Route 135 is the main road that runs down the east coast of the Izu Peninsula and there are all manner of interesting places and sights dotted along it. With its large and imposing statue out the front, this museum caught my eye as we were driving down to Shimoda and Minami-Izu. On the way back, my parents-in-law stopped off (by chance) for a macha flavoured ice cream right next door to it so I took the opportunity to explore the shabby looking building whilst the rest of the family returned home.
It really is difficult to detail the contents of such a museum as it’s just so packed with random stuff akin to a recycle shop or collectors bedroom! There is very little in the way of categorisation and many of the items have seemingly just been scattered throughout the building which really could do with a clean! This place used to be called the Penguin Museum which may explain the giant exhibit of the animal out the front.
The collection relates to Japanese and Western pop culture including retro vinyl records, a Godzilla collection, Marilyn Monroe dolls, old-style arcade games, clothing, mannequins, masks, flags, posters, playing cards, costumes, wigs, S&M collectables, toys through the ages, figurines galore and all manner of other bizarre oddities and artefacts.
I guess beforehand I was hoping to see some Star Wars and James Bond stuff but was a little disappointed that there were only a few things. A solitary Jabba The Hutt figure from a ‘Return Of The Jedi‘ (1983) scene was the only thing I saw relating to the former. As for 007, there was just a Japanese poster for ‘Thunderball‘ (1963), a couple of ‘Goldfinger‘ (1964) model cars and a Pierce Brosnan-era James Bond figurine from ‘Tomorrow Never Dies‘ (1997). Amidst such a vast and overwhelming collection of goods, it is easy to miss some of these items!
There was also a rather gruesome house of horrors-type walk-through section out the back near the toilets with all manner of automatic things going off as you approach them (hair driers, lights etc) as well as creaking uneven floorboards and the usual amount of noisy and scary moments.
Sports memorabilia is something I’m always interested in and this museum had a sizeable amount of it but sadly it was nearly all baseball related, if not a shrine solely devoted to Hanshin Tigers from Hyōgo Prefecture!
After about 30 minutes I’d had enough and thought it was time to start heading home which I knew would be a long journey as I had decided to walk it! I could’ve walked for about 25 minutes to the nearest station but would have probably had to wait a while for the train to come and then I’d have to walk another 20 minutes from there. Instead, I just bit the bullet and decided to walk for 90 minutes along the main road as I wanted to photograph the quirky things seen below which I’d spotted from the car window earlier in the day.
Ayashii Shonen Shojo Museum is located at 413-0235 Ito, Shizuoka Prefecture 1029-64. It is open everyday between 9am and 5pm. Entry is 1100 yen.
Click here to read ‘Maboroshi Museum’