Chukaman Museum ~ free nikuman / chukaman factory tour in Iruma.
The “Only in Saitama” series continues with Saitama’s latest free factory tour. The Chukaman Museum is a Chinese Steamed 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.
The museum requires that you book in advance online. They normally take bookings for between two and nine people. They can cater to a total of 12 in one session. You can book in advance (subject to availability) for the current month. They used to also open booking from two months in advance, but due to the pandemic it is currently just the current month that you can book for. However, due to the Coronavirus the museum was closed to the public for much of 2020 and 2021. Moreover, in 2022, the factory was closed for renovations for more than half a year. During that time they offered a free online tour.
>>You might also like: the annual Chukaman Expo in Koshigaya<<
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 chukaman through a game. Finally you end the tour with a chukaman 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: Friday through Tuesday, closed on Wednesdays and Thursdays except during Spring Break.
Tour times: 10.30 am or 2.30 pm
Tour duration: the tour lasts about 90 minutes
Reservation: Essential. A reservation must be made online through their online booking form for the factory tour.
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:
- Visiting Totoro at the house of Kurosuke | TOKOROZAWA
- Santome Konjaku – outdoor theme park
- Skip City Visual Museum | KAWAGUCHI
- Little Prince Parking Area, Kanetsu Expressway
- Metsä Village – a Finnish leisure park in Hanno
- TeamLab Acorn Forest, Higashi Tokorozawa Park
- Peruse EVEN MORE “Only in Saitama” Attractions
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!
Thank you so much Cait <3 I really appreciate it. Trying hard to show off all the cool things in this prefecture 🙂
I love pork bun and it would be awesome to be able to do a tasting here !!
I love pork buns too. Really wish I could go sooner rather than later.
see this one is interesting! so many kooky museums in Japan!
Spoilt for choice 🙂
How unique! Hope you get to book a tour one day!
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
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).
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.