10 recommended museums in Tokyo

Tokyo is rich in museums that deal with a variety of themes and have interesting exhibits and collections. In this issue, we would like to introduce 10 museums dealing with history, culture, chemistry, etc., which we particularly recommend, as they have different attractions from art works in museums! We hope you will enjoy touring museums during your visit to Tokyo as we introduce the attractions and highlights of each one.

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Tokyo National Museum (東京国立博物館)

Tokyo National Museum

Founded in 1872, the Tokyo National Museum is the oldest museum in Japan. The buildings are divided by 6 exhibits: Honkan for Japanese art, Heiseikan for Japanese archaeology, Toyokan for oriental art, The Gallery of Horyuji Treasures for the collection of Horyuji Treasures, Hyokeikan for special exhibitions and events, and Kuroda Memorial Hall, which exhibits the works of Kuroda Seiki, a Western-style painter, is located off-site. Almost every week, one of the galleries changes its exhibits, so visitors can make new discoveries no matter how many times they visit.

Official website:

National Museum of Nature and Science (国立科学博物館)

National Museum of Nature and Science, located in Ueno Park, is the only national comprehensive science museum in Japan, founded in 1877, and has a long history.
There is an abundance of exhibits filled with gimmicks that can be viewed by children and adults alike in a fun and casual manner.

Various exhibits related to natural history and the history of science and technology are on display. In addition to permanent indoor exhibits such as the Japan Gallery, where visitors can learn about the origins of the Japanese archipelago and the transition of living creatures, and the Global Gallery, where visitors can learn about the history of the earth, the museum also features outdoor exhibits. The museum’s outdoor exhibits include the launch pad of the first artificial satellite launched in Japan in 1970 and a model of a blue whale. Please be sure to visit!

Official website:

To learn more about Ueno Park, click here!

The Japanese Sword Museum (刀剣博物館)

The Japanese Sword Museum is a museum specializing in Japanese swords with a long history of more than half a century since 1968. The museum was opened to maintain and promote the Japanese sword culture. The Sword Museum houses and exhibits many masterpieces and famous swords, and is a facility where visitors can deepen their knowledge of traditional Japanese sword culture and proper swordsmanship. The museum is recommended for those who are interested in swords and wish to learn basic knowledge about them.

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Edo-Tokyo Open-Air Architectural Museum (江戸東京たてもの園)

Edo-Tokyo Open-Air Architectural Museum is an open-air museum that opened in 1993 in the vast Koganei Park. Within the park are restored, preserved, and exhibited buildings of high historical value constructed from the Edo period to the early Showa period. There is also a building whose design was used as the model for the Ghibli movie “Spirited Away”. Visitors can enjoy the nostalgic atmosphere as if they have stepped back in time.

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The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation(Miraikan) (日本科学未来館)

The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan) is a museum where visitors can experience and learn about all fields of science, including the latest technology, the global environment, the exploration of the universe and the wonders of life. It is a facility that can be enjoyed by both children and adults, and the museum is spacious and offers a variety of hands-on experiences. It is a must-visit for all visitors, especially those interested in science!

Official website:

Fukagawa Edo Museum (深川江戸資料館)

Fukagawa Edo Museum was opened in 1986 as a cultural facility with exhibits that faithfully reproduce the streets of the Edo period in full scale and a small theater. Visitors can learn about the history and folklore of Fukagawa, Edo, through exhibits of daily necessities that show how people lived in those days. The exhibits are a must-see as they make you feel as if you have stepped back in time to the Edo period.

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Meguro Parasitological Museum (目黒寄生虫館)

Meguro Parasitological Museum, located in Meguro-ku, Tokyo, is one of the few museums in the world specializing in parasites and attracts many visitors from abroad. The permanent exhibition features about 300 specimens and related materials collected from Japan and overseas. Admission is free. (Although admission is free, donations are accepted for the operation and maintenance of the museum.) There is also a museum store inside the museum where you can buy original goods, so please stop by together! Recommended for those seeking a different kind of Tokyo attraction!

Official website:

Tokyo Metro Museum (地下鉄博物館)

Tokyo Metro Museum is located a short walk from Kasai Station and is a place where visitors can learn about Japan’s subway system through exhibits and documents. Visitors who are interested in Japan’s subway system are encouraged to visit the museum, as they can deepen their understanding of the history and structure of the subway system, how tunnels are built, and construction techniques.

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Edo-Tokyo Museum

The Edo-Tokyo Museum is a spot that focuses on materials and exhibits related to Tokyo in the Edo period. The building’s exterior is reminiscent of a warehouse on stilts, giving visitors a sense of the Edo period even before they enter the facility.

The museum features an exact replica of the streets of the Edo period, with interesting features such as realistic models of the houses, furniture, tableware, and other items used by the people of the time, which you can see up close. Why not visit the Edo-Tokyo Museum and learn about history while feeling as if you have stepped back in time to the Edo period?

The Edo-Tokyo Museum is closed until 2025 (tentative) for major renovation.

Official website:

Shitamachi Folk Museum

The Shitamachi Museum of Folklore is located in Ueno Park and was opened in 1980 with the aim of passing on the good old downtown culture to future generations for many years to come. The museum’s exhibition floor displays items used in those days and reproduces the life of common people in the old downtown area. Visitors can also directly touch items associated with the downtown area.

We invite you to experience the retro atmosphere of the time!

The museum is scheduled to reopen in March 2025.

Official website:

Click here for recommended art museums in Tokyo.

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