Ever been to a museum dedicated to new ginger?
The Iwashita New Ginger Museum is a strange little place out in Tochigi, dedicated to “shinshoga” 新生姜, or “new ginger.” According to the museum, they found a new species of ginger in Taiwan, brought it over to Japan, and made good money. You can sample the flavor there — it’s not too sour and a little sweet.
So, thanks to this plant, we are now able to look at ginger in a whole new way. Inside, you’ll find lots of pink. This is because the new ginger is iconically pink.
It’s a bit of a surreal world inside the New Ginger Museum. They have plenty of educational material about how the new ginger business came to be. They even have a section dedicated to rock-style versions of their jingle. That’s a lot of marketing right there.
And best of all, it’s free
What? Yes. Well, it is a museum dedicated to marketing the new ginger product to you. And you get to try the new ginger (they have samples), maybe eat their fun food at the cafe, and enjoy the culture of new ginger. Everyone wins.
A trip out to Tochigi
The New Ginger Museum is accessible from Tokyo via the JR Utsunomiya Line. It’s about a 2-hour ride, so better to plan a day trip. Relatively close by is Utsunomiya, where gyoza in various flavors is the local specialty. Enjoy!