The peaceful town of Iida in Nagano Prefecture is known for its annual puppet festival and the Kawamoto Kihachiro Puppet Museum.
The Takeda Memorial International Marionette Museum just outside Iida near Motozenkoji Temple is another must for fans of the art of puppeteering. Set in a beautiful garden, this modern museum presents a traditional puppet stage with a video explanation (in Japanese) as well as beautifully-crafted puppets from Japan and the rest of the world.
The Takeda name has long been associated with Japanese puppets since the 1660s.
Takeda Memorial International Marionette Museum
Tel: 0265 23 4222
Hours 9am-5pm; closed Mondays
The nearest station is Motozenkoji on the JR Iida Line.
Access: Iida can be reached by train from Nagoya via Toyohashi on the JR Iida Line (2 hours, 30 minutes). There are also highway buses from Tokyo (4 hours) and Nagoya (2 hours). By car, exit the Chuo Expressway at the Iida interchange.
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