The city boasts a large and eclectic number of museums, ranging from the ancient Japanese arts to Tokyo’s efficient sewerage system. Ueno Park is home to the world’s highest concentrations of top-class museums and the admission charges tend to be relatively expensive so be prepared to shell out.
Travel Guide – Interesting Museums In Tokyo
Here we provide you with information about the most popular venues, but this is by no means an exhaustive list so check out the TIC’s Museums and Art Galleries leaflet and Tokyo Museums – A Complete Guide are extremely informative about what’s on and where.
1. Tokyo National Museum
13-9 Ueno Park, Taito-ku. Telephone – 3822 1111. Opening hours – 9.30-5pm Tues-Sun, 9.30am-8pm Friday. April-Sep.
An unmissable museum with an astounding collection of over 87,000 artefacts and the largest collection of Japanese Art in the country. The galleries include the Gallery of Eastern Antiques covering Asia and Egypt, the Hyokei-kan room that contains Japanese archaeological finds, particularly in relation to the indigenous people of Hokkaido, and the Gallery of Honjuji Treasures that is filled with beautiful Buddhist art works. Admission costs ¥420.
2. Shitamachi History Museum
2-1 Ueno Koen, Taito-ku. Telephone – 3823 7451. Opening hours – 9.30am-4.30pm Tues-Sun
Feel totally emerged in the city’s history at this fascinating place which recreates life in Edo’s Shitamachi, the downtown and slightly poorer area of Tokyo. Wonder through the cleverly reconstructed shops and houses, and exchange pleasantries with the locals as you go. Admission costs ¥300.
3. Tepco Electric Energy Museum
1-12-10 Jinnan, Shibuya. Telephone – 3477 1191. Opening hours – 10am-7pm Thurs-Tues
This museum maybe an elaborate three-dimensional advert for the Tepco Energy Company but there are well-presented and educational exhibits for any budding young physicists to enjoy and, amazingly, it’s free!
4. Edo-Tokyo Museum
1-4-1, Yokoami, Sumida-ku. Telephone – 3626 9974. Opening hours – 10am-6pm Tues-Sun.
This is a truly breathtaking building, standing at an incredible 62 metres above the ground and covering about 30,000 square meters, making the complex 2.4 times bigger than the field area inside the Tokyo Dome stadium. Inside, exhibits explain the Edo and Miyi periods in Japanese history. Admission costs ¥600.
5. The Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation
2-41, Aomi, Koto-ku. Telephone – 3570 9151. Opening hours – 10am-5pm Wed-Mon
The rather dry sounding name of this attraction doesn’t do the hands-on and fun-crammed exhibits any justice. Your little ankle biters can even construct their own robots or indulge in a spot of inter-galactic space travel. Admission costs ¥500.
6. Sumo Museum
1-3-28 Yokoama, Sumida-ku. Telephone – 3622 0366. Opening hours – 10.00am-4.30pm Tues-Sun.
If you’re intrigued by Japan’s national sport, then learn about the rules, history and major winners at this informative little museum through the photos, scrolls and sumo-orientated artefacts displayed. Admission is free but there is little in the way of English explanations so you may want to bring along a friend who’s fluent in the native tongue.