Museums and Science Museums in Japan
English | Japanese
Among the many sightseeing spots in Japan, we will introduce the ones related to art museums, museums, and science museums by prefecture.
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Table of contents
The Tokyo National Museum, Japan's oldest and largest museum, is a paradise for history and art lovers, offering an impressive collection of over 110,000 items, including national treasures. Visitors can explore a range of galleries dedicated to different periods and types of artifacts, from ancient pottery to samurai armor. The Asian Gallery, offering pieces from across the continent, and the Gallery of Horyuji Treasures, housing the oldest Buddhist artifacts in Japan, are particularly noteworthy. The beautiful museum garden, adorned with historic teahouses, and the spectacular cherry blossoms in spring in Ueno Park, further enhance the museum's allure.
The Ota Memorial Museum of Art in Tokyo, Japan, is a treasure trove of Ukiyo-e, traditional Japanese woodblock prints, offering a deep dive into the lifestyle and culture of the Edo period. Housing a collection of over 12,000 pieces, the museum offers ever-changing exhibitions, making each visit a unique experience. Despite its compact size, the museum delivers a curated and intimate appreciation of the artworks. With exhibitions often echoing the seasons, visits during spring and autumn provide a particularly charming ambiance.
The Nezu Museum, located in Tokyo, is a hidden gem known for its exquisite collection of Japanese and East Asian art, including tea ceremony utensils, calligraphy, paintings, and Buddhist statues. Set within a serene, beautifully landscaped Japanese garden, the museum offers a tranquil escape from the bustling city. The architecture and design of the museum building itself further enhance the overall experience, making it a must-visit destination for art and culture enthusiasts.
The National Museum of Nature and Science is a captivating attraction that explores the natural history and scientific advancements of Japan and the world. Visitors can marvel at exhibits featuring diverse ecosystems, ancient fossils, and cutting-edge technology. With interactive displays and engaging learning experiences, the museum offers an enlightening journey for people of all ages.
The National Museum of Western Art in Tokyo is a renowned institution showcasing a vast collection of Western art from various periods and styles. Visitors can admire masterpieces by eminent artists such as Monet, Van Gogh, and Rodin, among others. The museum's elegant architecture and captivating exhibitions provide a culturally enriching experience for art lovers and curious minds alike.
Tokugawa Art Museum, located in Nagoya, Japan, showcases an exquisite collection of art and artifacts from the influential Tokugawa shogunate era. Visitors can immerse themselves in Japan's rich history while admiring samurai armor, tea ceremony utensils, and other cultural treasures. The serene museum grounds, which include a traditional Japanese garden, provide a tranquil backdrop for this journey through the past.
The Nagoya City Science Museum captivates visitors with its iconic, silver sphere planetarium - one of the largest in the world. Interactive exhibits engage guests of all ages, sparking curiosity in science, technology, and the natural world. Its central location makes it an accessible and unforgettable destination for both locals and tourists.
The SCMAGLEV and Railway Park, operated by JR Central, is a railway museum located in Nagoya City, Aichi Prefecture. Inside the museum, a wide range of vehicles are on display, from steam locomotives to actual conventional and Shinkansen vehicles, and even the superconducting maglev. Additionally, visitors can experience train driving simulators and view railway dioramas.
The Iga-ryu Ninja Museum showcases the fascinating world of the Iga-ryu ninjas, offering a glimpse into their secretive history and techniques. Visitors can explore authentic ninja houses, witness thrilling ninja demonstrations, and participate in interactive activities. This unique attraction provides an intriguing and educational experience for those interested in Japanese culture and the legendary art of ninjutsu.
The Kakamigahara Aerospace Science Museum offers a comprehensive look into the world of aviation and space exploration through its extensive collection of aircraft and interactive exhibits. Highlights include a Zero Fighter plane from World War II and a mock-up of the International Space Station. The museum's hands-on approach to learning makes it a popular destination for families and aviation enthusiasts alike.
The Toro Museum, located in Shizuoka, Japan, offers a unique glimpse into the country's ancient Yayoi period. Visitors can explore the well-preserved archaeological site, featuring reconstructed dwellings and rice fields, and learn about the daily life and culture of the people who lived there over 2,000 years ago. The on-site museum houses fascinating artifacts and exhibits, deepening one's understanding of Japan's rich history.
The Chihiro Art Museum in Azumino exhibits the works of Chihiro Iwasaki, who was active as a picture book artist. Visitors can spend a full day in its wooden space reading picture books, playing, and making use of the café and shop with an open terrace. The museum is also surrounded by the Azumino Chihiro Park, where you can enjoy walks and experiences against the backdrop of the Northern Alps. A corner of the park recreates the world of 'Totto-chan: The Little Girl at the Window,' with a dedicated 'Totto-chan Square'.
The Kyoto National Museum is a must-visit destination in Kyoto, Japan, for those interested in the country's rich history and cultural heritage. Its extensive collection features Japanese art, artifacts, and archaeological findings, providing a comprehensive understanding of Japan's past. Located near other famous attractions, the museum offers a perfect opportunity to immerse oneself in the beauty and sophistication of Japanese culture.
The Kyoto Railway Museum is a fascinating attraction for train enthusiasts and history buffs alike, showcasing an impressive collection of Japanese trains, from vintage steam locomotives to modern bullet trains. This interactive museum offers hands-on exhibits, simulators, and educational displays that provide a comprehensive insight into Japan's railway history and technology. Visitors can also enjoy panoramic views of the city from the observation deck, making it a must-visit destination in Kyoto.
Nara National Museum, located in the heart of Nara Park, showcases an extensive collection of Japanese art, including Buddhist sculptures, paintings, and calligraphy. The museum is renowned for its elegant architecture and tranquil garden, offering a peaceful environment for visitors. It is an ideal destination for art and history enthusiasts to immerse themselves in Japan's rich cultural heritage.
Thank you for reading to the end.
( Written by Tatsuo Ikura )