Hey there, museum enthusiasts! If you’re in Tokyo, you’re in luck, because this city is bursting at the seams with some of the coolest and most unique museums in the world. And let me tell you, I’ve visited them all (well, almost all of them), and I’ve got the inside scoop on what makes each one so special. So buckle up, grab your museum pass, and get ready for a wild ride!
Let’s start with the most famous museum in Tokyo, the Tokyo National Museum. Located in the lovely Ueno Park, this museum is the largest and oldest in Japan, with a collection of over 110,000 items. The exhibits cover a broad range of Japanese art and history, including pottery, sculpture, textiles, and more. But let’s be real, the real crowd-pleasers are the samurai swords. Who doesn’t love a good sword? And at only 620 yen (about $5.50 USD), this museum is a steal.
Next up is the Edo-Tokyo Museum, which takes visitors on a journey through the history and culture of Tokyo from the Edo period to the present day. The exhibits are interactive and immersive, and there’s even a full-scale replica of a traditional Japanese town. But let me tell you, the real star of the show is the “moving” Kabuki theater exhibit. It’s a bit hard to describe, but basically, there’s a life-size replica of a Kabuki theater, and the seats move around as if you’re actually watching a performance. It’s a trip. And at only 1,300 yen (about $11.50 USD), it’s worth every penny.
For a taste of modern art, head to the Mori Art Museum in Roppongi Hills. This museum features contemporary art from all over the world, with exhibits that range from the cutting-edge to the whimsical. The most famous exhibit is probably the giant rubber duck that floats outside the museum, but inside you’ll find works by artists like Yayoi Kusama and Takashi Murakami. And the view from the observation deck is not to be missed. Tickets are a bit pricier at 1,800 yen (about $16 USD), but hey, you can’t put a price on art.
If you’re a Studio Ghibli fan (and who isn’t?), you’ll want to check out the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka. This museum is a whimsical wonderland dedicated to the animated films of Studio Ghibli, with exhibits and installations that are as charming as they are imaginative. You can climb inside a replica of the Catbus from My Neighbor Totoro, explore a miniature version of the studio’s workspace, and even watch an original short film in the museum’s theater. And at only 1,000 yen (about $9 USD), it’s a steal.
Last but not least is the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, or Miraikan for short. This museum is all about cutting-edge science and technology, with exhibits that cover everything from space exploration to robotics to the environment. The interactive exhibits are a blast, and you can even take a ride in a self-driving car. But the real star of the show is the ASIMO robot, who dances and interacts with visitors. It’s a bit pricey at 620 yen (about $5.50 USD) for adults and 210 yen (about $2 USD) for kids, but trust me, it’s worth it.
Now, for a funny story. One time, while visiting the Samurai Museum in Shinjuku, I got a little too into character and started wielding a wooden sword like a pro. But then I accidentally knocked over a display of samurai armor.