Along the Sumida River in Tokyo's old "shitamachi" district, a small, no-frills museum with three generations of tradition behind it is waiting to be discovered.

With an assortment of tortoise shell accessories stretching back to the Edo Period (1603-1868), the wealth of history on display in Bekko Shiryokan, or the Tortoise Shell Work Museum, more than makes up for its compact size.

Housed in a glass showcase roughly 90 cm wide and about twice as tall is a collection of around 60 tortoise shell accessories and some of the myriad tools used to make these exquisite items.