Umami Science Square
Kawasaki City: Attraction
Umami Science Square: Kawasaki City
Kawasaki City / Attraction
Open 8:30am-4:30pm. Closed Sundays.
Free admission
Average visit time: 90 minutes
Register online beforehand (in Japanese) if you want to take a ninety-minute tour of the factory.

Fans of Ajinomoto's MSG seasoning can learn all about the world of umami flavors and get a glimpse into the operations of a 21st-century food factory with Ajinomoto's very comprehensive factory tour. The ninety-minute adventure includes a taste-testing (miso shiru soup with and without Ajinomoto) and a simulated factory experience where participants wear hairnets and face masks while they measure, package and inspect their own souvenir miniature bottles of Ajinomoto MSG. There's also a bus tour around the massive factory grounds and a visit to a packaging assembly line that's staffed mostly by robots.

The tour starts and ends in Umami Science Square, the public face of Ajinomoto's Kawasaki factory. As you wander around the museum area you can see the evolution of Ajinomoto package designs spanning the past 100 years, learn about umami-rich foods, and watch nostalgic TV commercials. The tour includes a screening of a short film about umami in the 360-degree surround-screen theater, followed by a presentation in front of a fanciful diorama of the factory's production tanks. There's also an opportunity for photo ops with Ajinomoto's panda mascot.

If you want can't get enough Ajinomoto, in addition to the Ajinomoto MSG tour there are two additional tours focused on the company's Hondashi and Cook-do products. Although the tours are entirely in Japanese, there are some English-language written materials provided. Advance registration (on Ajinomoto's website) is required.

Kawasaki-ku, Kawasaki-shi, Suzukicho 3-4.
1 minute from Suzukicho station (Keikyu Daishi line); Suzukicho station is 4 minutes (2 stops) by train from Keikyu-Kawasaki Station
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