Niche Museums

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Ramen Museum

Travel back in time to a street-scape replica of Tokyo in 1958, the year instant noodles were invented, and sample Ramen from nine different restaurants representing regional varieties of the dish. Easily accessible via bullet train from central Tokyo.

Website | Wikipedia

2 Chome-14-21 Shinyokohama, Kohoku Ward, Yokohama, Kanagawa 222-0033, Japan - Map

17 November 2019


Judy Kaminsky has been selling high-end vintage cookware (mostly French) to the residents and chefs of San Francisco since 1981. Go with intent to buy something - cake stands and antique cocktail glasses are a good target. Don't bring your coffee!


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339 Divisadero Street, San Francisco, CA 94117 - Map

16 November 2019

Wallace Collection

Bequeathed to the nation by the widow of the illegitimate son of the 4th Marquess of Hertford in 1897 on the condition that no object should ever leave the collection, even for loan exhibitions. The collection includes a vast array of French 18th century decorative arts purchased during the revolutionary sales following the French revolution. This includes the Laughing Cavalier and a lot of very shiny decorative weapons and armour.

Website | Wikipedia

Hertford House, Manchester Square, London, W1U 3BN, UK - Map

15 November 2019

Dai Loy Museum, Locke

The tiny town of Locke in the Sacramento delta is a National Historic Landmark, so designated because it represents a unique example of a historic Chinese American rural community. The town's website states that "Locke is no tourist trap, nor is it a ghost town. Its unusual, out-of-the-way charm is genuine." The Dai Loy Museum was a former gambling house, closed down in the 1950s but now restored and open to visitors.

Website | Wikipedia

13952 Main Street, Walnut Grove, CA 95690 - Map

14 November 2019

Zeppelin Museum Friedrichshafen

Friedrichshafen, the birthplace of the Zeppelin in 1900, now hosts the definitive Zeppelin museum. A full scale partial model of the Hindenberg lets you explore a recreation of the bar, cabins and smokers' lounge. They also have an original engine nacelle from the LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin and a 3.6 ton Maybach Zeppelin car from 1938, based on the Maybach airship engines and capable of a maximum speed of 170 km/h.

Website | Wikipedia

Seestraße 22, 88045 Friedrichshafen, Germany - Map

13 November 2019

California State Capitol Dioramas

The California State Capitol proudly displays a diorama for every one of California's 58 counties. The dioramas are of varying quality. The process by which they are created and updated over the years is entirely uncoordinated, and appears to be driven by occasional outcries of shame from local county media.

Website | Wikipedia

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State Capitol, Room B-27, 1315 10th Street, Sacramento, CA 95814 - Map

12 November 2019

West Kern Oil Museum

Volunteer run museum covering the history of the oil industry in the local area. They have the world's only surviving wooden oil derrick, a photo exhibit covering the 1910 Lakeview Gusher oil spill and a wonderfully eclectic collection of both indoor and outdoor exhibits.


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1168 Wood Street, Taft, CA 93268 - Map

11 November 2019

International Women's Air & Space Museum

Artifacts and displays relating to the history of women in aviation and space. The museum tells the story of pioneering aviators such as Harriet Quimby, the first American woman to earn her pilot's license and the first woman to fly across the English channel (in 1912). Also home to the first soft drink dispenser used in space!

Website | Wikipedia

Burke Lakefront Airport, Room 165, 1501 North Marginal Road, Cleveland, Ohio - Map

10 November 2019

Musée des Arts et Métiers

Established in 1794 during the French revolution to preserve scientific instruments and inventions - including the laboratory of "father of modern chemistry" Antoine Lavoisier who met his fate at the guillotine. The collection today represents three centuries of French craft and invention, including Foucault’s pendulum, the original model of the Statue Liberty, mechanical looms and a delightful gallery of automata including one that belonged to Marie Antoinette.

Website | Wikipedia

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60 Rue RĂ©aumur, 75003 Paris, France - Map

9 November 2019

La Galcante

Founded in 1975 with the aim of becoming a museum, La Galcante today is a unique store specializing in ephemeral publications: newspapers, magazines, maps, photographs, postcards and more. Some items date back to the 18th century, and the archives here include French and international dailies, society magazines and obscure periodicals. Film directors such as Martin Scorsese have rented material from La Galcante to use as props.


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52 rue de l'Arbre Sec, 75001 Paris, France - Map

8 November 2019

Barometer World

Everything you could want to learn about barometers. They even have one that is powered by a leach! Opening times are restricted due to pending retirement so make an appointment for your visit soon.

Website | Wikipedia

Quicksilver Barn, Merton, Okehampton, Devon EX20 3DS - Map

7 November 2019

Ilfracombe Museum

When entomologist Mervyn Grove Palmer retired to Ilfracombe after a career collecting exhibits for museums from South America, he was disappointed to learn that the town lacked a museum.

In 1932 he opened a new museum in the old laundry building of the Ilfracombe Hotel, displaying exhibits from his own collection as well as items donated by the local townspeople. The museum collection has been growing ever since.

The museum's own website describes it as "a cross between an Edwardian collector’s study and your Granny’s attic". The result is a delightfully eccentric assortment of items. Don't miss the cupboard full of bats, or the intriguing collection of one hundred year old wedding cake samples.

The drawers in the museum deserve special attention. I particularly enjoyed how the moths were categorised into "British Moths" and "Foreign Moths".

The museum also hosts a two-headed gosling, a two-headed kitten and bones from a human foot, "purchased from a young lad for 6d in 1932".


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Wilder Road, Ilfracombe, EX34 8AF, United Kingdom - Map

6 November 2019

Dingles Fairground Heritage Centre

Home of the National Fairground Collection, Dingles has over 45,000 indoor square feet of vintage fairground rides... and you can go on them! Highlights include the last complete surviving and operational Moonrocket from 1939, Brett's Ghost Train from 1947 and Edwards’ Dodgems, a 96 foot track with cars dating back to 1932.


The Fairground Heritage Centre, Milford, Lifton, Devon, PL16 0AT, UK - Map

5 November 2019

Autoservicio Condorito

This convenience store hosts a stunning taxidermy collection, nested among and occasionally overwhelming the other items that it sells.


Avenue ArĂ­stides Villanueva 644, M5500 Mendoza, Argentina - Map

4 November 2019

Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum

They have the Spruce Goose! Howard Hughes' incredible wooden flying boat, which held the record for largest wingspan of any aircraft from its first (and only) flight in November 1947 until finally being beaten in April 2019. You can tour the plane and if you pay to have your photo taken they will let you sit in the cockpit. The museum also hosts an SR-71A Blackbird, Titan II and Titan IV ICBMs, a Mercury Space Capsule and dozens of other historic aircraft.

Website | Wikipedia

500 Northeast Captain Michael King Smith Way, McMinnville, OR 97128 - Map

3 November 2019

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