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Tokyo Museums

Japan flag. Tokyo Guide: Tokyo Museums

What's on right now in Tokyo

Tokyo Area Guide: Tokyo Museums & Galleries

Hara Museum of Contemporary Art | Shinjuku Historical Museum | Teien Metropolitan Museum | Tokyo National Museum | National Art Center | Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo | National Museum of Nature and Science | National Museum of Modern Art | Metropolitan Museum of Photography | Railway Museum | Subway Museum | Edo Tokyo Museum | Tobacco and Salt Museum | War Memorial Museum | Bridgestone Museum of Art | Mori Art Museum | Tokyo Metropolitan Police Museum | Tokyo Water Science Museum | Origami House | Folk Craft Museum | The Kite Museum | Japan Football Museum | Meguro Parasitological Museum | Grutt Pass | Eat & Drink

Tokyo Museums

See a listing of museums and art galleries in the Tokyo metropolitan area. Find a description of each museum, including telephone number and directions on how to get there. Any visit to Tokyo and Japan should include a visit to at least a few of the many excellent museums and galleries in the country.

Hara Museum of Contemporary Art

Hara Museum of Contemporary Art

The Hara Museum of Contemporary Art is among the first museums dedicated to modern art in Japan, having been established in 1979 in Tokyo's Shinagawa ward. It is a quietly imposing art deco presence on a quiet street, some way from the nearest station. The building itself, however, dates from 1938, when it was built as a private house, designed by the architect Jin Watanabe (who also designed the Tokyo National Museum in Ueno). The Museum's collection comprises about 1,000 paintings, photographs, sculptures, videos and installations representing a wide range of artists from around the world active from the 1950s to the present. It is open only during exhibitions. The Hara Museum of Contemporary Art includes a sculpture garden and a Cafe d'Art that overlooks it. The Hara Museum of Contemporary Art has a sister gallery, the Hara Museum ARC, in Shibukawa City, Gunma Prefecture. See what's on now at the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art.
4-7-25 Kitashinagawa, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo140-0001
Tel: +81 3-3445-0651 Fax: +81 3-3473-0104. Google Map

Shinjuku Historical Museum

Shinjuku Historical Museum.

Shinjuku Historical Museum in Shinjuku ward, Tokyo, recounts the history of this ward - one of Tokyo's most important - since the beginnings of its human habitation tens of thousands of years ago up to before the Second World War. This small, but interactive, modern, and memorable museum has enough English to recommend it to those who do not read Japanese, and adjoins a beautiful sunken garden.
Read more about the Shinjuku Historical Museum.

Tokyo Teien Metropolitan Museum

Tokyo Teien Museum

Located in Meguro, Tokyo Teien Metropolitan Museum is an Art Deco masterpiece built in 1933. It was formerly the residence of Prince Asaka and houses many period pieces. The grounds are also lovely. It is a 6-7 minute walk from Meguro Station on the Yamanote Line. Admission to the garden for adults is presently 200, seniors 100, college & university students 160, high school & junior high school 100. Admission for special exhibits will cost more. See what's on now at the Tokyo Teien Metropolitan Museum.
For information: (03) 3443-0201.

Tokyo National Museum

Tokyo National Museum, Ueno.

The massive Tokyo National Museum (Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan) which opened in 1938 is a short walk from Ueno or Uguisudani Stations on the Yamanote Line. Tokyo National Museum houses the largest collection of Japanese art in the world: calligraphy, ceramics, statuary, swords, paintings and Buddhist treasures from Horyuji Temple in Nara. There are also extensive collections from Korea, China, India, Central Asia, and Egypt. Admission is presently 420 for adults, 130 for college students.
Read more about the Tokyo National Museum.

Nearest station Ueno (Park exit). Tel: 03 3822 1111.

National Art Center, Tokyo

National Art Center Tokyo, Roppongi.

The vast National Art Center, Tokyo opened at the beginning of 2007. The National Art Center Tokyo is a short walk from Roppongi Hills. Designed by Kisho Kurokawa, the gleaming glass structure is Japan's largest exhibition space. Dedicated to special exhibitions, it has no permanent collection of its own.
The National Art Center Tokyo is open 10-6pm, closed on Tuesdays with late opening on Fridays until 8pm.

Nearest stations: Roppongi on the Hibiya and Oedo Lines or Nogi-zaka station (Exit 6) on the Chiyoda Line. Tel: 03 6812 9900.
See what's on now at the National Art Center Tokyo
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Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo

The Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, Koto ward.

The Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo houses international and Japanese post-war modern art. Opened in 1995, it is Tokyo's first public art gallery devoted to modern art. As well as its permanent collection (entrance fee 500 yen) it has regular special exhibitions (usually about 800-1,000 yen).

The permanent collection has around 4,000 works, about 100 of which are on display at any one time. It includes works by Andy Warhol (including his Marilyn Monroe (1967)), Roy Lichtenstein (including his Girl with Hair Ribbon (1965)), David Hockney, Gerhard Richter, Julian Schnabel, Frank Stella, and Sandro Chia.

The Museum has free internet access (directly across from the entrance that you use when approaching from Kiba Park), a restaurant on the B2 floor (open11am-6pm), a museum shop, an art library, an art information gallery, an observation deck, and indoor parking but for only 50 cars (access by other than car recommended).

Open: 10am-6pm (tickets on sale until 5.30pm). Closed Monday, except if Monday is a national or substitute holiday, in which case it closes Tuesday.

Access: 9 min walk from Kiyosumi-shirakawa subway station, exit B2, on the Hanzomon Line. 13 min walk from Kiyosumi-shirakawa subway station, exit A3, on the Toei Oedo Line. 15 min walk from Kiba subway station, exit 3, on the Tozai Line.
15 min walk foot from Kikukawa subway station, exit A4, on the Toei Shinjuku Line.
The Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo
4-1-1 Miyoshi, Koto-ku, Tokyo 135-0022
Tel. 03-5245-4111

National Museum of Nature and Science

National Museum of Nature and Science, Ueno, Tokyo.

The National Museum of Nature and Science is in Ueno Park. Exhibits include the evolution of living things, the flora and fauna of Japan, and the solar system. You can also learn about the history of the human habitation of Japan. There are frequent special exhibitions. An English guidebook is available at the front desk. Only 420 yen for adults, 70 yen for 1st-12th grade children.
Read more about the National Museum of Nature and Science here

Nearest station Ueno (Park exit). Tel: 03 3822 0111. www.kahaku.go.jp



Science Museum

Science Museum.

Tokyo's other Science Museum, an attractive white concrete lattice-work structure located in Kitanomarukoen, is aimed mainly at children. The Science Museum is good fun and educational for all the family. Opened in 1964, the Science Museum has many interactive exhibits, including features on computers and communications, raw materials and energy, light, space, engines and motors and electricity. The Science Museum short walk from either Takebashi (on the Tokyo Metro Tozai Line) or Kudanshita Stations (also on the Tozai Line).
Open daily 9.00am - 4.50pm. Tel: (03) 3212 2440.
www.jsf.or.jp

National Museum Of Modern Art, Tokyo

National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo.

Totally refurbished for its reopening in 2002, the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, specializes in contemporary Japanese art from the Meiji Period (1868-1912) onwards. Permanent exhibits include both Japanese and Western-style painting, drawings, prints, and sculpture. The museum also hosts regular international exhibitions.
Open Tue-Sun 10am-5pm (Admission till 4.30pm); Late night opening (Museum only) on Fridays till 8pm (Admission till 7.30pm): www.momat.go.jp
Nearest station Takebashi (Tozai Line), exit 1B. Tel: (03) 5777 8600.

Crafts Gallery

Crafts Gallery.

The Crafts Gallery, in Kitanomaru Koen Park, is an annex of the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo. Housed in a red-brick Neo Gothic building dating from 1910, it was originally the headquarters of the Imperial Guard.
The Museum exhibits Japanese and foreign crafts from the Meiji period to the present day, including bamboo, ceramics, dolls, glassware, lacquer, textiles, wood and metal work, as well as industrial and graphic design. Open Tue-Sun 10am-5pm (Admission till 4.30 pm); Late night opening (Museum only) on Fridays till 8pm (Admission till 7.30pm): www.momat.go.jp
The museum is a short walk from either Takebashi or Kudanshita Station. Tel: (03) 5777 8600.

Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography

The Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography in Tokyo's Ebisu district is a 4-story archive and display space dedicated to photography and video - the only museum of its kind in Japan. It has a permanent collection of over 24,000 works, and three exhibition halls and a movie hall to display them in. The library on the 4th floor has over 60,000 volumes. The Museum was founded in 1995 and forms part of the Ebisu Garden Place complex.
Hours: 10am - 6pm (until 8pm on Wednesdays and Fridays). Last entry 30 minutes before closing time.
Closed Mondays except when Monday is a public holidays, when it closes Tuesday.)
Entrance fees vary with exhibition and performance.
Ebisu Garden Place, 1-13-3 Mita, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 153-0062. Tel. 03-3280-0099
7 minutes from the East Exit of JR Ebisu Station (using the moving walkway)
Google Map
See what's on now at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography.

Railway Museum

The Railway Museum is a large, modern museum of railway technology and culture, located in Saitama City, Saitama Prefecture, about 20km north of central Tokyo.
The Museum is divided into zones: principally History and Learning. The History Zone has over thirty actual railway cars and engines representing eight different categories and periods, and, upstairs, a history timeline; the Learning Zone has a Train Laboratory, showing the workings and construction of trains in detail, and a huge, two-floor "Principles and Workings" array of hands-on displays, including train driving simulators (500 yen extra). There is also the Entrance Zone with a Simulator Hall, Model Railway Georama, Kids' Space, shop, and a viewing deck for observing the shinkansen whizzing directly by; a Collection Zone, with railway-related printed and electronic resources; a Park Zone, and an outdoor area with a mini train and tram, and historical trains, displayed on tracks. There is a calendar of special events at the Museum, guaranteeing a slightly different experience each time. Translations of displays are available in English, Chinese, and Korean.
Hours: 10am-6pm (last admission 5:30pm). Closed Tuesdays and Dec. 29 - Jan. 1.
1,000 yen for adults, 500 yen for elementary, junior high, and high school pupils, 200 yen for pre-schoolers aged 3 or over.
Access: by train: From JR Omiya Station, take the New Shuttle (Ina Line) to Tetsudo-hakubutsukan-eki Station. 1 min. walk from there.
By car:

  • Shuto-kosoku Saitama Omiya Highway: "Shintoshin-nishi" exit. 4km on.
  • Shuto-kosoku Saitama Omiya Highway: "Yono" exit. 5km on.
  • Tohokudo Expressway: Iwatsuki IC. 9km on.
  • Google Map

    Tokyo Subway Museum

    Tokyo Subway Museum.

    The Tokyo Subway Museum is located in Kasai in eastern Tokyo. The museum features a number of historic train carriages, video displays, poster exhibitions, model train layouts and hands-on simulation games. The Tokyo Subway Museum is an excellent stop for train-mad children and their parents.
    Tel: 03 3878 5011
    Admission: Adults 210 yen, children 100 yen
    Access: Take the Tozai Line from Otemachi Station to Kasai station. Otemachi Station can be reached by underground passage from Tokyo Station or take the Marunouchi Line one stop from Tokyo Station.

    Edo-Tokyo Museum

    Take the JR Sobu Line (local train) to Ryogoku Station. From the west exit of the station follow the signs. The massive six-storey Edo-Tokyo Museum is about a 3-minute walk. The permanent exhibit at the Edo Tokyo Museum features politics, culture, and the history of Tokyo. There are over 2,500 original prints, scrolls, kimonos, and maps. Admission: 600 yen for adults, 480 yen for college students, 300 yen for junior high school & high school students and seniors. Features special exhibitions too.
    Read more about the Edo-Tokyo Museum

    Tobacco and Salt Museum

    Tobacco and Salt Museum,Shibuya, Tokyo.

    The quirky Tobacco and Salt Museum is across from the Tobu Hotel not far from Shibuya Station. Admission is 100 yen for adults, 50 yen for students. An interesting look at the various uses of tobacco and salt throughout history, both of which were government monopolies in Japan until recently. Cigarette packets, pipes and smoking paraphenalia from around the globe. Special exhibitions on a variety of themes.
    Hours: 10am to 6pm; Closed Mondays.
    Tel: 03 3476 2O41
    Access: Shibuya Station on the JR, Ginza and Toyoko Lines.

    Yushukan War Memorial Museum

    Yushukan War Memorial Museum.

    A shrine for the Japanese right-wing, the recently tastefully refurbished Yushukan War Memorial Museum is located in the grounds of the Yasukuni Shrine and is dedicated to Japanese war dead, among whom Hideki Tojo is the most notorious. Annual visits by some Japanese prime ministers to worship - and shore up their political right - assure swift denunciations from China and South Korea. There are interesting exhibitions of soldiers' personal effects from 1894 to the end of World War II, as well as aircraft (including a kamikaze flying bomb), artillery pieces, a tank and a suicide attack submarine (kaiten), along with well-presented panel displays and videos extolling Japan's military adventures.
    Hours: 9am - 5pm, every day. Closed for a few days in late June and late December.
    Access: Take the Hanzomon or Tozai subway lines, or the Toeishinjuku Line to Kudanshita Station. A revisionist take on the War.
    3-1-1 Kudankita, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-8246. Tel: 03-3261-8326
    More about Yasukuni Shrine

    The Bridgestone Museum of Art

    The Bridgestone Museum of Art was founded in 1952 by Ishibashi Shojiro (1889-1976), the founder of the Bridgestone Corporation. The Museum is devoted to Impressionism and other modern European art. The Bridgestone Museum of Art is located in the headquarters of the Bridgestone Corporation, only 200m from Tokyo Station. The Museum features works by Cezanne, Gauguin, Van Gogh, Matisse, Picasso, Roualt, and Klee in its permanent collection.
    The two-story Museum has an information desk, museum shop, and tea room on the first floor, and ten exhibition rooms, plus a sculpture gallery, on the second floor.
    Hours: Tuesday Saturday: 10am 8pm, Sunday, public holidays: 10am 6pm. Entrance up to 30 minutes before closing.
    800 yen for adults, 500 yen for students with ID, free for under-15s.
    See what's on now
    5 minute walk from Tokyo Station (Yaesu Central Exit)
    1 minute walk from Kyobashi Station (Meidi-ya Exit) or Nihonbashi Station (Takashimaya Exit)
    1-10-1, Kyobashi, Chuo-ku,Tokyo 104-0031, Japan. Tel. 03-5777-8600 Google Map to the Bridgestone Museum of Art

    Mori Art Museum

    The Mori Art Museum is one of the jewels in the Roppongi Hills complex. Located on the 53rd floor of Roppongi Hills Mori Tower. Cutting edge exhibits, the very first of which, "Happiness," took the Tokyo art world by storm, drawing 700,000 visitors in three months. See what's on now at the Mori Art Musuem.
    Nearest station Roppongi (Roppongi Hills exit). Tel: (03) 5777 8600.

    Tokyo Metropolitan Police Museum

    The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Museum in Yurakucho is dedicated to the history of the Japanese capital's police force from Edo times to now.
    There's a police helicopter, police motorbike, police uniforms, police car simulators, wall panels and quizzes for kids. Close to Kyobashi Station on the Ginza Line. Close to the Mercure Hotel Ginza.
    10am-6pm; closed Monday
    Tel: 03 3581 4321
    Map of Tokyo Metropolitan Police Museum

    Tokyo Water Science Museum

    Tokyo Water Science Museum.

    The Tokyo Water Science Museum (Mizu no Kagakukan) is a fun and friendly educational resource about water and its supply, provided by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government's Bureau of Waterworks. The Aqua Tour, a half-hour tour (10am to 4.15pm, every 15 mins) is of the Ariake water supply station that occupies the three basement floors. Lots of audience participation. (Japanese only). A huge range of fun, interactive, hands-on displays, experiments, quiz games, demonstrations, etc. fill the three spacious floors above ground. The third floor Aqua Planet virtual theater experience of a white water rafting trip is a must-do. (9.45am to 4.30pm, every 15 mins).
    Hours: 9.30am 5pm. Closed Monday, or, when Monday is a national holiday, Tuesday, and Dec. 28 Jan. 4. Admission: free.
    Access: 8 min walk from Kokusaitenjijo-Seimon Station (Yurikamome line) or Kokusaitenjijo Station (Rinkai line).

    Origami House

    One minute from Exit 1 of Hakusan Station on the Mita Line you will find one of the most interesting little museums in Tokyo. Origami House is open from 10 am-6 pm, Monday-Saturday, and has origami exhibits that feature dinosaurs, insects, masks, fantasy, and many more.
    Tel: (03) 5684 6040

    Nihon Mingeikan (The Japan Folk Crafts Museum)

    The Japan Folk Crafts Museum is located 5 minutes from the Komaba Todai Mae Station on the Inokashira Line. Take the west exit. The Japan Folk Crafts Museum has frequent exhibits on textiles, Japanese lacquerware, and more. Open 10 am to 5 pm. Closed Mondays. 1000 yen for adults, 500 yen for university and high school students, and 200 yen for elementary and junior high school students.
    Tel: 03-3467-4527

    The Kite Museum

    The Kite Museum is located on the fifth floor of the Taimeiken Building. 1-12-10 Nihonbashi. It is two blocks from Coreda away from Tokyo Station. Open 11 am to 5 pm. Closed Sundays and holidays. 200 yen.
    Tel: 03-3271-2465

    Japan Football Museum

    The Japan Football Museum opened in 2003 and is dedicated to the 2002 World Cup held jointly in Japan and Korea, the history of Japanese soccer and the country's premier professional soccer competition - the J-League.
    JFA House, Football Ave., Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo
    113-8311
    Tel: 03 3830 2002
    Read more about the Japan Football Museum

    Meguro Parasitological Museum

    Meguro Parasitological Museum.

    The Meguro Parasitological Museum is the only museum of its kind in the world, a museum dedicated to bugs, parasites and other creatures that live in or on other organisms.
    Established in 1953, the museum has two floors of specimens stored in jars of formaldehyde; don't miss the 9m long tape-worm and the other fascinating exhibits.
    The museum shop sells tape worm t-shirts and parasite key chains. Contact us if you would like us to purchase them for you.
    10am-5pm; closed Monday
    4-1-1 Shimomeguro
    Meguro-ku
    Tel: 03 3716 1264
    www.kiseichu.org

    Grutt Pass

    Grutt Pass (pronounced 'goo-ROO-to,' - Japanese onomatopoeia for 'going around').
    Museum-going in Tokyo just got a little easier. For only 2000 yen, the Grutt Pass enables the holder entry to the permanent exhibitions of 49 of Tokyo's most prominent museums, including the Ueno and Tama zoos, and discounts off the entry fee at 18 more. All of the city's major museums are listed, from the national galleries in Ueno to facilities as far west as Tama. (Note that special exhibitions may not be covered by the Grutt Pass.) The Grutt Pass is good for two months from the date of purchase and can be purchased at all of the participating institutions, Lawson convenience stores, JTB travel agency, Kinki Japan Tourist, and Ticket Pia (0570-02-9999).
    Go here for a list of Tokyo museums and other attractions that accept the Grutt Pass.

    Eat and Drink

    Tokyo has every kind of restaurant, bar and cafe imaginable and some more. Restaurants in Tokyo range from the ultra expensive and exclusive to down-to-earth noodle joints. After dark, Tokyo offers some of the best and most exciting bars, cafes and clubs on the planet to relax and unwind.

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