Exhibition of the world's worst smells in Japan Tokyo

An exhibition of the worst smells?

The attraction of human beings to perfumes is not new. Millions of people work every year on the development of ever more bewitching fragrances, to attract an increasingly demanding clientele. But did you know that Tokyo is home to an exhibition of the world’s worst smells? An event which, against all expectations, attracts a lot of people!

A great journey for the sense of smell

Initially tested in Nagoya, in central Japan, the “Nio-ten” exhibition (translation of “odor exhibition”) is the result of a project led by Atsushi Ikeda. Working in the world of television, this man found that the sense of smell was very rarely used in exhibitions. The lack identified, he had the idea to create the Nio-ten. Now located in Tokyo, this event attracts hundreds of visitors looking for atypical smells, unbearable to breathe, but also pleasant aromas.

Kusai! Kusai!

In Tokyo, visitors to the “Nioi-ten” exhibition can come and discover around fifty strong smells. And if these courageous experimenters shout “Kusai” (“it stinks”), they are no less happy. Let’s face it, sniffing the odors of feet, of “middle-aged” men or of bedbugs doesn’t sound very glamorous, but it’s still very funny, especially to many! To spare the nostrils of curious children and limit splashing, the staff opens the pressure vessels at the bottom of a water tank before offering them to visitors. If this attention is rather honorable, it will not prevent the most sensitive visitors from postponing their meal.

The overstromming make everyone agree

As in any exhibition, opinions differ. Some people look disgusted when they smell certain smells, while others see nothing really bad about it. However, a tin can is unanimous. It must be said that the smell of fermented herring, the surströmming, is enough to turn your stomach. This Swedish product undoubtedly deserves the palme d’or of the exhibition, although in Japan, its equivalent, the “kusaya”, is not bad either. Here is how three men react to their surströmming box!

An exhibition that does not necessarily please the neighbors …

Organized on the 7th floor of a store in Tokyo, this exhibition is a source of very uncomfortable emanations. To limit the release of malodorous scents outside the premises, the team had to take a number of precautions. Thus, the most pestilential parts are stored in closed cabins, which contain airtight boxes. When the visitor enters the booth, he can then lift the lid of the boxes to soak up the smells. These measures were obviously not enough, Atsushi Ikeda having received several complaints from traders during his installation (in particular from restaurateurs). It is easy to imagine that when entering the exhibition, many people must have said to themselves “There is a strange smell” (変 な に お い が し ま す).

Vocabulary of the article:

Scent, odor = に お い (ni-oi)
Stinky, smelly = 匂 い の 悪 い (nioinowarui)
“There is a strange smell” = 変 な に お い が し ま す

See also the article and the video on 20mn: Japan, the world’s worst smells are on display in Tokyo
Illustration taken from Gestpedia video: Kusai!

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