10 free museums in Tokyo   東京にある無料で入れる博物館10選

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The entrance to the Police Museum in Tokyo with left mascot Pipo-kun.

The entrance to the Police Museum in Tokyo with mascot Pipo-kun on the left.

The Museum of Advertising, Tokyo

The pillonge around which the evolution of Japanese animation museum in Tokyo Suginami Aimation.

Suginami Animation Museum in Tokyo

The Museum of Firefighting, Tokyo

Accessible arts

Discover art and culture, or learn more about Japanese society with this selection of 10 free-to-visit museums located in Tokyo.

  • Advertising Museum Tokyo - アドミュージアム東京

It's in the Caretta Shiodome shopping center, very popular for its winter illuminations, that you'll find the Advertising Museum. It tells the history of marketing from the Edo period (1603-1868) to the present day. It's an excellent opportunity to better understand an intriguing aspect of Japanese culture, since many of the most original and inventive Japanese ads have circulated for years on the net.

Official site

  • The NHK Broadcasting Museum - NHK 放送博物館

The museum of the Japanese public media company NHK is near Tokyo Tower, which broadcast television in the capital and its environs from the late 1950s. The four floors of the museum showcase the evolution of broadcasting technology, from the launch of NHK radio back in 1925 to the present day. More than 25,000 objects used in telecommunication processes are on display for visitors. The museum is perfect for a family visit!

Official site

  • Suginami Animation Museum - 杉並アニメーションミュージアム

For fans of manga and anime, the Suginami Animation Museum allows you to experience the creation process of a cartoon! You can also discover the history of Japanese animation and learn about its greatest creators. All the production techniques are explained to you and you can finally learn how your favorite works were created! An audio guide is available in multiple languages, including English.

Useful information

  • The Tokyo Police Museum - 警察博物館

It's interesting to learn about the history of law enforcement in one of the most secure cities in the world. From samurai armed with their katana to modern policemen, the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Museum presents the evolution of methods to ensure the protection of Japanese citizens . You can try on a uniform, try your hand at driving a police vehicle in a simulator, or even sit next to a helicopter. You can also meet Pipo-kun, the official mascot of Tokyo Prefecture!

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  • The Museum of Firefighting - 消防博物館

Yet more heroes in uniform to discover! In the same spirit as the Police Museum, here you can see how firefighting methods have changed over the years. If your child is fascinated by the job of a firefighter, he or she will be able to try on the uniform, climb aboard a truck and learn how to put out a fire. As a bonus, there's a magnificent view of the Tokyo SkyTree from the museum observatory.

Useful information:
Address: Japan, 〒160-0004 Tokyo-to, Shinjuku-ku, Yotsuya, 3-10
Opening hours: 09:30-17:00 (closed on Mondays)
Access: Yotsuya Sanchome station (Marunouchi line)

  • The Origami Kaikan Center - 折り紙会館

Simultaneously a museum, shop, and workshop, discover the subtle art of Japanese paper folding at Origami Kaikan. In the nineteenth century, the site housed a dye factory for washi paper, before later becoming a center dedicated to origami. Upon your arrival you'll be able to admire beautiful achievements made of paper, then head upstairs for some materials before you create your own work of art.

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  • The Money Museum of the Bank of Japan - 日本銀行金融研究所貨幣博物館

All forms of currency used in Japan (and elsewhere) are exhibited in this museum, which was opened in 1985 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Bank of Japan . A great opportunity to discover the history of the yen and its predecessors.

Official site

  • The Yebisu Beer Museum - ヱビスビー記念館

Once a Yebisu beer brewery itself, now the building is a museum dedicated to the popular beverage made by Sapporo Beer. It's also in the district of Ebisu, which inspired the name of the beer, and you'll even be able to taste several kinds of this refreshing beer after your visit. All in moderation, of course. For those interested, a similar museum about Sapporo beer also exists in Hokkaido.

Official site

  • Mayo Terrace - マヨテラス

In a country where putting mayonnaise on pizza is the norm, it was a given that there would be a museum in honor of Japan's favorite brand of mayonnaise. Also used in copious quantities on takoyaki and okonomiyaki, Kewpie mayonnaise reveals all its manufacturing secrets at "Mayo Terrace". Take a guided tour that will appeal to young and old! ...As long as you like mayonnaise as much as the Japanese do.

Useful information :
Address: 2-5-7 Sengawacho, Chofu-shi, Tokyo-to, 182-0002 
Opening hours: 10:00-17:00 Monday to Friday (reservation required at +81 (0) 3-5384-7770)
Access: Sengawa station (Keio line)

Official site (Japanese only)

Related: The best museums to visit with children

  • Tokyo National Museum of Modern Art - 東京国立近代美術館

Opened in 1952, the MOMAT contains more than 13,000 works of art, including many of important cultural significance. The exhibitions change five times a year to give visitors the chance to see the entire collection, bringing together works from the twentieth century that have marked Japanese - as well as international - art history.

Official site

An origami bento

Japanese coins


Yebisu beer

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