Tokyo is the capital city of Japan, and is the hub of many cultural and tourist attractions for the country. Many who have visited Tokyo will tell you of how exciting, modern, and buzzing with life this city is, so it is no wonder that so many people travel to this part of the world every day.
One of the main appeals of traveling to Tokyo is the vast range of museums in the area. Generally speaking, there are about 100 museums in Tokyo alone, and if you are anything like us, then you love to soak up the local culture when travelling to get a feel for the city, with a great museum!
Luckily, in Tokyo, there really is a museum for everyone. From the National museum, to the Samurai Museum, the museum of Modern Art, all the way to the Cup Noodles Museum, you are bound to find one that piques your interest!
We have created a list of the top 12 best museums in Tokyo that you will definitely want to add to your bucket list or itinerary.
Top 12 Best Museums in Tokyo
Mori Art Museum
The Mori Art Museum is one of Tokyo's most popular museums, exhibiting the capital’s finest collection of contemporary art that you will find.
With rotating exhibits from local and international artists, you can also visit this museum for a mesmerizing and unforgettable view from the Sky Deck that looks out across central Tokyo.
The Ghibli Museum
Studio Ghibli has given the world some of the most popular anime cartoons and movies, and so if you’re a fan, then you will want to see the Ghibli Museum.
This museum showcases the art and works of the Studio founded by Hayao Miyazaki, with many exhibits, a cafe, playroom, garden and a merchandise shop.
Tokyo National Museum
If you do make a visit to a museum, let it be the Tokyo National Museum. This museum holds over 100,000 artifacts spreading across the nation’s history and past.
This museum is one of the country’s and the world’s largest institutions, exhibiting Buddhist and Japanese art, kimonos, woodworks, artifacts and many cultural gems that you cannot find anywhere else.
For a taste of Japan’s history and culture, you will want to visit the National Museum.
The Edo-Tokyo Museum
If you want to learn about how the Japanese capital evolved from an ancient city to the global hotspot it is today, then you will want to visit the Edo-Tokyo Museum.
With dioramas depicting ancient samurai, ornate kimonos, and artifacts from centuries past, you can see how this city has transformed into the high tech metropolis that it is today.
Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography
In this photography museum, there will always be three focused exhibitions on Japanese and international photography.
This museum is extensively designed, and dedicated to creating interesting, open and well organized exhibitions that fill the modern interior, and is perfect for those interested in local and international photography.
Tokyo Kite Museum
The Tokyo kits museum displays many beautiful and historic Japanese paper kites. Their traditional designs are a sight to behold, and are honestly unmissable.
This tiny museum resides in the Taimeiken restaurant, as the owner Shingo Modego collected traditional Japanese kites. Despite its small size, there are over 3,000 paper washi and bamboo framed kites to examine in this museum!
National Museum of Nature and Science
The National Museum of Nature and Science is a must see if you are interested in history and nature.
This museum is one of the oldest in Japan, established in 1877, and offers extensive exhibitions of the world’s natural history.
Japanese culture is so entwined with Samurai warriors. In this museum you can learn all about the Japanese concepts of courage, loyalty and power, whilst it showcases Samurai weapons, clothes, armor and artifacts from history.
What’s even better is that you can have a photograph in a Samurai costume of your choosing! If you are interested in these mighty warriors, then you have to visit here!
Fire Museum Tokyo
There truly is a museum for everyone in Tokyo. The Fire Museum shows off some of the history of firefighting in Japan, from the Edo period to the modern day, and has an extensive collection of vintage fire engines, along with historical exhibits to enjoy.
National Museum of Emerging Science
Many enthusiasts flock to Japan for its influx of innovative technology.
The National Museum of Emerging Science showcases the new, cutting edge technology of the age, with innovative exhibitions, demonstrations, activities and theatres.
Tokyo Trick Art Museum
When traveling, who doesn't love an optical illusion museum?
The Tokyo Trick Art is just that, it is fun, entertaining and offers a number of 3D illusions, painting and optical tricks for the most interesting vacation photos!
TeamLab Planets TOKYO
TeamLab Planets Tokyo is a modern museum that focuses on digital art. The museum is based around the concept of body immersion, where visitors can touch, feel and experience the art with their body and mind.
The museum focuses on the senses, and is therefore a seriously interesting and interactive experience that you will not want to miss.
Honorable Mention: Cup Noodles Museum
How could we make a list of museums in Tokyo and not include the Cup Noodles Museum?
Instant noodles have become a worldwide phenomenon, and were invented in Japan. The Cup Noodles Museum shows people how instant noodles were made, and how they grew into a global dietary culture.
From a Chicken Ramen factory where you can make your own ramen, a Noodle park where you can see the whole process that Cup noodles go through, to the historical origin of their invention and even a Noodles bazaar where you can taste ramen from around the world. This museum is a must for ramen lovers everywhere!
In Tokyo, there is a low chance that you will ever run out of things to do. However, if you are in this area of Japan and interested in the local art, culture, history and tradition, then you will want to visit one of the many museums that the city has to offer.
Whether you are interested in art, history, nature, animated film, optical illusions, innovative technology or even cup noodles, Tokyo has a museum that will interest and inspire you!