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Must-See Museums in Tokyo

Must-See Museums in Tokyo

Tokyo’s museum scene is comprehensive: from the history of the Edo period and samurais, to the best in animation and contemporary art, museums have Japanese culture and history covered. Here’s our guide the top museums in Tokyo.

National Museum of Tokyo

As well as being Japan’s oldest and largest museum, the National Museum of Tokyo is also the largest museum of Japanese art in the world, with a collection of more than 100,000 pieces. The museum’s five buildings are each dedicated to a separate theme, which range from samurai armor, swords, and kimonos to painting and scrolls. The museum also showcases art and artifacts from other Asian countries.

How to Visit: Visit independently or as part of an expert-led private tour. Admission to the museum is included in some multi-attraction Tokyo sightseeing passes.

Ghibli Museum

Learn more about the history of Studio Ghibliu2060—responsible for cult classics such as My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away, and Princess Mononok eu2060—at the Ghibli Museum. Located inside Inokashira Park, visitors can browse original drawings, stills, and storyboards, and watch exclusive animation shorts. There’s also a rooftop garden, theme café, and bookstore.

How to Visit: Tickets must be booked in advance. For convenience, opt for a tour that includes round-trip transfers and a stop at Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architecture Museum.

Edo-Tokyo Museum

Learn about the history of Japan’s Edo period at the Edo-Tokyo Museum. Housed in a modern building, the museum showcases Edo-period replicas, models, artifacts, and dioramas. Highlights include a life-size wooden replica of the Nihonbashi Bridge, a model of Edo city, and live performances at the Nakamura Theater.

How to Visit: Visit as part of a private, custom tour of Tokyo, which saves you the stress of navigating the metro. Museum tours are available, but must be booked in advance.

Mori Art Museum

Located in the Mori Tower in Roppongi, Mori Art Museum showcases some of the biggest names in Japanese contemporary art. Unlike most museums, the Mori Art Museum doesn’t maintain a permanent collection, but instead offers an ever changing series of temporary exhibits.

How to Visit: Tickets can be booked ahead of time. Admission tickets to the museum also include access to Tokyo City Sky View, which offers panoramic city views.

Samurai Museum

Located in Shinjuku, the Samurai Museum displays authentic samurai artifacts, such as armor and weapons. Frequent tours offer deeper insight into samurai culture and history, while daily live shows showcase samurai martial arts. Visitors can also dress up in samurai outfits or kimonos for photos.

How to Visit: Prebook tickets to guarantee entry. Visitors can explore the museum on their own, or join a guided tour at the museum.

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3 Tours and Activities

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Tatemono-en (Edo-Tokyo Open air Architectural Museum) Tour

Tatemono-en (Edo-Tokyo Open air Architectural Museum) Tour

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The Edo-Tokyo Open air Architectural Museum (Tatemono-en) is filled with beautifully restored historic buildings, showcasing a variety of traditional Japanese architectural styles. On this walking tour, benefit from the undivided attention of a private guide as you explore the open-air museum. Admire buildings from the Edo and Showa periods, peek inside for a glimpse of 17th- or early 20th-century life, and see the real-life buildings from Ghibli films like ‘Spirited Away’.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$103.05
Price varies by group size
From
$103.05
Price varies by group size

Discover the wonders of Edo Tokyo on this amazing small group tour!

Discover the wonders of Edo Tokyo on this amazing small group tour!

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For those who would love to discover many unique aspects of the Tokyo Edo period; history enthusiasts, for those who appreciate great cultural experiences - and a lovely surprise!
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$53.98
From
$53.98
Taking safety measures

Edo, Japanese sword, Sumo museum with National Licensed Guide

Edo, Japanese sword, Sumo museum with National Licensed Guide

With a licensed English speaking guide, this short trip is a great value way of learning Japanese culture.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$167.79
Price varies by group size
From
$167.79
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures