Tomioka Silk Mill
A world heritage site and home of Japan’s first modern silk factory. It was originally opened by Japan’s government as a model silk factory and still evokes the old-age charm of the Meiji westernization era today.
World Heritage Sites
The Tomioka Silk Mill garnered international acclaim when it was registered in 2014 as a world heritage site. It’s home to rich history that nods to the heyday of the Meiji Restoration period. During this era, the Japanese government launched a number of development plans that prioritized industry and the sciences. One key element that supported funding of these programs during that time was the export of silk. As a result, the Tomioka Silk Mill was built in 1872 as Japan’s first modern silk reeling factory.
The building was designed by French architect Edmond Auguste Bastien, utilizing a fusion-style architecture with western style timber-frame and brick wall architecture, along with a Japanese style tiled roof.
The warehouse grounds is home to many historic buildings that still keep their original style, including the national treasures like the silk reeling warehouse, and the East and West Cocoon Warehouses. There are also important cultural assets like the Cocoon Drying Facility, the Iron Water Tank, Director’s House (Brunat House), Women’s Dormitory, the Inspector’s House and more.
In addition to warehouse tours, you can also buy silk goods at the silk gallery, see the silkworm exhibits or try some a hands-on workshop (Separate fee applies. Temporarily stopped as of Sept. 2021) for you to learn, browse, shop and explore.
(Photo provided courtesy of Tomioka City)
Registered world heritage and national treasure.
Timber-frame and brick exterior celebrate a gorgeous mix of Japanese and Western architecture.
Several buildings across the complex are registered as national treasures or important cultural assets.
Includes a “Silk Gallery” shopping area and exhilarating learning space.
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- Name in Japanese
- Postal Code
- 1-1 Tomioka, Tomioka City, Gunma
- Adults: 1,000yen, high school/college students: 250yen, elementary & middle school students: 150yen
- New Year Holidays (December 29th - 31st)
- Business Hours
- 9:00am-5:00pm (Admission allowed until 4:30pm)
(1) 10 min. walk from Joshu-Tomioka Station on the Joshin Dentetsu line.
(2) By car, take the Joshin-Etsu Expressway and use the Tomioka IC exit to find parking lots about 10 mins away.
※No parking permitted at the Tomioka Silk Mill. If arriving by car, please use a public city parking lot nearby (free and paid options available).
- Official Website
- Official Website (English)