Must-Visit Museums in Tokyo
Best Museums in Tokyo by Area
There are about 100 museums and galleries in Tokyo in various genres such as modern art, history, digital art, science and anime. In this article, I have listed must-visit museums in Tokyo by area. Don’t miss a chance to visit the world-class museums while you are in Tokyo!
– Yebisu Beer Museum
The museum dedicated to one of the leading Japanese beer brands, Yebisu. Yebisu Beer Museum (ヱビスビール記念館) is a free admission museum with the gallery displaying the history of the premium beer brand. There is a paid guide tour through the museum including tasting of 2 kinds of beer.
– Nezu Museum
Nezu Museum (根津美術館) is an art museum located in Aoyama area, Tokyo. The museum displays the private collection of over 7400 pre-modern Japanese and East Asian art pieces by Nazu Kaichiro. Besides the impressively large collection of artworks, the museum’s architecture design by the Japanese architect Kengo Kuma is also highly regarded.
– Meguro Parasitological Museum
Meguro Parasitological Museum (目黒寄生虫館) one of the most unique, and definitely the creepiest museum in Tokyo showcasing over 300 preserved specimens of parasites in the 2-story building as well as the educational overview about parasites. The museum is admission free.
Samurai Museum (サムライミュージアム) is a cultural museum offering visitors to learn the history of Japan and the ancient Samurai culture through the collections of Samurai artefacts including armors and swords. Performances of a sword battle and Samurai costume photo shoot (with additional charge) are also available.
– Yayoi Kusama Museum
Yayoi Kusama is one of the most influential female artists alive today. Her very own museum, Yayoi Kusama Museum (草間彌生美術館) has opened in Shinjuku area in 2017 and displays some of the most impressive artworks of hers in the 5 storied building including a library, rooftop gallery and a museum shop.
-Fire Museum Tokyo
One of the most unique museums in Tokyo, Fire Museum Tokyo (消防博物館) exhibits the history of firefighting in Tokyo from Edo Period to modern days, and a collection of vintage fire engines worldwide.
-Mori Art Museum
Mori Art Museum (森美術館) is a modern contemporary art museum and its gallery is situated at the 53rd floor of Roppongi Hills Mori Tower. The museum holds temporary exhibitions through the year in various genres such as fashion, architecture, installations around the world. Some of the exhibitions can be entered with the same tickets for the Tokyo City View observation deck.
– The National Art Center, Tokyo
The National Art Center, Tokyo/NACT (国立新美術館) is one of the largest museums in Japan, designed by the renowned architect Kisho Kurokawa. The museum does not have collections or permanent exhibits, but only displays temporary exhibitions sponsored and curated by other organizations.
-Suntory Museum of Art
Suntory Museum of Art (サントリー美術館) is an art museum located in Tokyo Midtown. It’s owned by the Suntory corporation, a famous Japanese beverage company. The museum mainly focuses on the collection theme of the art works that express “Art in life”.
– National Museum of Modern Art
– Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum
– National Museum of Western Art
The National Museum of Western Art (国立西洋美術館) is a public art gallery specializing in art from the Western tradition located inside Ueno Park. In 2016, the main building of the museum was registered to the UNESCO World Heritage site as an Important Cultural Property as one of the 17 works by the Swiss architect, Le Corbusier.
– Tokyo National Museum
Tokyo National Museum (東京国立博物館) is the oldest and largest museum in Japan established in 1872. The museum houses a massive collection of over 100,000 artworks including 87 Japanese National Treasures 610 Important Cultural Properties.
– National Museum of Nature and Science
The National Museum of Nature and Science (国立科学博物館) is located at the northeast of Ueno Park. It was established in 1877, and it’s today’s one of the oldest museums in Japan. The museum offers comprehensive exhibition of natural history and the history of science and technology.
– Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum
Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum (東京都美術館) is an art museum situated within Ueno Park, Tokyo, mainly displaying temporary art exhibitions in various genres by Japanese and foreign artists.
Shitamachi Museum (下町風俗資料館) is located on the shores of Shinobazu Pond within Ueno Park. It’s dedicated to the traditional culture and lifestyles of Tokyo’s old town (Shitamachi in Japanese) with life-size replicas of houses and a collection of a variety of documents and objects.
Edo-Tokyo Museum (江戸東京博物館) showcases the 400 years history and the culture of Tokyo during Edo Period such as the life size replica of the buildings ans the scale model of towns and buildings from Edo to Showa periods.
– Katsushika Hokusai Museum
Katsushika Hokusai Museum (すみだ北斎美術館) is a museum dedicated to the legendary Ukiyoe painter from Edo Period, Hokusai Katsushika and showcases the full-scale replica of his work such as “The Great Wave off Kanagawa” and “Fine Wind, Clear Morning”.
-Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo
Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo (東京都現代美術館) is a contemporary art museum located in Kiba Park in Koto, Tokyo. The museum focuses on modern/contemporary art and displays a wide range of artworks from Japan and abroad.
Official Website: https://www.mot-art-museum.jp/en/
– MORI Building DIGITAL ART MUSEUM: EPSON teamLab Borderless
teamLab Borderless (チームラボ ボーダーレス) is currently one of the most trending spots in Tokyo, offering the futuristic and immersive digital art experience with the innovative ideas and the latest technology in a 10,000 square meters space.
– National Museum of Emerging Science
National Museum of Emerging Science (日本科学未来館) a.k.a. Miraikan is a science museum created by Japan’s Science and Technology Agency. It displays the cutting edge technology and the history of innovationw with exhibitions, hands-on activities, theatres and demonstrations.
-Madame Tussauds Tokyo
The unique museum from London showcasing wax sculptures of celebrities and famous figures with numbers of branch museums across the world. At Madame Tussauds Tokyo (マダムタッソー 東京), there are about 70 wax sculptures of both Japanese and international superstars.
Unko Museum (うんこミュージアム) which literally means the “Poop Museum”, is an unique yet entertaining museum located in Odaiba area, Tokyo. The museum combines poop and the Kawaii culture and offers poop themed art, goods, and interactive contents in a colourful entertainment space.
-Tokyo Trick Art Museum
Tokyo Trick Art Museum (東京トリックアート迷宮館) is a quirky and entertaining museum offering numbers of optical illusions and 3D paintings. Guests can interact with an unique art experience and take a lot of funny pictures.
– Ghibli Museum
Ghibli Museum (三鷹の森ジブリ美術館) is a top visited tourist site in Tokyo, dedicated to Studio Ghibli, the world’s famous animation production founded by Hayao Miyazaki. The museum showcases the art and works of Studio Ghibli animations including temporary exhibitions, cafe, museum shop, play room and garden.
-teamLab Planets TOKYO
teamLab Planets TOKYO is another digital art museum produced by teamLab is situated in Toyosu area, only a short walk from Toyosu Market. The museum is based on the concept of body immersive, which visitors can feel and enjoy the art works by using not only mind but also several senses through the body.
Fujiko F Fujio Museum ((藤子・F・不二雄ミュージアム), known as Doraemon Museum is the museum dedicated to the work of Fujiko F Fujio, one of the most famous manga/anime creators from Japan, whose notable work is Doraemon. The museum is located in Kawasaki City, Kanagawa Prefecture, which can be accessed within 20 mins from the central Tokyo.
Snoopy Museum (スヌーピーミュージアム) once opened in Roppingi area, Tokyo from 2016 to 2018, then reopened in Machida City in late 2019. The museum display the art of Peanuts through original comic materials and other exhibits as well as special exhibitions. The museum also has a merchandise store and a cafe.
-Shunkaen Bonsai Museum
Shunkaen Bonsai Museum (春花園BONSAI美術館) showcases the extensive collection of artistic Bonsai trees in a gallery and a traditional Japanese garden with pond. Some cultural activities are also available at the museum such as wearing Kimono and tea ceremony.
For more information about things to do in Tokyo, check these links!!