Museum of Tropical Medicine – Nagasaki, Japan - Atlas Obscura
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Museum of Tropical Medicine

A hub of information on tropical diseases and their treatments. 


If you want to come within inches of preserved Ebola-spreading bats or see how the larvae of the parasite Anisakis grows inside the many cavities of the human body, the Museum of Tropical Medicine in Nagasaki, Japan is the place to do it.

Jars full of formaldehyde, containing a wide range of specimens such as strains of tropical diseases, parasites, bacteria, viruses, poisonous insects, and dangerous animals fill the museum. There’s also a small audio-visual room and displays of public health data that any epidemiological enthusiasts are free to peruse.

The collection serves as both a museum and resource center for information on tropical disease. Originally founded in March, 1942, to perform basic and applied studies on endemic tropical diseases in East Asia, the institute has since grown into the leading research center for tropical medicine in Japan. 

The museum aims to use its collection to strengthen public health science and risk communication. After the visit, you’ll be sure to remember to always wash your hands, use mosquito spray, or thoroughly inspect your raw sushi dinner. 

Know Before You Go

The museum is free of charge. From Nagasaki central station, take tram Number 1 or Number 3 for "AKASAKO" and get off at "HAMAGUCHI-MACHI." Walk about eight minutes toward Nagasaki's Medical University Campus.

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