Must-See Museums Around Tokyo

Museums are wonderful places to visit when traveling to different countries. It helps give visitors a deeper understanding of the history and culture of the people.

Tokyo-Edo Museum, Japan. | Stuart Rankin

Tokyo area has a number of museums that houses beautiful works from many traditional to contemporary Japanese artists and even Western artists. Here are just a few of the museums to visit when in the Tokyo area:

Tokyo-Edo Museum – The Edo-Tokyo Museum is a must-see place to visit for those who want to learn more about the rich culture and history of Tokyo. Founded in March 28, 1993, the museum is a repository of Tokyo’s heritage: from its origins as a small fishing village called Edo during the 15th century to its metamorphosis into today’s sprawling and vibrant metropolis.

Nezu Museum – the museum houses the private collection of pre-modern Japanese and East Asian art of Japanese businessman, national politician and philanthropist Nezu Kaichirō (August 8, 1860 – January 4, 1940).

Nezu Museum, Japan. | Yuya Tamai

The museum foundation was established upon his death and opened to the public in 1941. The collections include a pair of Irises by Ogata Kōrin, Edo period folding screens, painting, calligraphy, and sculptures by renowned artists, archeological finds and lacquer, metal and wood collections as well as Chinese bronzes of Shang and Zhou dynasties.

Samurai Museum – has two floors that houses exhibits of samurai swords, other weapons and armor. Visitors can try on the whole traditional samurai attire and experience what it’s like to become a Japanese warrior. A detailed tour is also given by English-speaking guides. They also demonstrate a few samurai sword moves that will surely impress any aspiring samurai.

Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum –  the museum mainly houses 19th-century Western artwork.  The building is a recreation of the original Mitsubishi Ichigokan that stood in the same location. The original building was designed by British architect Josiah Conder. It houses about 200works by Henri Marie Raymond de Toulouse-Lautrec-Monfa (24 November 1864 – 9 September 1901), a French artist whose led a colorful and theatrical life in Paris in the 19th century and is reflected in his artwork.

Mitsubishi Ichigokan, Japan. | Stefan Bauckmeier 

Katsushika Hokusai Museum – the museum is dedicated to the works of ukiyo-e artist Katsushika Hokusai. His popular works include “The Great Wave off Kanagawa” and “Red Fuji”, which are only two of the prints from the collection of “Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji”. Other exemplary replicas of Hokusai’s work can be seen on permanent display as well as information in about the life and work of the artist.