The 10 Best Museums in Tokyo

Tokyo, a city where the past and future collide in a vibrant tapestry, offers a cultural feast for the eyes and the soul. Among its many attractions, the museums stand out as gateways to understanding the heart of Japan. Whether you’re a history buff, art enthusiast, or just looking for a unique way to spend the day, Tokyo’s museums are a treasure trove waiting to be explored. Let’s dive into the top 10 museums that are a must-visit in this bustling metropolis.

Mori Art Museum: A Modern Art Haven

Perched atop the Roppongi Hills Mori Tower, the Mori Art Museum is a beacon for contemporary art lovers. With its ever-changing exhibitions, it’s like walking into a new world with each visit. The museum’s focus on modern works not only from Japan but from all corners of the globe makes it a cultural melting pot. And let’s not forget the panoramic view of Tokyo from the observation deck – it’s simply breathtaking!

Edo-Tokyo Museum: A Journey Through Time

Ever wondered what Tokyo looked like during the Edo period? The Edo-Tokyo Museum is your time machine. With life-sized replicas and detailed miniatures, it’s as if you’ve stepped back into the past. The museum does a fantastic job of illustrating the transformation from Edo to modern Tokyo, making history come alive in the most engaging way possible.

Nezu Museum: An Oasis of Art and Nature

Imagine a place where art and nature blend seamlessly. That’s the Nezu Museum for you. Its collection of East Asian art is impressive, but the real star is the traditional Japanese garden. It’s a serene escape from the city’s hustle and bustle, where you can ponder the beauty of ancient artifacts or simply enjoy the tranquility of nature.

TeamLab Borderless: An Interactive Art Experience

Art is not just to be seen but to be experienced. TeamLab Borderless takes this to heart with its dazzling array of digital art installations. It’s a place where art knows no boundaries, enveloping you in a world of light and color. Every room offers a new surprise, making it a hit among visitors of all ages.

Tokyo National Museum: A Cultural Gem

As the oldest and largest museum in Japan, the Tokyo National Museum holds treasures that tell the story of Japan’s rich history. From samurai Swords to delicate pottery, the extensive collection is a testament to the country’s artistic heritage. It’s a place where you can spend hours and still feel like you’ve only scratched the surface.

Miraikan: The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation

Curious about what the future holds? Miraikan is where science meets imagination. It’s a playground for the mind with interactive exhibits on robotics, space exploration, and more. The museum makes science accessible and fun, sparking curiosity in visitors of all ages.

Sumida Hokusai Museum: A Tribute to a Master

Katsushika Hokusai, the master behind the iconic ‘Great Wave off Kanagawa,’ is celebrated at the Sumida Hokusai Museum. The museum’s sleek design is a nod to Hokusai’s dynamic art style. Inside, you’ll find a collection that delves into his life and works, offering a deeper understanding of this legendary artist.

Ghibli Museum: A Whimsical World

Fans of Studio Ghibli, rejoice! The Ghibli Museum is a magical portal into the whimsical worlds created by Hayao Miyazaki and his team. With its playful architecture and enchanting exhibits, it’s a place that captures the hearts of children and adults alike. Just remember to book your tickets in advance – they’re as coveted as a golden ticket to Willy Wonka’s factory!

Advertising Museum Tokyo: A Visual Feast

Advertising might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of museums, but the Advertising Museum Tokyo will change that. It’s a fascinating look at how advertising has evolved in Japan, showcasing a mix of vintage ads and cutting-edge campaigns. It’s a visual feast that reflects the pulse of Japanese society.

21_21 DESIGN SIGHT: A Space for Creative Minds

Last but not least, 21_21 DESIGN SIGHT is a museum that celebrates design in all its forms. Created by fashion designer Issey Miyake and architect Tadao Ando, it’s a space that encourages visitors to look at everyday objects in a new light. The museum’s exhibitions are thought-provoking, pushing the boundaries of what design can be.


  • Do I need to purchase tickets in advance for these museums?

    For some museums like the Ghibli Museum, it’s essential to book tickets well in advance due to their popularity. For others, you can often purchase tickets on the spot, but checking their websites before visiting is always a good idea.

  • Are there any free museums in Tokyo?

    Yes, some museums offer free admission on certain days or to specific exhibitions. It’s worth doing a bit of research to find these deals!

  • Can I take photos inside the museums?

    Photography policies vary from museum to museum. Some allow it, others don’t. Always look for signs or ask staff before snapping away.


In conclusion, Tokyo’s museums are as diverse and dynamic as the city itself. From the futuristic visions at Miraikan to the historical treasures of the Tokyo National Museum, there’s something for everyone. These institutions not only preserve and celebrate Japan’s cultural heritage but also offer a glimpse into the future of art and design. They’re places where you can lose yourself in the stories of the past, the creativity of the present, and the possibilities of the future. So next time you’re in Tokyo, make sure to carve out some time for these top 10 museums – your soul (and your Instagram) will thank you!

Remember, whether you’re marveling at Hokusai’s masterpieces or wandering through the digital landscapes of TeamLab Borderless, these experiences are more than just a tick on your travel checklist. They’re an invitation to connect with the heart of Japan and its people. So, grab your ticket to discovery and let Tokyo’s museums be your guide to a world of wonder.

Kurby Team

The Kurby Content Team is a diverse group of seasoned real estate experts dedicated to providing insightful, reliable information for homebuyers, real estate investors, and real estate agents. With backgrounds ranging from real estate brokerage, property investment, and residential home buying, our team combines decades of experience with a passion for demystifying the real estate world. We at Kurby are committed to helping you make informed, successful real estate decisions. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer, a seasoned investor, or a real estate professional, count on the Kurby Content Team to deliver the most relevant, actionable real estate content you need.