Japan used to be a closed society for 300 years. People in the past were forbidden to learn about other country’s culture. Later on, it became open to the rest of the world and Japan started displaying an undiscriminating love for all things foreign. Such is the case for the Little World Museum of Man, an open-air museum that showcases the different cultures of more than 22 countries around the world. It also provides an enjoyable experience for visiting guests with its various themes, exhibitions, and restaurants!
The Little World Museum of Man opened in 1970 in Aichi Prefecture. There are various native buildings from different countries such as Alaska, Peru, Germany, Micronesia, South Africa, Taiwan, Korea, etc. along its 2.5-kilometer road. The museum provides a great “trip around the world” without requiring a passport.
A recommended activity is to try on different traditional costumes of countries such as France, Korea, Germany, Japan, and many more! There are also performances wherein artists from other countries play ethnic music, do acrobatics, and dance shows.
You’ll be able to start your “trip around the world” by acquiring a Little World Passport. If you get your passport stamped at every checkpoint during your trip, you can receive presents afterwards.
There are buses that go around the circular exhibition road every 10 to 15 minutes. If you have a round-trip ticket, you can get on and off at any bus stop. A round trip on the bus takes 20 minutes.
The Main Exhibition Building has five different exhibits with the following themes:
- Beginning at Mankind-Evolution – At this exhibit, guests can learn about the evolution of mankind and how it took place since the beginning of civilization.
- Means for Living-Technique – This area exhibits things related to clothing, housing, meals, and so on.
- World of Communication-Language – This exhibit allows visitors to experience 20 different languages.
- Interrelationship among People-Society – This area displays various rituals of people.
- Spiritual World-Values – This area allows guests to learn the different religions, rituals, and other creative and performing arts that influenced the values of people today.
You can also enjoy different cuisines from all over the world at the museum. Restaurants include Alsace, where you can enjoy French food with wine and cheese. They also have sweets like macarons. If you’re into ethnic food, you better head to the African Plaza which serves African dishes such as spit-roasted crocodile and camel. Another one is Indo Tei which is an Indian restaurant selling curry made with special spices.
For delicious Thai snacks, head to Tropical Fruit Village for some tropical juice and drinks. There is also German draft beer at Gasthof Bayern, a restored local house with a great ambiance. Enjoy a variety of South American food such as tacos, churrasco burgers, Inca Kola, and many more at El Patio! For a variety of dishes from around the world, check out World Bazaar Café. It is a self-service cafe with a children’s corner.
If you’re interested in exploring different cultures at once, then the Little World Museum of Man in Japan’s Aichi Prefecture is surely a must-visit. This is probably the easiest and cheapest way to learn about other countries. You’ll also get the chance to taste foreign dishes and purchase some of them as souvenirs to bring back home.