Tensan Silk Museum

Japanese name: Tensan center (天蚕センター)

The Tensan Silk Museum is a very unique experience for anyone interested in silk, local ecology, textiles, or fashion. Entrance is free of charge and the museum features the rare silk of the tensan silk worm, or yasmamai. The tensan silk worm is a nonmulberry big silk worm which only inhabits Japan. They feed on quercus leaves and produce yellowish green cacoons.

The museum has a small description of the silk in English, but most of the information is in Japanese. However, there is a detailed series of photographs which illustrate the process of the silk worm and the process of weaving the silk into fabrics throughout the museum.

The museum displays various samples of natural silk along with ornate kimonos. Be sure to ask to see the workshop adjacent to the gallery room to see the silk on looms. If you are lucky you may catch someone working with the fibrous green silk and get to see all of the different dyes used on the more neutral silks.

There is also a small gift shop for anyone interested in buying tensan silk products. The museum may be slightly hidden amidst the woods, but the forested area habituated by the silk worms is just down the road within walking distance.

Museum Hotaka Hot Springs Area
10 minute taxi ride from JR Hotaka Station
20 minute drive from the Azumino Interchange
3618-24 Hotaka Ariake
Apr to Oct: 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Nov to Mar: 9 a.m.–3 p.m.
Monday (or the following weekday when Monday is a holiday)
Around New Year's Day