Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Drawing the wrath of Tokyo Tower Wax Museum

So today, I may be drawing the ire, if not the wrath of a Tokyo tourist attraction. What will this net me? Legal action? A sternly worded email? Time will tell, but since it didn't exactly seem to be a bustling tourist mecca, and since I'm not spoiling the majority of the exhibition, and since I'm posting this as a MUST! SEE! IN! TOKYO! I'd hope they let it slide.

On Bunny's list of things to do in Tokyo was go to Tokyo Tower, and more specifically the Tokyo Tower Wax Museum, which she had heard was a weird old wax museum and as such a must see. One of the interesting things there was this sign:

Which is why I'm feeling kinda guilty about this. I mean, if they go to the trouble of asking you not to... actually no, I don't really feel guilty. No one I've spoken to even knows this place exists, or why it's quite so awesome, but if you're looking around Tokyo I strongly recommend Tokyo Tower. And it's worth it to get the "Entertainment Pack" to go to the Trick Art Gallery, the Wax Museum and the somewhat underwhelming Guiness World of Records, because they're all kind of terrible and completely wonderful.

The Wax Museum is 70% a regular, kind of shabby, wax museum. They've got a whole bunch of Hollywood types, Churchill (someone's nicked his cigar though), JFK, famous Japanese people, Mao, Edison, a slightly odd corner with an arrangement of Princess Di, Ghandi, Mother Teresa and Anne Frank standing together like Heaven's Greatest Hits, and a partially hidden torture chamber. THEN at the end of the regular exhibition it all gets FUCKING AWESOME. They have a whole section dedicated to rock music. Except, it's not regular, contemporary rock music folks, it's guitarists like Tony Iommi and Richie Blackmore and a whole raft of German kraut and prog rock artists who I've never heard of. It's insane, I just cannot fathom who made waxworks of the members of Ash Ra Tempel, or Faust:

There's a big display for Frank Zappa. Y'know, as you would expect:

And for me, probably the cherry on the cake: a motherfuckin' waxwork of Robert Fripp:

Holy crap. I mean, add to that the shelves and shelves of utter junk that seems to be serving as some kind of retro-memorabilia exhibition (but which includes empty drinks cans, Starbucks instant coffee sachets and a Swatch home phone), and the gift shop which is just a kraut rock record store and punk merchandise stand, and the place really does have to be seen to be believed.

Tokyo Tower Wax Museum is one of the strangest, and best tourist attractions in Tokyo. And that's without the great view from the Tower, the cool timelapse video screens, or all the other stuff crammed in there. Easily worth the trip.

No comments:

Post a Comment