HOME Awesome Things to Do In Japan: 10 Most Popular History Museums in Tokyo and Surroundings! (December 2019 Ranking)
Awesome Things to Do In Japan: 10 Most Popular History Museums in Tokyo and Surroundings! (December 2019 Ranking)

Awesome Things to Do In Japan: 10 Most Popular History Museums in Tokyo and Surroundings! (December 2019 Ranking)

Date published: 17 January 2020

Here are the most popular History Museums in Tokyo and Surroundings, according to leading travel website Live Japan! Our ranking is based on the most popular pages viewed by foreign visitors in the past month. Be sure to add them to your Japan travel plan when you visit Tokyo and Surroundings!

1.Edo-Tokyo Museum

1.Edo-Tokyo Museum

The Metropolitan Edo-Tokyo Museum opened its doors in 1993 as a space to reflect on the history and culture of Edo-Tokyo and envision the city and life in the future. The unique designed building was modeled after an elevated-floor warehouse and it is approximately 62.2 meters high. The museum has seven stories above ground and one below for exhibition rooms, library and halls. The permanent exhibition, showcasing original objects and replicas, offers visitors a journey through the 400-year history of Edo-Tokyo since the first Shogun Ieyasu Tokugawa entered Edo. You can see how people in Edo were living. Volunteer guides give tours for the permanent exhibition in 7 languages including English and Chinese (some languages may not be available depending on the day). In addition to the permanent exhibition, the museum organizes special exhibitions at the exhibition hall on the first floor and lecture sessions and workshops in hall or study room. Also, there are restaurants and a museum shop in the premises. A one-minute walk from the A3 or A4 Exit of Ryogoku Station on the Subway Oedo Line.

2.TOKYO NATIONAL MUSEUM

2.TOKYO NATIONAL MUSEUM

The Tokyo National Museum collects, preserves, repairs, exhibits, researches and educates about Asian tangible cultural assets with a focus on Japan. The Tokyo National Museum has a collection of approximately 117,000 works (of which 89 are national treasures and 644 are important cultural properties) and boasts a collection of the highest quality and scope in all of Japan (as of March 2019). The regular exhibitions have approximately 3000 items on display.

There are six exhibition galleries in total. The Honkan showcases Japanese art, the Toyokan has Asian art, the Gallery of Horyuji Treasures displays treasures donated by the Horyuji Temple, the Heiseikan has Japanese archaeological relics on the first floor and special exhibitions on the second floor, and the Kuroda Memorial Hall displays works by the Western-style painter, Kuroda Seiki. The Hyokeikan is now only open for special exhibitions and events.

In addition, for the purpose of giving both foreign and Japanese visitors more opportunities to appreciate our exhibitions, we are open until 9:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights throughout the year.

  • TOKYO NATIONAL MUSEUM
    TOKYO NATIONAL MUSEUM
    東京国立博物館
    • Address 13-9 Ueno Park, Taito-ku, Tokyo, 110-8712
    • Nearest Station Ueno Station (Hokkaido Shinkansen Line / Tohoku Shinkansen Line / Akita Shinkansen Line / Yamagata Shinkansen Line / Joetsu Shinkansen Line / Hokuriku Shinkansen Line / JR Keihin-Tohoku Line / JR Yamanote Line / JR Tohoku Main Line / JR Utsunomiya Line / JR Takasaki Line / JR Joban Line / JR Ueno Tokyo Line / Tokyo Metro Ginza Line / Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line)
      10 minutes on foot
    • Phone Number 03-5777-8600

3.Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum

3.Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum

This open-air museum opened in 1993. Historically valuable buildings that were difficult to preserve where they stood were brought here and reassembled. There are approximately 30 restored buildings in the vast 70-thousand-square-meter site. With buildings from the Edo to early-Showa periods, some with traditional thatched roofs and others with a historic atmosphere, it is if you have gone back in time. The museum aims to preserve these buildings so that future generations can appreciate their precious cultural heritage. A five-minute bus trip from the North Exit of Musashi-Koganei Station on the JR Chuo Main Line.

4.JAPAN FOOTBALL MUSEUM

4.JAPAN FOOTBALL MUSEUM

The Japan Football Museum was founded in 2002 to commemorate the 2002 FIFA World Cup. Various materials are on display spanning a wide range of historical highlights, from the genesis of football in Japan, to Samurai Blue (Japan's national football team) qualifying for six consecutive FIFA World Cups, Nadeshiko Japan (Japan's national women's football team) and their journey to becoming FIFA Women's World Cup champions, and the state of football in Japan today. Other display highlights include trophies won by our pioneers, numerous FIFA Fair Play Awards, and the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup championship trophy won by the Nadeshiko Japan women's team in Germany.
Other features include an area where guests can experience super play in 3D, uniforms worn by Japanese players through the years, a FIFA World Cup replica trophy that guests can touch, and lots more.
We host various events and special exhibitions throughout the year as well. Look for football athletes of your country who played Japan in a match.

5.Fukagawa Edo Museum

5.Fukagawa Edo Museum

Fukagawa Edo Museum is a Koto Ward community culture center with an exhibition room that displays a reproduction of the city streets of Fukagawa Saga-cho in the late Edo era; a small theater that holds plays and lectures such as rakugo (form of Japanese verbal entertainment) and different forms of traditional Japanese music; and a recreation hall that can be used by community groups and circles. The exhibition room is not only a reproduction of the buildings and townscape, but includes household items to recreate the life and scene of the time. The flowers and plants, lighting and sound are changed according to the season, and exhibitions on annul events are held throughout the year. The small theater has the atmosphere of an Edo playhouse and is used for rakugo and other forms of entertainment. There is a variety of other events held throughout the year such as reenactments of annual events using the reproduced town of Edo and special exhibitions. It is located a 3-minute walk away from Kiyosumi-shirakawa Station on the Toei Oedo Line and Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line.

6.Perry Memorial Hall

6.Perry Memorial Hall

In 1853, Matthew Calbraith Perry, who was Commodore of the U.S. Navy, landed on the Kurihama beach, which paved the way for opening Japan. In order to make Perry's arrival and the history of the opening of Japan widely known, the city of Yokosuka built the Perry Memorial Hall in 1987, commemorating the 80th anniversary of the city's founding as a municipality. The entrance to the museum is free of charge, and inside the museum, important historical documents that portray the scenes of those days are on display, such as diorama models, picture scrolls depicting the commotion right before Perry's landing, and old books chronicling the overview of the ”black ships.” The first floor is an exhibition hall displaying the diorama models reproducing the spectacles on the arrival of the black ships; on the second floor is a document gallery. The Perry Memorial Hall is situated within the premises of the Perry Park, where the monument commemorating Perry's landing constructed in 1901 stands. It is a 20-minute walk from the Kurihama Station on the JR Line or the Keikyu Kurihama Station on the Keihin Kyuko Line. It is a 10-minute ride on a bus bound for Nobi-kaigan from the Keikyu Kurihama Station on the Keihin Kyuko Line. The museum is close when you get off at the ”Peruri” Perry Kinenhi bus stop.

7.Basho Museum

7.Basho Museum

The Basho Museum, which opened in 1981, exhibits material related to haiku, especially to the haiku poet, Matsuo Basho, contributed by Manabe Giju and others. The museum is at the area where Basho produced many famous haiku and travel writings such as the Narrow Road to the Deep North. After the great tidal wave that swept the area in 1917, a stone frog that Basho is believed to have been fond of during his lifetime was discovered, and Basho Inari Shrine near the museum was designated as the Site of Basho Okina’s Old Pond. There is a small Japanese garden on the premises of the museum where flowers, plants, ponds and waterfalls associated with Basho’s haiku are placed, so that visitors can enjoy the tastes of the seasons. On the artificial hill of the garden, there is a small shrine with a thatched roof modeled on Basho-an (the cottage Basho lived in) and a Basho haiku monument on which famous haiku are inscribed.

Admission fees: 200 JPY for adults (150 JPY), 50 JPY for primary and secondary school children, (30 JPY),
*() prices apply to a group of more than 20 people.

It is located a 7-minute walk away from the A1 Exit of Morishita Station on the Toei Shinjuku and Oedo Lines. It is also an 11-minute walk away from the A1 Exit of Kiyosumi-shirakawa Station on the Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line or Toei Oedo Line.

8.Edo Taito Traditional Crafts Center

8.Edo Taito Traditional Crafts Center

”Edo Shitamachi Traditional Crafts Museum”, which is now closed for construction, will be renovated as ”Edo Taito Traditional Crafts Center” in order to publicize the charms of traditional crafts, make it easier to understand for lots of people. Also enrich the details of exhibitions and will finally renewed open. We have original tote bags for people who come the museum on a first-come-first-served basis.(Only a limited amount)
Please come to the new traditional crafts center!

9.Memorial Ship Mikasa

9.Memorial Ship Mikasa

The 6-6 Fleet Build-Up Plan, which the Japanese government at the time promoted to fight against the astonishing military forces of the great Western powers, was an immense armament plan with six battleships and six armored cruisers as its core. The Mikasa was built as the 6th battleship of the fleet in 1902. In 1905, during the Russo-Japanese War, it took an active role as the flagship of the Combined Fleet led by Heihachiro Togo, the Commander-in-Cheif of the Combined Fleet. At the intercepting battle against the Second and the Third Pacific Fleets, which were deployed by Russia in order to recover the disadvantaged military situation, the Mikasa bravely fought on the frontline despite being under concentrated fire, which contributed to making Russia surrender. Later on, although there was a movement to dispose of the Mikasa because of the age of the warship, people's voices increased to preserve the Mikasa as a symbol of nation's pride that defended the national independence, and it was moved to its current location for preservation in 1926. The Mikasa, along with the HMS Victoria of Great Britain and the Constitution of the U.S., was designated as one of the three greatest commemorative ships of the world, which fought to defend nation's independence and led to historic victories. Take a Mikasa Loop Bus at the Yokosuka-chuo Station on the Keihin Express Line and get off at the Mikasa Park Stop. It is located a two-minute walk from the bus stop.

10.Chichibu Meisenkan

10.Chichibu Meisenkan

A museum of Chichibu silk, which have long been cherished by samurai families and the general public as a strong silk fabric. Meisen is a loose textured silk fabric woven from untwisted yarn. The museum offers workshops in addition to the exhibits.

*This information is from the time of this article's publication.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.

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