Even though museums in Europe draw more tourists, Japan's museums however makes up for in scale and innovation. From the intricacies of Japanese art through history to modern galleries and institutions for anime or science, Tokyo has a museum to satisfy even the most hungry students of culture. Here are five Tokyo museums you must not miss:
Although it's a new addition to Tokyo's museum scene and has no permanent collection, the The National Art Center, Tokyo's vast layout and well-arranged temporary exhibits here make this one of Tokyo's best museums and our top pick for a cultured day out. According to CNN, with over 14,000 square meters of exhibition space, the National Art Center, Tokyo is one of Japan's largest museums. The impressive curved glass facade and giant inverted concrete cones of its Kisho Kurokawa-designed structure attract visitors in, while exhibitions on everything from Impressionism to modern photography and Japanese art make them stay.
Officially called the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, the Miraikan is a large, modern glass structure full of interactive exhibition rooms . That's because, unlike other science museums around the world that can seem somewhat a bit old, the Miraikan focuses mainly on cutting-edge science and technology, making it truly one of Tokyo's best museums. Permanent exhibits covers different topics including the brain, medicine, Earth's environment, robots and the Internet, space and time with several special exhibitions held yearly.
Children of all ages (really) and grown-up fans of the animated films by Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki will enjoy exploring the Ghibli Museum, a quirky, colorful wonderland of a museum. All the rooms and exhibits are inspired by and dedicated to characters, locations and scenes from works made by Studio Ghibli. A large statue of the popular forest creature Totoro welcomes visitors as they walk along Kichijoji-dori from either Kichijoji or Mitaka stations.
Japan's oldest museum, the Tokyo National Museum is arguably also its most important, housing a large collection of Japanese art and artifacts. Located across Ueno Park from JR Ueno Station, the Tokyo National Museum can easily occupy an entire day. Everything from lacquerware and woodblock prints to kimono and samurai armor is on display, and the collection is from thousand years ago.
The Edo-Tokyo Museum has as its particular focus studying the history of Japan's Edo/Tokugawa era (1603-1868). A massive warehouse-like facility with a ceiling height of 62.2 meters, the Edo-Tokyo Museum has as one of its main attraction a life-size replica of Nihonbashi Bridge. This bridge leads down to a small model of Edo City as it would have looked during the reign of the Tokugawa shogunate.