Mayo Terrace
Chofu: Museum
Mayo Terrace: Chofu
Chofu / Museum
Open 10am, 2pm, 3:30pm. Closed weekends.
Free admission
Average visit time: 60-75 minutes
Reserve online in advance.

You'll amaze your friends with your deep knowledge of mayonnaise-related facts after a visit to Tokyo's one and only mayonnaise museum, Mayo Terrace. Best-selling condiment brand Kewpie has set up this attractive facility on the former site of their mayonnaise factory, and they've put together a surprisingly entertaining one-hour tour of the museum.

The very interactive tour includes a potato-salad tasting, recipe tips, an inside look at operations at a mayonnaise factory, and brief presentations on mayonnaise history and Kewpie products around the world. At the end you can take home your choice of free miniature bottles of Kewpie products as souvenirs. Photo opportunities are abundant.

After assembling in Salad Hall you'll be ushered into the Mayonnaise Dome, fashioned in the shape of a giant Kewpie bottle. Here you'll learn the basics of Kewpie mayonnaise production (it's made from egg yolks, vegetable oils and two kinds of vinegar) and the three "secrets" of Kewpie's popular flavor (which we won't give away here).

You can also see some of Kewpie's locally tailored products for other countries - spicy sauce in Thailand, sweetened mayonnaise for fruit salads in China, and sesame dressing in the US. If you've built up an appetite by this point, the next stop is the Kewpie Kitchen, where you can sample a mound of mayonnaise-enhanced potato salad while your presenter introduces some simple recipes.

The factory tour, which comes up next, features videos and slides detailing the manufacturing process, from the specialized machines that extract egg yolks to the packaging and distribution operations. We were surprised to learn that Kewpie single-handedly uses ten percent of the eggs produced in Japan! Only the yolks are used in the mayonnaise, but the egg whites, shells and membranes are put to good use in everything from cake ingredients to makeup products.

After traversing the Tunnel of Eggs and the Emulsification Tunnel, the tour concludes in the Kewpie Gallery, where you'll hear about the origins of mayonnaise and the efforts of Kewpie's founder to bring this luxurious new condiment to Japan in 1919. After that, get ready to collect your swag bag!

Note that the official tour is in Japanese, but there's enough visual content in the multi-media presentations to keep things interesting. (After arriving early we were lucky enough to be offered a small-group tour in English, although this is certainly not guaranteed.)

You'll need to reserve your preferred date and time online (in Japanese). Tours are held three times a day, Monday through Friday, at 10:30am, 2pm and 3:30pm. They are limited to 15 participants each, so visitor time slots fill up; we were able to get reservations for the following week.

by Robb Satterwhite

Chofu-shi, Sengawa 2-5-7.
5 minutes from Sengawa Station (Keioh line)
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