The best museums in Tokyo rank among the finest in the world. You’ll find historical artifacts and art pieces from Japan’s proud history in several different venues. There are various types of museums here too.

    You can learn about Japan’s proud heritage in science and technology at Tokyo’s best museums, as well as delve into Japanese manga art and animation at the museum of the country's famous animation studio. There’s something interesting for all the family.

    1

    Tokyo National Museum

    Tokyo National Museum was founded in 1872 and is one of the most important museums in Japan. Made up of 5 exhibition buildings, the museum’s collections are quite impressive. It features items from the Jumon period and traditional Japan arts and crafts, such as samurai swords, armors and kimono dress, as well as art and archeological findings from other Asian countries.

    To better enjoy the exhibits, you should rent an audio guide (available in Japanese, English, Chinese, and Korean) or download the museum's app, called Tohaku Navi. Tokyo National Museum is located in Ueno Park, close to several other excellent museums.

    Location: 13-9 Uenokoen, Taito, Tokyo 110-8712, Japan

    Open: Sunday and Tuesday–Thursday from 9.30 am to 5 pm, Friday–Saturday from 9.30 am to 9 pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +81 (0)3 5777 8600

    Map
    2

    TeamLab Borderless Tokyo

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    TeamLab Borderless Tokyo is an interactive museum in Tokyo’s Odaiba Palette Town. It’s jointly run by teamLab, which is made up of professional artists, programmers and animators, and Mori Building Co., Ltd. This vast museum displays 60 artworks on a revolving basis with a line-up that changes every season. Athletic Forest is fun for all ages, allowing you to hop and jump as well as physically interact with digital art.

    Must-visits include the instructive Learn & Play! teamLab Future Park and Forest of Resonating Lamps - colorful lights gleam and make sounds when you approach them. In Memory of Topography, you can blend in with the changing scenes of Japan's 4 seasons, which include cherry blossoms, rice terraces, sparrows and rivers.

    Location: 1-3-8 Aomi, Koto Ward, Tokyo 135-0064, Japan

    Open: Monday–Friday from 10 am to 7 pm, Saturday–Sunday from 10 am to 9 pm

    Phone: +81 (0)3-6368-4292

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    photo by rabbit_akra (CC BY 2.0) modified

    3

    National Museum of Nature and Science, Tokyo

    The National Museum of Nature and Science, Tokyo (formerly the Tokyo Science Museum) has over 10,000 exhibits to explore. Here, exhibitions are presented in sections like the Earth Pavilion and Japan Pavilion, which shows the origins of Japan since prehistoric times until the present day. Other numerous exhibits include the physical sciences, and hands-on exhibits for children to teach them the basics of science and technology.

    Look out for the giant blue whale and steam engine on the grounds of the museum. They are particularly popular with children. Of all the museums inside Ueno Park, this one was the first to open. The entry fee costs from ¥500 with further charges for special exhibitions.

    Location: 7-20 Uenokoen, Taito, Tokyo 110-8718, Japan

    Open: Monday–Friday from 9 am to 5 pm. Saturday–Sunday from 9 am to 8 pm

    Phone: +81 (0)3-57778600

    Map

    photo by Wei-Te Wong (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    4

    Ghibli Museum

    Ghibli Museum lets you immerse yourself in the world of Japanese animation masterpieces like My Neighbor Totoro, Castle in the Sky and Spirited Away. This museum is a dream come true for all Ghibli fans, with original drawings of your favorite scenes and characters in the permanent exhibition room. A giant statue of Totoro welcomes you at reception, which makes for excellent photos.

    You can watch Ghibli’s original short animated films at Saturn Theatre, while children might enjoy boarding the Cat Bus. A spiral staircase leads you to a rooftop garden, where you can enjoy the greenery of Inokashira Park with its 5-meter-tall soldier robot. There are also cafés and shops. Ghibli Museum is a 15-minute walk along the Tamagawa Josui aqueduct from JR Mitaka Station.

    Location: 1-1-83 Shimorenjaku, Mitaka, Tokyo 181-0013, Japan

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 6 pm (closed on Tuesdays)

    Phone: +81 (0)570-055-777

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    photo by Naoki Nakashima (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    5

    National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo

    The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, is located in Ueno Park. This museum is the finest collection of modern art in Japan, featuring many works of Japanese artists, from the Meiji period (1868–1912), through the 20th century, right up to the present. 

    You’ll also find some celebrated works by foreign artists such as Paul Klee, Alexander Rodchenko, Wassily Kandinsky, Francis Bacon, Jean Dubuffet and Bertrand Lavier. Find this modern art museum close to Takebashi Subway Station. Entry costs around ¥500 but it’s free to enter on the first Sunday of the month.

    Location: 3-1 Kitanomarukoen, Chiyoda, Tokyo 102-8322, Japan

    Open: Tuesday–Thursday from 10 am to 5 pm. Friday–Sunday from 10 am to 8 pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +81 (0) 3-57778600

    Map

    photo by Kakidai (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    6

    The National Museum of Western Art

    The National Museum of Western Art (NMWA) was based on the Matsukata Collection of 370 works – many of which are impressionist paintings – and was previously under the care of the French government. The museum has expanded its collection since opening in 1959 by purchasing more works of art every year.

    Their collection now features world-renowned artwork from the 18th-century through to early-20th century. The museum includes works by Ritzos, Van Cleve, Veronese, Rubens, Van Ruysdae,l Ribera, Delacroix, Courbet, Manet, Renoir, Monet and Van Gogh. Visitors will also find the famous sculptures, The Thinker and The Gate to Hell by Auguste Rodin in the museum’s garden. The National Museum of Western Art is the best Japanese museum devoted to western art.

    Location: 7-7 Uenokoen, Taito, Tokyo 110-0007, Japan

    Open: Tuesday–Sunday from 9.30 am to 5 pm (Open until 8 pm on Fridays)

    Phone: +81 (0)3-38285131

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    photo by Kakidai (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    7

    Shitamachi Museum

    This charming little museum shows the daily life of Japanese people during the Edo period. Shitamachi Museum has English-speaking tour guides explaining traditional street scene replications, complete with a merchant's house, shops and a tenement building, as well as a display of period toys on the second floor where you are allowed to try out many items. Visitors can have a close look at how a traditional living room, bedroom and kitchen looked like in the old days. Shitamachi Museum is located in southern section of Ueno Park, close to Shinobazu Pond.

    Location: 2-1 Uenokoen, Taito, Tokyo 110-0007, Japan

    Open: Tuesday–Sunday from 9.30 am to 4.30 pm (closed on Mondays)

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    8

    Yebisu Beer Museum

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    Japan had its first taste of beer in the Meiji Period and since then the country has been producing many popular beers. Yebisu Beer was created in 1890 at this very location even before the town of Ebisu and the surrounding area was established. Yebisu Beer is still being produced and is now owned by the famous Sapporo Beer Company. 

    At the museum, visitors will see many interesting beer-related items and objects displayed such as old equipment and old beer advertisements. There is a tasting lounge where one can try various Yebisu beers at a reasonable price, which makes the museum even more attractive to visit. Free entrance to the museum.

    Location: 4 Chome−20−1, Ebisu, Shibuya, Tokyo, 150-8522, Japan

    Open: Tuesday–Sunday from 11 am to 7 pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +81 (0)3-5423-7255

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    photo by Dushan Hanuska (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    9

    Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum

    Time travel seems almost possible as you wander the wooden buildings of a bygone Tokyo, restored and relocated to Koganei Park. After visiting the 17th and 18th centuries, you can return to the present day for an ice cream on the grass.

    Location: 3-chome-7-1Sakuracho, Koganei, Tokyo-to 184-0005, Japan

    Open: Tuesday–Sunday from 9.30 am to 4.30 pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +81 42-388-3300

    Map

    photo by Kestrel (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    10

    National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan)

    Miraikan National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, directed by astronaut Mamoru Mohri, is a science museum that makes it easy to learn about the latest science and technology. Exhibitions here cover a wide variety of fields, including wonders of the universe, the global environment and life science. The explanations by its “Science Communicators” are also very popular.

    On top of that, you can try hands-on events, such as projecting different appearances of the earth using Geo-Cosmos, a giant globe-like display, science workshops, and demonstrations of humanoid robots called ASHIMO and Otonaroid. The museum is a 4-minute walk from Telecom Center Station on the Yurikamome Line.

    Location: 2-3-6 Aomi, Koto Ward, Tokyo 135-0064, Japan

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +81 (0)3-3570-9151

    Map

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