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.
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.
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 The museum also stores historical documents dating back to the 10th and 11th Centuries.
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.
Suntory Hall is one of Tokyo's best concert venues for classical music. It harbors two concert halls: the Main Hall with a capacity of 2006 and the Blue Rose Hall with a capacity of 432. The larger hall mainly features orchestral concerts and pipe organ recitals, while the smaller hall offers a wide range of different classical genres, including popular children's concerts. Wines, cocktails and coffee are available at the Bar Intermezzo before each concert and during intermission. The concert halls gives the impression of opulence with great, ambient lighting and the stage right in the middle, with the seating arranged in a semi-circle on different levels. So, definitely go for a show here, it is well worth the price.
Ryogoku Kokugikan is the largest indoor area in Tokyo; it can hold over 100,000 spectators comfortably at a time. The arena is designed keeping international standards in mind, as a lot of overseas tourists flock here during matches which are held every January, May and September. Refreshment stands serving alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages, and easy parking facilities are available. Do not forget to try out the legendary Yakitori which is Japanese style barbecue chicken, served during matches. A visit here is not merely a visit to an arena; it is a taste of a slice of the Tokyo life.
Lixil Gallery is located on the 2nd floor of the Tokyo Tatemono Kyobashi building. It plays a crucial role in taking emerging artists under its wing, and giving them a platform to showcase their artworks. Established in 1982, the trendy place boasts an eclectic repertoire of exhibitions all year round so check website for details. At this same floor, you can also see contemporary ceramic-artworks at Galleria Ceramica.
A cultural hot-spot located in Kyobashi, the National Film Archive of Japan pays tribute to the Japanese film industry. The center is the nation's exclusive authority on all cinema-related archives, with nearly 40,000 national and international films held in its collection. Interested visitors can browse through their permanent exhibits that include books, periodicals, posters, among several other paraphernalia. There are also special film screenings held at their in-house cinemas, featuring vintage movies, attracting a a large crowd of movie buffs. There is also a library of film books, and other film-related memorabilia on the premises.
Tokyo International Forum is an excellent venue for music, theater, dance performances, cinema and art exhibitions. It consists of four buildings, each with its own venue hall. Live performances are usually staged in Hall A and Hall B. The facilities are marvelous and include a variety of restaurants that cater to a wide range of culinary tastes. Concerts are also sometimes staged in the afternoon and evening.
Gallery Koyanagi is tucked away at the back of the Koyanagi building, on the eighth floor. Here you will find around thirty artistic spaces, all occupied by well-established artists, both local and foreign (Sophie Calle, Rei Naito, Yoon Hee Chang). It's a space that requires time and quiet (it's one of the largest commercial art spaces in Tokyo) and both shall be richly rewarded.
Kobo Gallery is in fact a podium to help showcase some of the best abstract arts from local, national as well as international artists. With more focus on local and national artists, Koba helps in promoting the abstract artists to help build healthier competition. Located in an old fashioned building, the art works keep changing on a frequent basis.