Must-Visit Tokyo Museums

Tokyo offers a surprising number of museums as well as art galleries. The museums listed here are top recommendations for any Tokyo sojourn.

Tokyo National Museum (Ueno)

Established in 1872, Tokyo National Museum is Japan’s oldest. It boasts the country’s premier collection of Eastern art and offers rotating permanent exhibitions in addition to hosting several special exhibitions each year.

Tokyo National Museum

Suntory Museum of Art (Roppongi)

In its mission to find “Art in Life,” the Suntory Museum has amassed a collection of some 3,000 pieces centered on Japanese antique art. Its exhibit spaces incorporate wood and Japanese washi paper to bring out the best in the works displayed.

Suntory Museum of Art

Hara Museum of Contemporary Art (Shinagawa)

Hara Museum introduces a wide range of cutting-edge cultural offerings, from art to design and music and dance. The building, which features elements of 1930s European modernism, is as beguiling as the works on show.

✳Closing of the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art at the end of December 2020.

Hara Museum of Contemporary Art

The National Art Center, Tokyo (Roppongi)

Designed by the late Kisho Kurokawa, the museum’s wavelike facade gives an otherworldly quality to the building. Inside, two massive inverted cones dominate the lobby. Set atop one of these is a stylish restaurant that appears to float in space. One of the largest exhibition spaces in Japan, the museum is also noted for its unique special exhibits.

The National Art Center, Tokyo< ©The National Art Center, Tokyo