Mizkan Museum

Traditional seasoning produced in Handa city

Handa is a city located on the Chita-peninsula, Aichi prefecture, 40 minutes from Nagoya by train. Along the canal-side of the city, you will experience a strong sour smell. This smell comes from the crucial seasoning used in the world famous Japanese food, sushi. Can you guess what it is?

The answer is vinegar!
The city was developed and has flourished through it shipping industry since ancient times.Its local production has benefitted from delivery routes and have transported products to Edo city (old-time Tokyo, capital of Japan). One such product is vinegar. For ages, Japan’s largest vinegar manufacturer has been located in Handa city, since it’s inception.

The Museum of Vinegar
Copyright Mizkan Holdings Co., Ltd.
The Museum of Vinegar
The old museum, “Su-no-Sato”
Copyright Mizkan Holdings Co., Ltd.

The Museum of Vinegar (Su-no-Sato)

In the early Edo period, Sushi was a pricy food because vinegar made for the rice was expensive. A local figure, Matazaemon Nakano invented and started selling vinegar produced from the sediment of Japanese Sake (sake-kasu). The price of the vinegar was relatively cheap and Sushi had become a popular food among ordinary Japanese people.

The Museum of Vinegar exhibited the history of vinegar through its mementos, photos, and videos for almost 30 years. However, it closed as being a visitor museum.

Copyright Mizkan Holdings Co., Ltd.
Copyright Mizkan Holdings Co., Ltd.


November 8th, 2015. The new MIM museum of vinegar was unveiled to public.

The delivery ship, Benzai-sen
Copyright Mizkan Holdings Co., Ltd.

One highlight of the exhibition is a 20-meter long wooden ship modelled from Edo period delivery ships. The museum is proud of this object because they carefully examined the construction techniques from that period and ship-building craftsmen following these traditional techniques. Visitors are able to go onto its deck and experience a virtual voyage from Handa to Edo.

making Sushi
Copyright Mizkan Holdings Co., Ltd.

You can also enjoy making Sushi (imitation and inedible), wearing a sushi chef costume.This is literally, an experience-based museum!
According to the museum website, it’s full of many interesting exhibitions for you to enjoy!
*Advance reservations are required via phone. You can make a reservation 60 days before your visit.
*The museum’s guided tour is only available in Japanese

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Writer / Translator

I love travelling and tourists! Where to next? Wherever it is, I hope to find a good onsen (hot spring bath), delicious drinks, and friendly people. I enjoy telling Japanese stories in English, and it fills my life with plenty of learning opportunities!


Address 2-6 Nakamura-cho, Handa city, Aichi prefecture 475-8585 Japan
Hours Reservation required via phone
Close Thursdays, Summer Holidays (Obon), Year-end and New Years Holidays
Access By Meitetsu train (Kouwa Line): a 13 min walk from Chita-Handa By JR train (Taketoyo Line): a 3 min walk from Handa
Phone 0569-24-5111
Website http://www.mizkan.co.jp/mim/ (Japanese text only)