Discovering Japanese Museums
Update: 22 March 2016

Discovering Japanese Museums

Historical treasures, contemporary art, and modern technology can be admired, discovered, and explored in the many great museums that Japan has to offer.

The Long History of Japanese Museums

It is said that the history of museums in Japan dates back more than 1,000 years. Buildings such as the Shosoin at Todai-ji were used as facilites to preserve and collect books and other documents. During the Edo Period, fairs for produce from around the country were held for research and exhibition purposes. Japanese people who studied in the West during the late Edo to early Meiji periods translated the word "museum" into Japanese, thus popularizing the concept in Japan.

Museums with History

You cannot talk about museums in Japan without mentioning the Tokyo National Museum. Along with the history and culture of Japan, various national treasures can be enjoyed at this historical place. The impressive displays in the building utilize the latest exhibition equipment and are sure to whet your curiosity and imagination.

Experience the Future!

The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, or simply Miraikan in short, is an invaluable museum where you can experience the future of the earth and expectations for space with the help of leading-edge technology. All of the exhibits, such as the androids, robots, astronomical telescopes, and space stations, help visitors learn about the wisdom of science that is essential for the development of humankind. Along with an understanding of Japanese technologies, you will touch upon the eternal theme of what people today can offer to future generations, for the future of our earth, and the universe.

Get to Know the Foundation of Modern-Day Japan

Japan is the only country in the world to have suffered atomic bombs. These tragic events are remembered, explained, and explored in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum in Hiroshima, and the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum in Nagasaki. Both have exhibitions depicting the cities on the day the bombs were dropped, the effects of radiation exposure, and the process leading up to reconstruction. These are places to deepen an understanding of these historical events that were key events and starting points for contemporary Japan.

Rules at the Museum ①

There are certain rules to follow when visiting a museum in Japan. While they don't differ too much from museums around the world, it doesn't hurt to know how to properly enjoy the various exhibitions. Talking loudly or using a cellphone inside the museum is not permitted and cell phones should be turned to silent mode as to not disturb other visitors by ringing suddenly. To protect the exhibits, eating and drinking are not allowed in a majority of museums.

Rules at the Museum ②

Copyright is a global issue and Japan is no exception to that. As such, taking photos, videos, or even touching the exhibits is not permitted at most museums. Certain museums even forbid sketching! Some contemporary ones, however, do allow filming, photography, and interacting with the exhibits, so be sure to check the nearby signboards or ask the museum staff for information on what is allowed and what isn't. With this in mind, your Japanese museum experience is sure to be a great one.

*This information is from the time of this article's publication.

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