Pork buns nikuman chukaman museum

Chukaman Museum ~ free nikuman factory tour in Iruma

The “Only in Saitama” series continues with Saitama’s latest free factory tour. The Chukaman Museum is a Nikuman (pork buns) Factory tour in Iruma. It is the first, and currently only, museum of its type in the whole of Japan. The museum opened in Iruma on January 25th 2019 and before long it was in popular demand.

Inside the free nikuman factory tour in Iruma City, Saitama Prefecture
From the official website

The museum requires that you book in advance online. They normally take bookings for between two and nine people. You can book in advance (subject to availability) for the current month and the following two months after. However, due to the Coronavirus the museum was closed to the public for much of 2020 and 2021. Moreover, in 2022, the factory is closed for renovations until the middle of August. However, they currently have an online tour.

Online tour

This is the web page for the online tour. It shows the dates and times of the next online tours. Click on the time you are interested to book a slot for the free online tour. The online tour takes about 40 minutes. They are conducted in Japanese. The booking form is also in Japanese.


Factory Tours

Information for when they go back to regular tours: There are usually two tours a day, five days a week between Friday and Tuesday. The museum / factory is closed on Wednesday and Thursday except during spring break when they have two weeks of daily tours. The tours are at 10 am and 2 pm. They last about an hour and a half. The tour involves a short video introduction followed by a tour of the factory. After that they introduce the deliciousness of nikuman through a game. Finally you end the tour with a nikuman tasting.


The museum is brought to you by (Shinjuku) Nakamuraya, a bakery famed for introducing curry to Japan. There is a great story to how the bakery came to serve curry and subsequently became a restaurant. The abbreviated version: the family gave refuge to an Indian revolutionist, Bose, who had fled India during World War I. Bose thought he could attract new customers to the bakery with the aroma of spices from his home country. 100 years later and that aroma is still attracting people! It now attracts people from all over Japan and indeed all over the world, who want to sample the taste of Japan’s first ever curry.

Chukaman Museum Information

Open: Closed until mid August 2022. When it is open: Friday through Tuesday, closed on Wednesdays and Thursdays except during Spring Break.

Tour times: in a non Covid year – 10 am and 2 pm

Tour duration: the tour lasts about 90 minutes in person, 40 minutes online.

Reservation: Essential. A reservation must be made online through their online booking form for the factory tour. However, in 2021 during the State of Emergency you can only take a tour online. The form for that is here.

Official website


Address: 234 Sayamadai, Iruma-shi, Saitama-ken 358-0033.
Plus code: R935+46 Iruma, Saitama Prefecture

The Chukaman factory is near the tea museum “ALIT” and close to Costco and Mitsui Outlet in Iruma. Iruma city is a popular day trip location for expats living in Tokyo, due to its proximity and ease of access (by car) from the capital. Iruma city can be accessed by the Ken-o expressway. The Chukaman Museum, free nikuman factory tour, is about a 10 minute drive from the Iruma interchange of the Ken-o expressway. However, for this particular attraction, its a little trickier by public transport. The nearest station is about a 40 minute walk away: Kaneko station on the Hachiko line.

More in the “Only in Saitama” series:


  1. oh wow this is so interesting- i would love to try and visit some day and great to know to book in advance. you’re always such a great wealth of information friend!

    1. Author

      Thank you so much Cait <3 I really appreciate it. Trying hard to show off all the cool things in this prefecture 🙂

  2. I love pork bun and it would be awesome to be able to do a tasting here !!

    1. Author

      I love pork buns too. Really wish I could go sooner rather than later.

    1. Author

      Me too! I bet I’ll forget at midnight on the 1st of March to try!! I’ll probably have to wait until the hype calms down to get a booking. Thank you

  3. I am so going to this when my sister comes over here for the summer. I loooooooooove nikuman! It is like my fast food. I actually love to put wasabi and ginger on top (one employees at the local 7-11 suggest this and it is sooooo good).

    1. Author

      I bought a whole load of nikuman after writing this post 😀 Haha. I love it too. Oooh, must try it with ginger… not brave enough for wasabi! Thanks a million for the tip. I really hope you can get a booking for the tour, fingers crossed.

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