Best Museums To Visit In Tokyo

A figure at the Edo-Tokyo Museum
A figure at the Edo-Tokyo Museum | © Stephen Kelly/Flickr
Alicia Joy

Tokyo Writer

From ceramics and architecture to photography and papercraft, Tokyo is home to countless museums celebrating the beauty of art, history, and culture. Museums in general may not have a reputation for excitement, but these establishments are here to change that. Here are our top picks for museums in Tokyo.

1. 21 Design Sight


21_21 Design Sight
© Calton/WikiCommons
21_21 Design Sight was created by award-winning architect Tadao Ando and legendary designer Issey Miyake. The museum is not only a place to display art, architecture, and design, but hosts workshops and events aimed at encouraging the public’s interest in art and design. 21_21 Design Sight is located inside the Tokyo Midtown Mall and is open 11 AM to 8 PM Wednesday to Monday. Entry is 1000 yen per adult and free for children.

2. Musée Tomo


Entrance to the Musée Tomo
© Daderot/WikiCommons
Musée Tomo is a collection of modern Japanese ceramics. The wares are owned by Kikuchi Tomo, who used to show them off in America and Europe before finding a home for them in Tokyo. The extensive collection rotates every couple months. Open 11 AM to 6 PM Tuesday to Sunday, and admission fees vary depending on the exhibition.

3. Mori Art Museum


An image of teamLabs interactive digital installation at the Mori Art Museum, Crows Are Chased and the Chasing Crows Are Destined to be Chased As Well, Blossoming on Collision - Light in Space
© Alicia Joy
One of Tokyo’s more well-known museums, the Mori Art Museum, houses the city’s finest collection of contemporary art. In addition to its rotating exhibits from local and international artists, entry includes access to the Tokyo City View and — weather permitting — the Sky Deck for unbeatable views of central Tokyo. Mori Art Museum is located inside the Roppongi Hills Mall complex.

5. Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography


Exhibits at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography change regularly, and you only need to pay for the ones you want to see. Both local and international artists are spotlighted. The museum just reopened in August after a lengthy renovation period. Open from 10 AM to 6 PM daily (8 PM on Thursday and Friday). Closed Mondays.

6. Kite Museum (Tako-no-Hakubutsukan)


An image of Japanese kites
© Momotarou2012/WikiCommons
The Tokyo Kite Museum displays traditional Japanese paper kites and takes up the fifth floor of the popular Taimeiken restaurant. Kites were a hobby of the former owner of Taimeiken, Shingo Modegi, who helped to establish the museum in his restaurant. Although the museum is small, it exhibits some 3,000 paper washi and bamboo-framed kites. Entry is 200 yen for adults; open 11 AM to 5 PM daily and closed on Sundays.

7. Ghibli Museum

Museum, Theater

The Ghibli Museum showcases the animations of Studio Ghibli
© MergeIdea / Shutterstock
A trip to Tokyo wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the Ghibli Museum — for fans of the award-winning animation production studio, anyway. The museum is located beside Inokashira Park in Kichijoji, ones of the cities’ most beautiful locales. The only downside is that tickets must be purchased in advance. Buy tickets online through a third-party agent or at a Lawson convenience store kiosk. Open 10 AM to 6 PM Wednesday to Monday.

8. Edo-Tokyo Museum


Model of a Kabuki theater at the Edo-Tokyo Museum
© DocChewbacca/Flickr
The Edo-Tokyo Museum is a lesson in Japanese history. The museum houses Edo-era replicas and a wealth of information on Tokyo’s humble beginnings to the present. There is both a permanent collection and space for special exhibitions. Open from 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM Tuesday to Sunday (7:30 PM on Saturday). Admission: 600 yen per adult and free for children.
landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Winter Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

Edit article