Museums & Galleries   博物館 Japanese Art, History and Curiosities

The Kobe Museum

Kobe City Museum.

8 meter high aquarium in Okinawa (Churaumi aquarium)

8 meter high aquarium in Okinawa (Churaumi aquarium)

Ueno Natural History Museum

Ueno Natural History Museum

Totoro welcomes you at the entrance of the Ghibli museum

Totoro greets you at the entrance to the Ghibli Museum

Japanese Art, History and Curiosities

Japanese people love museums and galleries. The art is similar to a shared and mutual contemplative meditation. From the most prestigious to the most unusual, Japanese museums are in their hundreds.

Despite a long economic winter, from the bursting of the financial bubble in 1991 to the tragedy of March 11th, 2011, both leading to significant budget cuts, not a season has passed without the inauguration of a new, innovative museum. There are many new exhibitions of contemporary works or pieces of folk art representing the mingei (arts of ordinary people). 

In Japan, outstanding exhibitions are funded not by government organizations such as the Ministry of Culture, but by the Japanese media. Across institutions, national museums, prefectures, municipalities, and private foundations, collectors and generous patrons try to outshine each other showing the splendors of yesterday and today, from home and abroad.

The Great Wave, Hokusai

The Great Wave of Kanagawa, one of the "Thirty-six views of Mount Fuji", by the Japanese painter Katsushika Hokusai

Selection of Japanese museums to visit

Museums of traditional or contemporary arts, museums of history, trains, bonsai or even beer, in Japan, everything is an excuse to highlight an aspect of culture or the arts. Here is a selection of our top ten museums and galleries to visit in Japan:

  • Ghibli Museum, Tokyo - For fans of the animated films of Hayao Miyazaki and the famous Japanese studio.

  • Sapporo Beer Museum - The capital of Hokkaido Island is also famous for the brand Sapporo Beer which has its own museum!

  • National Museum Tokyo - North of Ueno Park, home to the most extensive collection of Japanese art in the world.

  • Iga Ninja Museum, Iga-shi - Shuriken, traps and traps of all kinds, discover the ninja's secret techniques!

  • Mori Art Museum, Tokyo - A contemporary art gallery perched on top of a skyscraper in Roppongi Hills, Tokyo.

  • Naoshima Island - An island in the inland sea, entirely dedicated to contemporary art with seven spaces, outdoor sculptures and architecture by Tadao Ando. 

  • Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum - A place to remember the victims of the atomic bomb that fell on the city on 6th August 1945.

  • Chokoku no Mori Open Air Museum, Hakone - An open-air museum where you can walk through more than a hundred sculptures in a natural setting.

  • 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa - A complex with impressive volumes, known for its works of contemporary art and its swimming pool installation.