Japanese Museums: 10 Places To Boost Your Creativity + Vocab

When asked to name a country rich in culture, innovation, and history, we’re willing to wager that Japan will be the first country mentioned. Therefore, we highly recommend reading this blog post before visiting Japan so that you will know the available Japanese museums.

Japan is regarded as a leader in originality and creativity in the global community. They’ve been busy making various things, including anime and highly advanced technological devices that function almost identically to humans. But that’s not all; they’re also a part of a global event like Word War II and have a rich history. So naturally, they have a wealth of stories to share.

You can visit Japanese museums to immerse yourself in the country’s rich heritage, vibrant cultural scene, impressive art, cutting-edge technology, and more!

Before we jump into the incredible list of Japanese museums, let’s begin with a quick lesson on the Japanese word for “museum” in the table below.

Japanese WordRomanjiEnglish DefinitionPronunciation
博物館HakubutsukanMuseum
美術館BijutsukanArt museum, art gallery
科学博物館Kagaku hakubutsukanScience museum
歴史博物館Rekishi hakubutsukanHistory museum
近代美術館Kindai bijutsukanModern art museum
国立西洋美術館Kokuritsu seiyō bijutsukanNational Museum of Western Art

What Are The 10 Worth Visit Japanese Museums?

We picked museums from the art, science, and history categories to demonstrate Japan’s attractions range.

1. The Ghibli Museum (三鷹の森ジブリ美術館, Mitaka No Mori Ghibli Bijutsukan)

Japanese Museums

Which animated features—My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away, or Princess Mononoke—hold a special place in your heart? If you answered yes to all movies we mentioned, you’re a true Hayao Miyasaki fan and should visit this museum.

The Ghibli Museum, a wonderful and fanciful tribute to the legendary Company Ghibli film studio, is located in the western suburbs of Tokyo. You’ll see the working table of the artists who created beautiful scenery on screen, the dedicated storyboard that tells a lot of their hard work, and many more! However, the Ghibli Museum is not just devoted to the studio’s output but also to shedding light on the workings of the animation industry.

You don’t have to be a fan of Studio Ghibli’s films to be impressed by the beautiful artwork or utterly enchanted by the displays, even though there are numerous references to the charming films throughout the museum.

It’s no surprise that such a popular attraction as the Ghibli Museum sells out of tickets quickly. Getting tickets will need some forward planning since they tend to sell out quickly. The ticket may be purchased at any Lawson convenience store in Japan or through the Japan Travel Agency (JTB).

2. Edo Tokyo Museum (江戸東京博物館, Edo Tōkyō Hakubutsukan)

When it opened in 1932, it was the first museum in Tokyo. The Nakamuraza theater, a miniature version of Edo, and a scale model of the city of Edo, Meiji, and Showa are among the highlights of the permanent exhibitions.

3. Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum (広島平和記念資料館, Hiroshima Heiwa Kinen Shiryōkan)

Japanese Museums

During World War II, in 1945, on August 6, the first atomic bomb exploded in Hiroshima, Japan. The only remaining building was the Hiroshima Peace Memorial (Genbaku Dome). It has been kept exactly how it was just after the explosion because of the efforts of many people, especially the city of Hiroshima.

The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum exhibits personal belongings left by victims, A-bombed artifacts, a testimony of A-bomb survivors, and other materials to promote the message of “No More Hiroshimas” and educate the world on the tragedies and inhumanity of nuclear weapons.

4. Tokyo National Museum (東京国立博物館, Tōkyō Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan)

In 1872, an exposition was staged in the Yushima Seido Confucian temple in Tokyo, marking the beginning of the Tokyo National Museum. A wide range of Japanese art is displayed at the museum, from paintings and sculptures to architectural models, metalwork, swords, ceramics, lacquerware, textiles, protohistorical artifacts, prehistorical artifacts, ethnographic materials, historical artifacts, Oriental archaeology, and Oriental art.

5. Naoshima Island (直島, Naoshima)

Located in the Seto Inland Sea, the little island of Naoshima is one of Japan’s famous destinations. It’s well regarded as Japan’s art island. It has become famous for its modern art galleries, architecture, and artworks. And if you’re wondering if this island is home to Yayoi Kusama’s polka-dotted pumpkin sculpture, the answer is yes. While the island’s most recognizable yellow pumpkin is being repaired, the artist’s other polka-dotted creations can still be seen throughout the island.

6. Inujima Seirensho Art Museum (犬島精錬所美術館, Inujima Seirensho Bijutsukan)

One of the art museums in an open-air style. Setouchi Triennale, a modern art event, has made Inujima famous as a location for contemporary art, much like neighboring Naoshima Island.

7. The Kubota Itchiku Art Museum (久保田一竹美術館, Kubota Itchiku Bijutsukan)

Itchiku Kubota, who rediscovered a centuries-old method of dyeing kimonos, one of the national treasures, devoted his life to making a line of garments unrivaled in Japan. The gallery in the Fuji Five Lakes region is, without a doubt, the most impressive textile museum in the world.

8. Nagoya Toyota Commemorative Museum (トヨタ産業技術記念館, Toyota Sangyō Gijutsu Kinen-Kan)

Japanese Museums

In today’s world, Toyota is a legend. This company has created so many amazing items. From its lowborn origins as a maker of textile machines to its current standing as an industrial superpower, the Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology highlights the history of one of the region’s most influential corporations.

9. Kyoto National Museum (京都国立博物館, Kyōto Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan)

Along with the Tokyo National Museum, the Nara National Museum, and the Kyushu National Museum, it is one of Japan’s four premier national museums and one of the oldest in the country. Cultural artifacts like paintings, sculptures, pottery, calligraphy, and costumes are displayed here. In addition, the museum hosts temporary themed exhibitions for most of the year.

10. Hakone Open Air Museum (彫刻の森美術館, Chōkokunomori Bijutsukan)

If you like your time on Naoshima Island, you’ll probably enjoy this one. Approximately 120 sculptures are placed across the grounds of the Hakone Open-Air Museum, making up the museum’s distinctive characteristic. Visitors are encouraged to go close to the museum’s various sculptures, created by both Japanese and international artists, to grasp the messages they’re attempting to portray fully.

Let’s Make The List For Your Next Trip!

Is there anywhere specific you’ve always wanted to visit? As you can see, Japan is home to a wide variety of museums where you can learn about and explore topics as diverse as art, science, and history. To claim that Japan is the home of innovation would be an understatement. They don’t only fantasize about it but actively work toward its realization. If you’re feeling burned out from studying Japanese, a trip to a museum in Japan is sure to reignite your interest in the language and inspire you to stay at it. Don’t give up!

Learn Japanese With Ling Now!

Learn Japanese with Ling

If you’re planning a vacation to Japan soon, brushing up on Japanese conversation skills will help ensure a more enjoyable experience visiting Japan’s museums. Now we can confidently propose the top app for studying the Japanese language.

The Ling App is the best tool for learning Japanese. You’ll find a wealth of vocabulary definitions and examples right here. To begin learning Japanese immediately, simply download the free Ling app to your mobile device. There are many cool things out there to help you learn phrases more quickly, such as puzzles, mini-games, and even an intelligent chatbot. In addition, you can listen to the native speaker’s accent while reading the text.

Are you ready to start now? So download the Ling App from Google Play Store and Apple App Store now, and prepare to be fluent in Japanese soon!

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