Most of the people who visit Japan, or any other country, for that matter, usually have a few museums included in their itinerary.
There is a wide variety of museums to choose from in Japan. They are so numerous, in fact, that you can easily end up wasting time scrolling through the list trying to decide which one to visit.
That's why I'd like to introduce the top five museums that I think are worth a visit if you plan on traveling to Tokyo (and yes, I will include manga/anime museums, too!).
Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum
This particular museum is one of my favorites as it is an open-air museum with buildings ranging from Edo Period to houses and constructions of post-WWII.
I am very passionate about old things, history, old buildings, etc. so I must say this museum is one of my favorites to spend time in, and every single time I visit it, I feel like I'm off to a journey in the past.
If you'd like to learn more about the museum, we reviewed it in a separate article here.
The Ghibli Museum is one of the most popular among tourists who come annually to Japan.
It is located in Mitaka city. As soon as you exit the train station, you will feel the Ghibli atmosphere as you find your way to the museum.
I am always inspired by the masterpieces Studio Ghibli has created. Whenever I have the time, I like to go and relax at the museum and have a personalized drink or dish at their cafe.
Besides the Ghibli Museum, I also recommend going to the Fujiko F. Museum located in Kanagawa Prefecture, where you can see actual drawings of the manga, including “Doraemon”. You can read more about it here.
Tokyo National Museum
In Ueno, you will find many other interesting museums such as the Ueno Royal Museum, the National Museum of Western Art, the Shitamachi Museum, the National Museum of Nature and Science (another one of my favorites!), the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum and so many others.
So, if you are in the area and have time, you can check out the other exhibitions and museums and even pay a visit to the Ueno Zoological Gardens.
There are many entertaining things to do and sometimes they even have events going on in the park, so it is a fun place to visit (and very educational, considering the number of museums available).
The Tokyo National Museum has a lot of exhibits and antiquities. The last time I visited, they had this interesting exhibition of “The Three Kingdoms” with recent discoveries ranging from the Han dynasty to the Three Kingdoms period.
It was very interesting to see so many artifacts and find out more about the major events that happened during that time. I was able to broaden my knowledge and understand more about the world’s history and culture.
Suginami Animation Museum
For fans of animation, I recommend stopping by the Suginami Animation Museum to gain a better understanding of how anime is made, learn some interesting facts about anime and how it evolved in the past years, and how it may look like in the future. You'll be able to experience anime culture and have a great time overall.
I also recommend the Tokyo Animation Center for limited-time exhibitions, as well as the Gundam statue and Gundam Front Tokyo in Odaiba.
World Beer Museum
Last, but not least, we have the World Beer Museum which is situated in Tokyo Solamachi in the Tokyo Skytree Tower.
The location is perfect. You can drink beer while gazing at the stars. It has an open terrace and there are so many varieties of brews from all over the world!
Those are my top five recommendations. I'd love to hear which one you’d like to visit or have visited already.
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