Tobacco and Salt Museum たばこと塩の博物館
A fascinating intro to the history and culture of an unusual combination - tobacco and salt
Dedicated to the history and culture surrounding tobacco and salt in Japan and beyond, the Tobacco and Salt Museum in Sumida brings these commodities to life thanks to an eclectic collection of exhibits that combine science, history and art. Don't miss the reproduced relief of a Mayan god smoking a cigarette at the entrance of the permanent tobacco exhibition.
The museum conducts research on tobacco and salt and holds special exhibitions on them
Japan has no natural salt deposits, so people boiled down seawater to produce edible sea salt
How to Get There
The museum is accessible by train and taxi.
The museum is within walking distance of Tokyo Skytree , just eight minutes on foot from Tokyo Skytree Station. It is also a 10-minute walk from Honjo-Azumabashi Station on the Toei Asakusa Line, and 12 minutes away from Oshiage Station on the Hanzomon Line.
Why tobacco and salt?
The primary reason is that both of these products were government monopolies until recently, and both have had a big influence on Japanese history and culture.
From the Mayans to modern Japan
In the tobacco section you can learn about the history of the leaf and how it came to Japan. There is an excellent collection of cigarette packaging, retro posters, elaborate snuff boxes and even artistic ashtrays from throughout history. The replicas of an Edo period and late 1970s tobacco shop are particularly fascinating, and it is worth visiting just to see part of the museum's extensive ukiyo-e collection.
The wide world of salt
You can learn everything you ever wanted to know about the changing face of salt manufacturing in Japan, and see many different types of this essential seasoning from both Japan and abroad. Don't miss the statue of St. Kinga, made from 1.4 tons of Polish rock salt from the Wieliczka Salt Mine in Poland.
The latest information may differ, so please check the official website.
* The information on this page may be subject to change due to COVID-19.