Meguro Parasitological Museum

Meguro Parasitological Museum (Tokyo, Japan)

Mel informed me of this delightful museum, which is described vividly on TIMEasia Magazine’s website: “Though it occupies only two floors of a small office building, the museum boasts that it displays more specimens of roundworms, hookworms, flukes, nematodes and leeches than any other place on earth—not to mention gruesomely graphic images and descriptions of the havoc they can wreak on humans and other hosts. For sure, no one could possibly leave the museum complaining that there were too few of these creepy objects on show. The formaldehyde-filled glass jars of the often impressively large and malevolent-looking critters put the work of Damien Hirst to shame. Among the must-sees: a dog’s heart with more holes than a wedge of Swiss cheese (thanks to a bad attack of heartworms); a tortoise’s head with leech-ravaged eyelids; and an 8.8-m-long tapeworm extracted from a man who chose the wrong trout to eat raw. Even more weird, all of this is displayed with nonjudgmental cheeriness. The museum even has a gift shop filled with gaily colored, branded souvenirs certain to dumbfound or disgust the folks back home. Our favorite: a T shirt adorned with a menagerie of cartoon parasites and the slogan wonderful world of the worm.”

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park (Hiroshima, Japan)

The Peace Memorial Park was built to commemorate the dropping of the atomic bomb over Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. It is located near ground zero of the bomb blast, and houses the Peace Memorial Museum and many other a-bomb related monuments. The Peace Memorial Museum graphically displays the atomic bomb’s horrible effects on the city and its inhabitants. The Atomic Bomb Dome in the park is one of the few buildings around the epicenter to survive the blast and the only remaining bomb-damaged building in the city. Definitely a must-see for the morbid Japan visitor!