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Tomioka Silk Mill
Tomioka Silk Mill in Gunma prefecture is a government owned model factory established in 1872 by the Meiji government. It was Japan's first silk-reeling factory to use machines in order to improve the quality and achieve large-scale silk production. It contributed largely to development in the world silk industry and the modernization of Japan. Most of its factories and buildings remain in their original shapes and was designated as a world heritage site in 2014. A phone-shaped audio guide device is available for 200 yen in five languages including English, Chinese, Korean and so on.
- 1-1 Tomioka, Tomioka-shi, Gunma
- Contact No.
- 15-min walk from Joshu-tomioka station on Joshin Electric Railway.
- Opening Hours / Holidays
Closed: Wednesday (the next day when it falls on national holiday)
- Official Website
- Time Required
- 60 minutes
- Admission fee
- 1000 yen
※ Some information is displayed in Japanese and machine-translated English, which may not be accurate.
For the latest information, please check the official website for each spot.
History of Tomioka Silk Mill
There were as many as 300 women called Koujo (factory girl) who worked in Tomioka Silk Mill. The operation of Tomioka Silk Mill was a large national project in those days. The large silk reeling factory was kept in operation until it was closed in 1987.
The World's Largest Silk Reeling Factory
The silk reeling factory is designated as a national treasure. It is a factory to reel raw silk off cocoons. The length of the factory is 140.4 meters. Some part of the factory is open to public observation. They have the automatic silk reeling machine that was actually used until the factory was closed and have videos to show how the machine actually functioned.
Rental Hakama (Japanese Traditional Pants) to Wear in Tomioka Silk Mill
Retro fashion like hakama (Japanese traditional pants) look great in the nostalgic town with the atmosphere of Meiji era. You can rent hakama at "Haruta Kimono shop" near Tomioka Silk Mill. There are more than 20 selections of kimono that you can choose from. The shop staff are happy to help you to put it on (one day rental for 3,000 yen).