Tokyo’s Museum of Parasites Will Make Your Skin Crawl

The Meguro Parasitological Museum has 300 parasite specimens on display 
The Meguro Parasitological Museum has 300 parasite specimens on display  | © Guilhem Vellut / Flickr

Social Media Editor

This terrifying Tokyo museum is devoted to the science of parasites, with many creepy crawlies on display for visitors to see.

The Meguro Parasitological Museum could be the most spine-tingling spot in all of Tokyo – and it’s definitely not what you’d expect to find in the city’s leafy residential Meguro district.

This strange place is the only museum in the world dedicated to parasites and, despite its distance from the bustling city centre, has become a popular tourist attraction among travellers looking to do something truly out of the ordinary (or those interested in dangerous organisms).

Inside the The Meguro Parasitological Museum

Founded in 1953 by Dr. Satoru Kamegai, the two-story space is intended to educate visitors on the diversity of parasites and their life cycles. Its research library contains 60,000 parasite specimens – 300 of which are on display – as well as 50,000 papers and 6,000 books on the subject of parasitology.

The ground floor of the museum is mainly made up of maps, outlining the country’s regions and which parasites live in each. There are also glass cases that showcase the various breeds of parasites known to infect animals.

Parasite sketchbook at The Meguro Parasitological Museum

Upstairs, however, things get a bit more personal, with the second floor space dedicated to parasites that infect human beings. Gruesome photographs show human hosts living with parasites, their body parts deformed and enlarged by the creatures literally eating them alive.

The Meguro Parasitological Museum has 300 parasite specimens on display

But the real-life specimens are far worse than the photographs; some of the displays present preserved parasites actually popping out of their animal hosts.

The most repulsive item on view has to be the record-breaking tapeworm. Measuring 8.8 metres (28.9 foot) – roughly the size of a London bus – it is the longest tapeworm in world and is exhibited alongside a rope of the same length so visitors can get a physical feel for just how enormous it actually was.

The world’s longest tapeworm

Head to gift shop for all your parasite-themed memorabilia needs. Tapeworm key ring anyone? How about a good-luck charm with an actual parasite embedded into acrylic? You can guarantee any gift bought here is something your friends won’t be able to find at home.

landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Winter Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

Edit article