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Best Museums in Tokyo

By: Cityseeker
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Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo

The objective of this museum is to provide a venue for international artistic and cultural exchange. It is the only museum in Tokyo that systematically brings together foreign and domestic contemporary art. The Permanent Collection Gallery displays around 3,800 works. Established in 1995, the building's architecture is strikingly contemporary. Facilities include galleries for temporary exhibitions, a lecture room, an art library, museum shop, restaurant and a cafeteria.

Tokyo, Japan
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National Museum of Western Art

Located in the Taito-Ku area of Tokyo, The National Museum of Western Art is known for its amazing collection of drawings, sculptures and paintings by European artists. Designated a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO, the architecture of the main building can be credited to renowned Swiss Architect Charles-Edouard Jeanneret-Gris, famously known as Le Corbusier. You can admire the great works of Monet, Cezanne, Manet, Signac and many masters that shaped the history of art. Visitors are treated to the rich artistic heritage of the West during the numerous thematic exhibitions held regularly at the museum's gallery.

Tokyo, Japan
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National Museum of Nature and Science

This huge, two-building general science museum was established in 1877 and covers a wide variety of scientific knowledge including the evolution of living things, the Earth's formative history, nature, and astronomy. The giant dinosaur fossil, a moon rock and the stuffed body of Hachiko, the famous loyal Akita dog are some of the unmissable exhibits here. Taxidermy specimens, steam engines and the life of Japanese people are also some of the intriguing permanent exhibitions. If you cannot read Japanese, it is better to bring along a Japanese friend who can translate things for you.

Tokyo, Japan
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Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum

Founded in 1926, the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum displays a wide range of Japanese art forms in its six huge galleries. Apart from organizing exhibitions of traditional Japanese crafts, graphic design and calligraphy by contemporary Japanese artists, the museum also holds art lectures and workshops for upcoming enthusiasts. Admission prices vary as per the exhibition. For more details, check the website.

Tokyo, Japan
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Mori Art Museum

Opened in October 2003, the Mori Art Museum is dedicated to contemporary art and has been critically acclaimed by experts for its diverse exhibitions. Every exhibition has its own specific theme and a number of related artworks—paintings, photographs and prints—are displayed. The museum not only encourages Japanese artistes to come up with innovative creations, but also attracts a wide range of audiences from all over the country through various public programs. Mori Art does not hold permanent exhibitions; the venue is closed to public when there are no displays.

Tokyo, Japan
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Tokyo National Museum

The Tokyo National Museum displays a bevy of sculptures, paintings, calligraphy, archaeological objects and other decorative arts. Broadly divided into Japanese, Chinese and Korean forms, the museum's collections are nothing short of artistic preservation of Asian history and culture. Exhibitions, lectures and gallery talks are held regularly, so visitors can gain access to some valuable information about the world's largest continent. The museum also stores historical documents dating back to the 10th and 11th Centuries.

Tokyo, Japan
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Yamatane Museum of Art

A former head of Yamatane Securities, Taneji Yamazaki, amassed a collection of about 1,500 Meiji period paintings. Among the artists represented are Kokei Kobayashi, Kagaku Murakami, Seiho Takeuchi, Ryushi Kawabata and Hyakusui Hirafuku. The setting is modern, Japanese-style, and includes a rock garden, library and tearoom. Admission fee is applicable for visitors above 15 years of age. Handicapped visitors get a discount.

Tokyo, Japan
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Hara Museum of Contemporary Art

If you want to see ultra-modern art, the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art is a good choice. The functionally experimental architectural design (Bauhaus) of the building is striking. Artists representing the permanent collection include Rothko, Pollock, Dubuffet, Appel, Nobuo Sekine and Tomio Miki. Exhibits include contemporary pieces, many from emerging international artists, adding more diversity to the museum's credit. Another noteworthy feature is the sculpture which is on display in the garden. Other than the striking exhibitions, there are a plethora of facilities such as holographic art, video presentations and a coffee shop to rest and relax.

Tokyo, Japan
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Ghibli Museum

With Totoro greeting you at the entrance, step inside this colorful and whimsical museum and learn all about Studio Ghibli animations. Stroll through the beautiful exhibits and discover how animated films are created. After learning about the movie process, you can catch the screening of short museum-exclusive films. Kids will love playing on the plush Cat Bus from My Neighbor Totoro and later, you can visit the rooftop garden to see the seven-meter (23 feet) tall statue of Robot Soldier from Laputa Castle in the Sky. Pay a visit to the Ghibli Museum to learn more about an iconic animation studio.

Mitaka, Japan
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