Why would you want to visit a parasite museum, let alone this one? Well, first of all, this is the only parasite museum in the world. So, if you’re going to visit one, it’s going to be this one. Second, you’re never going to be able to see things like this in person unless you’re the proud host of said parasites. Come here to enjoy giant tape worms, parasitic turtle heads, educational maps, and more! We spent maybe an hour or so here, but it was very educational and interesting. So, if you’re into science, or if you’re just into weird things, head on over to the Meguro Parasite Museum. Give them a donation, though, they need your yens to do all that parasite-related research upstairs!
The ground floor might seem harmless enough - lights flash on oversize maps of Japan to show where different parasites are present - but go up the stairs and things take a more gruesome turn. Photographs show the severely distended testicles of the unfortunate human host of a tropical bug. Nearby, a giant herpetological parasite pokes out of a bottled turtle's head. The museum has over 45,000 immersed and prepared parasite specimens in its collection.
But the prize attraction is undoubtedly the world's longest tapeworm - all 8.8 metres of it - accompanied by a rope the same length that you can "play with" to get a real "feel" for its dimensions. The small gift shop sells a cheery range of parasite-themed T-shirts, keyrings, and birthday cards.
Here’s one for fans of the grotesque: this small museum was established in 1953 by a local doctor concerned by the increasing number of parasites he was encountering due to unsanitary postwar conditions. The grisly centrepiece is an 8.8m-long tapeworm found in the body of a 40-year-old Yokohama man. There’s not a lot of English signage, but little explanation is necessary because you can easily see how these nasties might set up house inside you. The museum is about a 1km walk from Meguro Station; the entrance is on the ground floor of a small apartment building, just uphill from the Ōtori-jinja-mae bus stop.