Visiting Museums in Tokyo

Art, technology, history, science - find out about Tokyo's museums and how to make the most of them using discount tickets...

Tokyo has a rich and diverse selection of museums. Most of these are closed on Mondays, except when Monday is a national holiday. When this is the case, they open on Monday and close on the following Tuesday.

Tokyo Museum Grutto Pass

The Grutto Pass allows discounted entrance into over 70 participating museums, zoos, aquariums and botanical gardens in Tokyo. The pass goes on sale each year from 31 January and is valid until 31 March.

It is available for purchase at the Tokyo Tourist Information Centre or at any of the participating museums, zoos, aquariums and botanical gardens.

  • For further information about the pass: Click here

Museums in Tokyo

There are over a hundred museums in Tokyo representing art, history, archaeology, science, design, transport and much more.

Some of Tokyo's major museums are listed below:

Edo-Tokyo Museum: Museum displaying past exhibits from the Edo (old Tokyo) period, with reconstructions of buildings, including a Kabuki theatre and the house of a daimyo (feudal lord). There are interactive exhibits, many of which have explanations in English.

  • Edo-Tokyo Museum
    At
    : 1-4-1 Yokoami, Sumida-ku, Tokyo 130-0015
    Tel: 03 3626 9974
    Open: Tuesday to Sunday 09:30-17:30

Ghibli Museum: The museum of the famous animation studio named Studio Ghibli, which has produced many films. It also features the work of the anime director Hayao Miyazaki.

  • Ghibli Museum
    At
    : 1-1-83 Simorenjaku, Mitaka-shi, Tokyo 181-0013
    Open: Wednesday to Monday 10:00-18:00
    email

National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan): Museum offering interactive exhibits on the themes of exploration, the earth and medicine, to help people become familiar with science and the latest technology.

  • Miraikan
    At: 2-3-6 Aomi, Koto-ku, Tokyo 135-0064
    Tel: 03 3570 9188 / 03 3570 9151
    Fax: 03 3570 9150
    Open: Wednesday to Monday 10:00-17:00

National Museum of Modern Art: This is the first art museum established in Tokyo, with a huge selection of modern art. The collection includes Japanese art dating back to the 1868 Meiji Restoration.

National Museum of Nature and Science: Museum exhibiting natural history including dinosaurs, nature of the Japanese archipelago, the environment and the history of the Japanese people. Free English-language tours are available at 11:00 on the third Sunday of the month.

National Museum of Western Art: Art museum situated within Ueno Park featuring works by Impressionists and paintings by Rubens, Manet, Renoir, Van Gogh, Gauguin and Picasso.

  • National Museum of Western Art
    At
    : 7-7 Ueno Park, Taito-ku, Tokyo 110-0007
    Tel: 03 5777 8600
    Open: Tuesday to Sunday 09:30-17:30, Friday 09:30-20:00

Science Museum: Interactive museum promoting public understanding of science and technology. Exhibits are updated regularly and are designed to be "hands-on" and challenging. Visitors can discover the science of motors and general electricity as well as brand-new technologies used today.

  • Science Museum
    At
    : 2-1 Kitanomaru-koen, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-0091
    Tel: 03 3212 8544
    Fax: 03 3212 8443
    Open: Thursday to Tuesday 09:30-16:50

Tokyo National Museum: The Toyokan (Asian gallery) has a vast display of art works and antiquities from Japan and other Asian countries. The permanent exhibition features ceramics, sculptures and textiles, with many works from Korea and China. The Heisekan section of the museum is dedicated to temporary exhibitions and collections of Japanese archaeological artefacts.

  • Tokyo National Museum
    At:
    13-9 Ueno Park, Taito-ku, Tokyo 110-8712
    Tel: 03 5405 8686 / 03 3822 1111
    Open: Tuesday to Sunday 09:30-17:00

There are also a number of lesser-known and more quirky, specialist museums which include:

Amuse Museum: A "live museum" featuring items that are unique to traditional Japanese culture. Items on display include graphics, product designs and textile arts. Guided tours are available.

  • Amuse Museum
    At
    : 2-34-4 Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo 111-0032
    Tel: 03 5806 1181
    Open: Tuesday to Sunday 10:00-18:00
    email

Bunka Gakuen Costume Museum: Museum of fashion costumes and accessories representing cultures from around the world. The permanent collection of Japanese items features short-sleeved kimonos, known as kosode, and creations by Japanese designers.

  • Bunka Gakuen Costume Museum
    At
    : Shinjuku Bunka Quint Building, 3-22-7 Yoyogi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 151-8529
    Tel: 03 3299 2387
    Fax: 03 3299 2602
    Open: Monday to Saturday 10:00-16:30

Japanese Sword Museum: This museum is sponsored by the Society of Preservation of Japanese Art Swords. It has exhibits dating back to the 12th century, ancient samurai swords, and displays dedicated to the history of the Japanese sword, with explanations in English.

  • Japanese Sword Museum
    At
    : 4-25-10 Yoyogi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 151-0053
    Tel: 03 3379 1386
    Fax: 03 3379 1389
    Open: Tuesday to Sunday 10:00-16:30

Meguro Parasitological Museum: This is the world's only parasite museum and features over 45,000 specimens. In addition to an overview of parasites there are exhibits dedicated to the parasite life cycle

  • Meguro Parasitological Museum
    At
    : 4-1-1 Shimomeguro, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 153-0064
    Tel: 03 3716 1264
    Fax: 03 3716 2322
    Open: Tuesday to Sunday 10:00-17:00