Tomioka Silk Mill and Related Sites

Tomioka Silk Mill and Related Sites is a Cultural World Heritage Sites (#1449) from the late 19th century, which at the time was the world leading exporter of raw silk. The site is located within a day trip distance from Tokyo, Japan.
 
WHEN TO GO
The site of the Tomioka Silk Mill itself can be visited throughout the year with no particular advantage visiting one time from another.
 
HOW TO GET THERE
The Shinkansen Toki will take you from Tokyo to as far as Takasaki where the Joshin Railway will take you the last way to Joshu-Tomioka station, from where it is a 10 minute walk to the Silk Mill. From Tokyo station to the entrance is about 2.5 hours.
 
HOW LONG TO STAY
The Tomioka Silk Mill is a small site, which can be viewed in about 2-3 hours.
 
DAY ONE
12.00PM - Depart from Tokyo
14.30PM - Arrive at the Tomioka Silk Mill
17.30PM - Take train back towards to Tokyo
20.00PM - Arrive back in Tokyo
 
HOW MUCH ARE THE COSTS
Travelling as a tourist with a JR Pass, you save the Shinkansen fee, which is the most expensive when visiting the Tomioka Silk Mill.
 
JPY 8,820 - Return ticket with Shinkansen from Tokyo to Takasaki (unreserved seat)
JPY 1,580 - Return ticket with the Joshin Railway
JPY 1,000 - Entrance fee to the Silk Mill Factory
 
In total JPY 11,400 without a JR pass or JPY 2,280 with a JR pass.
 
WHAT TO DO / WHERE TO GO
1. Explore the Tomioka Silk Mill
There is not much to do around the Tomioka Silk Mill site itself, besides exploring the actual site. Next to the souvenir shop there is a small information where you can scan a barcode using your smartphone to get access to an audio great - Brilliant system (if you have internet access of couse).
 
tomioka silk mill main entrance tomioka silk factory workers tomioka silk reeling machines tomioka automatic silk reeling machine closeup
The main entrance and the French silk reeling machines
 
Several places are inaccessable for visitors due to bad condition of the buildings. After getting World Heritage status, I hope this will boost tourism and funding to restore these sites and allow public access.
 
tomioka west cocoon warehouse tomioka silk reeling plant behind tomioka ground view tomioka related house
The west cocoon storage house from the front and back
 
WHAT TO REMEMBER
1. Buy silk containing Souvenirs
The sourvenir shop contains a lot of great products everything from scarfs to soaps containing silk - Some products are pure silk, like the face towels.

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