Photo By: Randiah Camille Green
Region
Kanto
Island
Honshu
Largest City
Tokyo
Population
12,059,237

Meguro Parasitological Museum

You may never eat sushi again after visiting this creepy-crawly museum.

Exploring the Meguro Parasitological Museum will leave you feeling simultaneously enthralled and disgusted. The parasite-infected animals, bugs, and worms housed inside are enough to make your skin crawl.

The strangeness of it all will keep you delighted in intrigue for hours.

Step into a mad scientist style lab with tubes of exotic specimens lining the walls. By exotic specimens, we mean mice riddled with tumors, infected fish, and more worms than you’ve ever needed to see.

Those with a weak stomach should avert their eyes now before it’s too late.

A mouse with a parasitic tumor at the Meguro Parasite Museum in Tokyo

Photo by: Randiah Camille Green We tried to warn you.

In the name of science

The small museum and research facility was established in 1953 by medical doctor Satoru Kamegai. These days it’s a hotspot for children interested in science, and those with a morbid fascination for creepy things.

It’s a popular date spot too — roundworms are so romantic.

Meguro Parasite Museum in Tokyo

Photo by: Randiah Camille Green Romantic roundworms.

Displays are spread across two compact floors, but the strangeness of it all will keep you delighted in intrigue for hours.

The first floor educates visitors on the diverse range of parasites that lurk in the unseen corners of our world, while the second shows what happens when they burrow into human and animal hosts.

A bot-fly diagram on the second floor describes in detail how the insect deposits its eggs on mosquitoes, who then transfer the eggs to humans upon biting them. The botfly larva grows under the skin, squirming and writhing until it matures and leaves the host behind.

Meguro Parasite Museum in Tokyo

Photo by: Randiah Camille Green What a strange place.

The most brutal display is an 8.8 meter-long tapeworm (about 29 feet long) that was extracted from a man after he ate infected raw salmon three months prior. Dr. Kamegai removed it after the man noticed something hanging out of his rectum after defecating. Gross.

To give you a better idea of its sheer size, the museum has a long piece of thin fabric the same length of the tapeworm on display. It’s so long that even from the other end of the room, you can’t pull it out straight.

Imagine that living inside you for three months!

Meguro Parasite Museum in Tokyo

Photo by: Randiah Camille Green Yikes.

While most of the explanations are in Japanese, many of the displays have a QR code that will show English information if you scan it with your smartphone camera.

Don’t forget to pick up a real parasite keychain — or maybe just a t-shirt — from the gift shop.

Definitely skip breakfast before coming here.

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Things To Know

Hours and fees

The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is closed on Monday, Tuesday, and national holidays. Entry is free, but donations are appreciated since the museum is non-profit based.

How To Get There

Address

Japan, 〒153-0064 Tōkyō-to, Meguro City, Shimomeguro, 4-chōme−1−1 目黒寄生虫館

By train

Take the Yamanote Line to Meguro Station. The museum is about a 12-minute walk from the station’s West Exit.

By bus

If you don’t want to walk, take the #2 bus from Meguro Station to Otori Jinja Mae. When you get off the bus, the museum will be just up ahead on your left. The bus leaves from stop #4, right outside Meguro Station’s West Exit. 

Where To Stay

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Hotel Gajoen Tokyo
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