Top 12 Best and Unusual Museums in Japan

January 17, 2022 5 min read

best museums in japan

In Japan, there is no lack on ideas! Hence, numerous museums offer incredible and downright wacky experiences 😜. That' s right: the Japanese are known for their totally insane pop culture.

Need a break from it all? Dive into the magical atmosphere of the Nihonbashi Art Aquarium or the poetic world of The Little Prince. For an instructive (and disgusting) outing, visit the Parasite Museum. Feeling hungry? Have a snack at the Cup Noodles Museum.

Spice up your trip with our top 12 of the best (and unusual) museums in Japan!

🐟 N°1: Nihonbashi Art Aquarium Museum

Nihonbashi Art Aquarium

Credits: https://artaquarium.jp/

In the posh district of Nihonbashi in Tokyo is situated an extraordinary aquarium. In the middle of the ponds illuminated by light effects, it is like being in a dream!

We all know about the pronounced taste of the Japanese for art and ornamental fishes, dating back to the Edo period (1603 to 1868). The ponds and their design are directly inspired by this period and set off by lighting that changes color to the rhythm of the music.

A mixture of modernity and time travel that will enchant the eyes. These magnificent aquatic works were imagined by Hidetomo Kimura, an artist specialized in the construction of unusual aquariums and an expert in lighting.

To admire this aquarium, you will need to pay about 1000 yens per person. Immersion guaranteed!

N°2: The sand museum

The Tottori sand museum

Credits: http://www.sand-museum.jp/

In Tottori Prefecture, a few steps away from the dunes, there is a magnificent exhibition of giant sand sculptures made by international artists.

Every year, the museum adopts a new theme inspired by civilizations around the world and all the sand sculptures are renewed. The ephemeral statues tell exciting stories and shine with striking details, much to the delight of visitors.

From Totorri Station, you can go to this place by bus (direction Tottori Sakyu). Count 600 yen to visit this amazing outdoor exhibition.

👁️ N°3: The museum of illusions

Tokyo Trick Art Museum

Credits: https://www.trickart.info/

Do you like trompe l'oeil and optical illusions? Then make sure to visit the Tokyo Trick Art Museum, near Odaiba-Kaihinkoen station.

This museum will seduce you with its paintings and life-size murals that play tricks on your mind. Visitors become one with the artworks. To trigger the magic of Trick Art, all you have to do is to put yourself on stage.

A good way to have fun with family or friends on a rainy day.

Entrance fee is 1000 yen per person.

🏯 N°4: Ghibli Museum 

Ghibli museum

Credits: https://secretchicago.com/

Who has never heard of the illustrious Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki? The Ghibli Museum reveals the secrets of the most famous works of the studio, founded by the Japanese animation master and his business partner Isao Takahata.

Located in Inokashira Park, the building is inspired by the colorful and natural world of those famous anime movies. You can learn about the techniques of making an anime, from sketching to animation, watch short films or go behind the scenes of your favorite anime.

The museum is located near the Mitaka subway station. The entrance fee is 1000 yen.

⚔️ N°5: The ninja museum

ninja museum

Credits: https://www.shinobinosato.com/

In Iga, Mie Prefecture, you will find the Iga-ryū Ninja Museum just a few steps away from Ueno Castle.

This museum traces the history of ninjas and displays various ninjutsu techniques as well as many tools and everyday objects used by them.

Secret passages, swivel wall, shuriken... put yourself in the shoes of a ninja during a visit to the museum and discover all the secrets and tricks of these well-known Japanese spies.

Count about 500 yen to attend the exhibition.

🐶 N°6: The Snoopy museum

snoopy museum tokyo

Credits: https://www.jrailpass.com/blog/snoopy-museum-tokyo

Charlie Brown's famous dog is particularly popular in Japan, so much so that he has his own place in Tokyo, a few minutes walk from Minami-Machida station. Lovers of Charles Schulz's comics will be delighted with the opportunity to get to know more about the creator of the Peanuts while immersing themselves in this vintage world.

The visit begins with a gigantic sculpture of the international star. Snoopy is an emblematic character of pop culture and will continue to amaze you.

The admission fee for the visit is 2000 yen per adult.

🌹N°7: The Little Prince Museum

little prince museum

Credits: http://rajustravels.blogspot.com/2019/04/japan-day-trip-to-hakone.html

In the west of Tokyo, we find the museum of the iconic Saint Exupéry character.

Let yourself be carried away on an excursion with the Little Prince, in a charming and poetic place. You will notice many winks.

It costs 1600 yen per person to (re)discover the magnificent work of the Little Prince and the life of its author. Emotion is the order of the day!

💥 N°8: The international manga museum

International Manga Museum

Credits: https://japancheapo.com/entertainment/kyoto-international-manga-museum/

For fans of manga and otaku culture, the International Manga Museum is a real must-see.

It is located in Kyoto, next to Nijo Castle. To get there from Kyoto station, simply take the Karasuma subway line and get off at Karasuma-Oike station which is just a step away from the museum.

For about 1000 yen, you will enjoy a huge library on 3 floors which presents at least 300 000 mangas as well as the whole history of Japanese comics.

🦠N°9: Parasite museum

museum of parasites

Credits: Meguro Parasitological Museum

If you are a science enthusiast, this unusual museum located in the Meguro district of Tokyo proves to be particularly instructive and will certainly enchant you. However, the experience will turn into a real nightmare for hypochondriacs.

Discover the diversity of unwanted species that have been infesting living beings ever since the beginning of time. You will probably have great surprises while walking through the 2 floors of the museum, such as the gigantic 8m long tapeworm...

Good thing, the entrance is for free (which is quite exceptional in Tokyo)! Thrills guaranteed!

🥢 N°10: The instant noodles museum

yokohama instant noodle museum

Credits: https://sushisei.hu/en/food-museums-yes-they-exist/amp/

Favorite food of students: instant noodles are a food revolution that dates back to the post-war period in Japan.

Momofuku Ando invented them. Discover its history and philosophy at the Cup Noodles Museum, located in Yokohama, a few minutes walk from the Minatomirai station.

Another good thing is that the entrance is for free. During this unusual experience, you'll have the opportunity to make your own ramen for 300 yen or walk through the impressive noodle gallery to whet your appetite.

🚽 N°11: The poop museum

Unko MuseumCredits: https://unkomuseum.com/en/tokyo/

In Japan, on the throne of the most absurd experiences, the Unko Museum is unbeatable. Experience a totally crazy moment in the city of Yokohama, near Tokyo. The museum is accessible by train or subway and you have to pay about 1800 yens for the entrance.

On the program, colorful poops, foam excrements, animations and video games to lift this taboo theme and have fun. What to decomplex the most embarrassed. Rest assured there is nothing dirty at the poop museum.

🗿 N°12: The museum of stones that look like faces

museum of stones

Credits: https://www.zmescience.com/science/rock-face-museum-japan/

The Chinsekikan museum "wall of strange stones" in Japanese, collects no less than 1700 stones that look like popular figures with a bit (...a lot) of imagination. All these stones were collected by its founder Shozo Hayama over a period of 50 years. The work of a great collector suffering from pareidolia (mania of seeing faces on everything and anything) which you can admire in the city of Chichibu, northwest of Tokyo.

For 400 yens, visit this incredible museum and find Elvis, Marilyn Monroe and Nemo. A most amazing exhibition that will not leave you speechless!


With this top 12 of unusual attractions in Japan full of originality, impossible to get bored during rainy days!


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