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Industry and Commerce

Japan did not start large-scale industrialization until the country faced the threat of Western imperialism in the second half of the 19th century. In order to remain independent and catch up with the West, Japan successfully undertook an industrial revolution that made it the first industrialized country in Asia over the period of just half a century.

In 2014, the Tomioka Silk Factory was designated a word heritage site, representing the revolution of Japan's silk industry, the country's leading industry for many decades before World War 2. One year later, over a dozen industrial sites across Japan received world heritage status as the Sites of Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution, illustrating the country's path to become a major industrial power during the Meiji Period (1868-1912).

Today, tourists can find a variety of industry-related attractions across Japan, ranging from historic mines, modern automobile factories and train museums to breweries and distilleries and robots. Below are some highlights of Japan's industrial tourism:

Robots

National Museum of Emerging Science

Henn-na Hotel

See our robot page for more robot-related attractions...

Automobiles

Mazda Museum

Mining

Gunkanjima

Iwami Ginzan

Sado Kinzan Gold Mine

Iwaki Coal and Fossil Museum

Fukuoka and Kumamoto Prefectures

Miike Coal Mines

Heavy Industries

Imperial Steel Works

Textiles

Tomioka Silk Mill

Yokohama Silk Museum

Food and Drink

Shiroi Koibito Park

Sapporo Beer Museum

Kirin Beer Factory

Suntory Yamazaki Distillery

Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery

Cup Noodles Museum

Marine

Herring Mansions

Taiji Whale Museum

Mikimoto Pearl Island

Transportation

NYK Maritime Museum

Finance

Tokyo Stock Exchange

Currency Museum

Environmental Issues