Written by Hilary Keyes
Museums And Art Galleries In Tokyo: Where To See What
We have compiled a list of all the MATCHA articles that feature museums and art galleries in Tokyo. Please check out for regular updates, as we will add more and more cultural institutions that inspire and enrich our lives through their marvelous exhibiti
Whether you are an art fan or history buff or just looking to kill time, visiting a museum or gallery can be an enriching experience. Perfect to visit in all kinds of weather, here we have compiled all the articles thus far on the many museums and art galleries to be found in the greater Tokyo area.
This article will be continuously updated as we visit other exciting museums and art galleries, so please check back often to stay on top of the newest cultural enrichment spots in the Tokyo Area.
Stations with Multiple Museums and Galleries
Perhaps the most densely concentrated area of museums and art galleries, Ueno is where you will find most of Tokyo's largest and most highly visited culture centers.
A wild nightlife spot, Roppongi also has its fair share of culture - modern museums and art galleries featuring unique exhibitions abound here. These galleries also tend to stay open later than others, making Roppongi a good place to head after work.
Even if you cannot read Japanese, the brilliant brushstrokes and gorgeous works of Mitsuo Aida are sure to inspire you. You can also try your hand at Japanese calligraphy in an interactive display.
Would you like to learn more about Japanese traditional performing arts? At the Theater Museum in Waseda University, a facility with free entrance, you can do just that. Lovers of Kabuki, Noh, Bunraku and more will find this a truly stimulating place to pass an afternoon.
Housing over 100,000 pieces of Japanese history, the Tokyo National Museum is a must for Japanese history fans. You can spend an entire day here, or take the shorter tour we have outlined in this article.
Would you like to see some of Japan's rich textile history? Then visit the Amuse Museum near the Nitenmon gate of Sensoji Temple in Asakusa. Here you can even interact with some of the exhibits - something that fabric and sewing fans are sure to love!
If you have worn yourself or your credit card out from shopping, why not visit this hidden gem, tucked away in the trendy fashion haven that is Harajuku? Here you can see limited exhibitions of various ukiyo-e works and learn more about the history of this art form.
If you are artistically inclined and want to try your hand at a Japanese art form, then please visit the Machida City Museum of Graphic Arts where you can view works by local artists and make your own woodblock print too.
The history of Edo and Tokyo comes alive here in Ryogoku! If you would like to see what life was like in this capital city 100 or more years ago, then this is the best way to experience it.
It may be hard to schedule a trip to Japan that coincides with festival season, but never fear! At the Omatsuri Museum in sightseeing hotspot Asakusa, you can see what a typical festival looks like all year round.
Would you rather be a ninja or a samurai? Good choice - at the Samurai Museum in Shinjuku, not only can you view different types of historical armor, katana and matchlock guns but you can take photos in samurai garb and even take lessons on how to properly wield a Japanese sword.
If you are a craftsman or artisan, then a visit to the Edo Shitamachi Crafts Museum is a must - here you can see finely made pieces of furniture, copper ware, and even iron files, all produced by workers in the Asakusa area.
Here we provide a brief overview of one of Japan's few private museums - the Nezu Museum, where you will find artifacts and works collected since the earliest days of the 20th century and before. Located in the heart of the metropolis, this museum is extremely popular for its insightful exhibitions and beautiful Japanese garden.
Walking through the doors of this museum and you will find yourself back in the past, surrounded by the Japan of over 100 years ago. To truly appreciate the changes that occurred after the Great Kanto Earthquake, you need only look around here!
Although there are many different places where you can see what life in the Edo era was like, here you can walk among historical buildings and experience life in the past.
Modern, Contemporary and Western Art
Fans of modern or contemporary Western art will be thrilled to find this museum: with many exhibitions featuring works collected from across Europe and North America, this is an excellent place to learn more about Western art, architecture and statuary.
Interactive works of art are all the rage - here you can enter the paintings and make yourself a part of the works! The Tokyo Trick Art Museum is a place where you can experience the fascinating world of optical illusions.
Advertising in print has been a source of inspiration for many artists, and at this museum you can see the impact culture has had on the media and vice versa. A must for graphic design and nostalgia fans.
For those on the go or waiting for a bullet train, there is a lovely art gallery right in Tokyo station! This article introduces the gallery now that it has been renovated.
Contemporary art has its home here in the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo; international and domestic artists are shown here in Eastern Tokyo which has long been known as the off-beat side of this metropolis.
Found in a renovated home in Shinagawa, the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art is a charming oasis of interesting contemporary art in Tokyo. They also have an onsite cafe that sells cakes inspired by the works in their current special exhibition.
The stylish Shibuya, Harajuku and Omotesando areas are better known as popular fashion centers, but they should be known also for their art! The Watari Museum of Contemporary Art, or Watarium, is a modern art gallery located in an unusual building. This small but powerful gallery has two shops and a cafe where you can leisurely enjoy the art.
Everything you could need to know about visiting the Ghibli Museum - a truly enjoyable day trip. Ghibli fans will find themselves wandering about happily in this fantasy world come to life.
Guidelines on how to reserve and purchase tickets for the Ghibli Museum can be found in this helpful article.
Have you ever wanted to make your own anime? Well you can learn the tricks of the trade at the Suginami Animation Museum. Here you can learn about the history of anime, the techniques used to make each frame and even see some rare works - all for free.
Would you like to walk through the Dokodemo Door? Or enjoy eating some ankipan? At the Fujiko F. Fujio Museum you can do just that! Fans of Doraemon, Nobita and all Fujiko F. Fujio's characters will really enjoy this oasis just outside Tokyo.
The Snoopy Museum located in Roppongi is the first and only authorized satellite location of the Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa, California. Peanuts fans can see rare drawings, learn the history of Charlie Brown and the gang and even enjoy Snoopy-related treats in the cafe.
Natural History and Sciences
Renewed in the summer of 2015, the Global Gallery at the National Museum of Nature and Science is a fabulous place to learn all about the world around you. Great for kids and adults a like, this is Japan's oldest and only national natural science museum.
Japanese cinema buffs absolutely must check out the National Film Center. Dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Japanese cinema, in this museum you can not only see vintage and historical film equipment, but research Japanese films in their library and attend screenings of classic movies in the theater.
If you would like to see just what university collections look like, then Intermediatheque is the place for you; not only that, but you can take part in historical activities like old movie screenings and more.
Art that is not like anything else - visit the Taro Okamoto Memorial Museum to not only see, but touch and surround yourself with works by this prolific Japanese artist. A must for fans of Surrealism and abstract art.
Fans of Taro Okamoto's abstract art should definitely take a moment to gaze at the amazing mural called "The Myth of Tomorrow", located in the pedestrian walkway between the Yamanote and Keio Inokashira lines in Shibuya station. This mural has a fascinating and mysterious history.
By following the maps in this article you can find some impressive public works of art that others may have missed while traveling through Tokyo. Can you find them all in one day?
Best known as a night spot, Roppongi is also home to many embassies, multi-national companies, luxury shops and some incredible art galleries. Not only that, but you can also find many outdoor works of art throughout the city too.
This is our selection of cultural institutions, museums and galleries that will enrich your stay in Tokyo through their fascinating exhibitions. Please check out for updates of this list, as we add further information on great cultural facilities!