Japan did not start large-scale industrialization until the country faced the threat of Western imperialism in the second half of the 19th century. In order to remain independent and catch up with the West, Japan successfully undertook an industrial revolution that made it the first industrialized country in Asia over the period of just half a century.
In 2014, the Tomioka Silk Factory was designated a word heritage site, representing the revolution of Japan’s silk industry, the country’s leading industry for many decades before World War 2. One year later, over a dozen industrial sites across Japan received world heritage status as the Sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution, illustrating the country’s path to become a major industrial power during the Meiji Period (1868-1912).
Today, tourists can find a variety of industry-related attractions across Japan, ranging from historic mines, modern automobile factories and train museums to breweries and distilleries and robots. Below are some highlights of Japan’s industrial tourism: