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The Tomioka Silk Mill - A World Heritage Site!

This video, titled "Japan's Tomioka Silk Mill registered as World Heritage Site" (明治時代に生糸産業革新 世界遺産の富岡製糸場), was uploaded by "KyodoNews." It introduces the Tomioka Silk Mill in Gunma, a World Heritage Site of Japan.

In 2014, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee approved the "Tomioka Silk Mill and Related Sites" as a World Heritage Site.
The Tomioka Silk Mill is a historically important place where technological innovation and a silk industry revolution were achieved in Japan during the Meiji Period (1868-1912).

About the Tomioka Silk Mill

Image of Gunma Prefecture・Tomioka Silk Mill
Photo:Gunma Prefecture・Tomioka Silk Mill

The Tomioka Silk Mill is known as the birthplace of modern industry.
Formerly known as Hara Tomioka Silk Mill, Tomioka Silk Mill Co., Ltd., Katakura Tomioka Silk Mill, and Kataoka Industry Tomioka Silk Mill, the Tomioka Silk Mill has a long history of changing names.
Businessman Eiichi Shibusawa was one of the founders of Tomioka Silk Mill.
The "Tomioka Silk Mill and Related Sites," along with, Takayama-sha, the Tajima Residence, and the Arafune Cold Storage at 4:08 in the video, are all registered as a World Heritage Sites.

In addition, the entire site of the Tomioka Silk Mill has been designated a national historic site, and the early buildings have been designated National Treasures and Important Cultural Properties.
As can be seen at 0:35 in the video, the National Diet Library has a woodblock print depicting the factory at the time of its construction.
During the Meiji Period, the construction of a factory that introduced foreign technology was major news in Japan.

What to Do at the Tomioka Silk Mill

Image of Gunma Prefecture・East cocoon Hall
Photo:Gunma Prefecture・East cocoon Hall

The wooden-brick building of the Tomioka Silk Mill's raw silk factory is one of the largest instrumental silk mills in the world.
The former nameplate of the Tomioka Mill hangs at the entrance of the building.
The Inspector’s House is shown at 1:27 in the video and the east cocoon warehouse is shown at 1:45 in the video.
The arch in the corridor of the east cocoon warehouse bears the engraving "明治5年" (Meiji 5, or 1872 on the Gregorian calendar) the year it was built.

A replica of a reeling machine imported from France and an automatic reeling machine are preserved in the reel mill next to the east cocoon warehouse.
From 3:17, you can see Bruna Museum and at 3:57, you can see west cocoon warehouse.

Summary of the Tomioka Silk Mill

Image of Gunma Prefecture・Tomioka Silk Mill
Photo:Gunma Prefecture・Tomioka Silk Mill

The video gives an easy-to-undertstand summary of the history of the Tomioka Silk Mill while also showing footage of the mill.

If you're planning to go to the Tomioka Silk Mill or interested in World Heritage Sites of Japan, we recommend watching the video beforehand so you know what's in store for you.
Near the Tomioka Silk Mill, you'll also find lunch spots where you can eat Gunma's specialty, Okkirikomi, and shops where you can buy silk souvenirs related to the Tomioka Silk Mill.

【Address】1-1 Tomioka, Tomioka, Gunma
【Access】Please visit the homepage for access information
【Hours】9 am to 5 pm
【Admission fee】1,000 yen for adults, 250 yen for high school and college students, 150 yen for junior high school and elementary school students
【Telephone No】0274-67-0075

【Official Website】Tomioka Silk Mill

【Tripadvisor】Tomioka Silk Mill

Written By
Last Updated : Dec. 2, 2021
坂崎 なお(Nao Sakazaki)
Interested in Japanese culture and traditions! I'll be introducing lovely scenery to you!
The Tomioka Silk Mill, Registered as a World Heritage Site, Is an Important Location Known as a Place of Technological Innovation in Modern Japan. Introducing the Tomioka Silk Mill, a popular tourist Destination in Tomioka, Gunma Prefecture!
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