mill and Mt. Myogi, in order to increase the number of visitors while contributing to the development of the local economy.

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