Top 7 museums in Tokyo to explore

There are many things you can do when you are moving to Japan. For example, there is Tokyo. It is a city of progress, with rich historical and cultural background. Because of this, there are so many things to see and do here, both old and new. So, once you move, unpack your bags and get ready to spend a new chapter of your life here, the time has come to explore the city. And is there a better place to start than the museums in Tokyo? There is a variety of them, and there is something for everyone! In this article, we give you our choice of top 7 museums you need to visit. Pick one and start exploring the city today!

National Museum of Nature and Science

A microscope - like you'll find in many museum in Tokyo.
Art and history is not the only focus in the Japanese museums.

First, let’s start with something most people familiar with museums in Tokyo know. This is the one for all those nature and science geeks, but it is also great for those who just need a casual noon outing. If you are in Ueno Park, then go to the eastern corner and visit the National Museum of Nature and Science. You will notice it by an enormous blue whale statue that is welcoming visitors at the entrance. But fear not! This is not only the place for science buffs, though! There is a lot of must-see history here – both on nature and technology.

As you might see from your stroll next to it, the building is huge. It has to be, in order to host an impressive flora and fossil collection. These are all in beautiful displays throughout the whole building. While taking your stroll through the museum, you will also be able to notice the advent of technology. From the tools and instruments used to preserve the world around us, to the literature that people used to study it. Everything is here!

If this has picked up your interest, then you can visit the museum from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays and Mondays, and from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on other days. The admission fee is ¥620 for adults, and it’s free for high-schoolers and children.

Tokyo National Museum

After you are done with your visit to the first of our museums in Tokyo, and you visited one of the best restaurants in Tokyo to fill up on energy, you can visit the Tokyo Nation Museum. Another museum in Ueno Park, it’s one of the oldest museums in Japan. It opened its doors in 1872, and since then it hosted an amazing range of artworks, artifacts, and antiquities. However, not only Japan’s treasures are buried here. You will find many other East-Asian countries have left their mark on the museum.

The specialization of the museum is different than the other museums in Tokyo. Here, the focus is on art, archeology, and history. There are around 110,000 items here, with 89 national treasures. You can visit it from Tuesday to Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The admission is ¥620 for adults, ¥410 for university students, while people under 18 and over 70 have free admission.

Suntory Museum of Art

A kettle and a tea set.
The Japanese tea ceremonies are a thing to see.

Fans of modern art can find the Suntory Museum of Art in Tokyo Midtown, on the third floor. Ever since 1961, it has been celebrating “Art in Life”. There are over 3000 items in the museum’s collection, and they all have a connection to the Japanese lifestyle. There are no permanent exhibitions. Just a great range of paintings, glass, ceramics, and similar items, as well as special exhibitions as the year goes. It is also a place where you can witness the traditional tea ceremonies every Thursday at its Genchoan Tea Ceremony Room.

It’s open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday to Thursday, and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. The address is 9-7-4, Akasaka, Minato-ku, and the admission varies by the exhibition. However, junior high students and younger children have free admission.

The Japan Folk Crafts Museum

If you are still not tired of Japanese history and museums in Tokyo, then it’s time to go to the Japan Folk Crafts Museum. If you are a fan of mingei (folk crafts), then this is a must visit place in Tokyo! There are around 17,000 works. You can find textiles, woodwork, paintings as well as many other items. Just like in the previous museum, there is a lot of exhibition cargo from other countries as well. There is work from Okinawa, Korean Peninsula, Taiwan, and China.

Visit it from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 4-3-33, Komaba, Meguro-Ku. The admission is ¥1,100 for adults, ¥600 for the University and high school students, and ¥200 for Junior high and Elementary school students.

Bunkamura Museum of Art

If you are a fan of theater, then visit the Bunkamure Museum of Art. This is not only a museum but a theatre, concert hall, and cinema as well! There are so many things to do – and all at one building! Ever since it opened its doors in 1989, it was a place to celebrate art, performance, film, and music. There are around 2.8 million visitors per year, and it would be a shame that you aren’t one of them.

And if you are looking for romantic spots in Tokyo, what better place than this historic building to take your date out on a date? It opens at 10 a.m. and closes depending on the program. The address is 2-24-1 Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku, and the admission varies based on what you are seeing.

Ghibli Museum

An anime figurines that you can see in museums in Tokyo
Anime culture is big in Japan.

Studio Ghibli was a famous anime maker that only recently closed its doors. It had some of the best animations in the history of anime. That’s why no sightseeing in Tokyo can go by without visiting the Ghibli Museum. It doesn’t really matter if you like anime and film or not – you need to visit the museum! There are beautiful collections of original drawings as well as concepts which you can look through for hours. Then, there are also exclusive animated shorts in the cinema, as well as a rooftop garden that is out of this world. Literally – you will find the five-meter-tall Robot Soldier who you might recognize from Laputa Castle in the Sky.

It’s open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (closed on Tuesdays), and the address is 1-1-83 Simorenjaku, Mitaka-shi. However, you can only order the tickets in advance before you visit – it’s vastly popular. The admission is ¥1,000 for adults, ¥700 for the ages 13 to 18, ¥400 for kids age 7-12 and ¥100 for kids from 4 to 6.

The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan)

Finally, if you get tired from all the history at all the museums in Tokyo, then visit the final museum – the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation. Often called Miraikan, the museum celebrates everything new in the sectors of technology, innovation, and science. It is a younger museum – started working in 2001 – but its purposes varies from the others. The museum is here so we can develop a greater understanding of both science and technology. It also serves to further Japan’s technological creativity. Visit it from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 2-3-6 Aomi, Koto-Ku. The admission is ¥620 for adults, and ¥210 for children.

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