Most museums are closed Mondays.
Tokyo National Museum
The world’s largest collection of Japanese art. Comprehensive collection of the invaluable cultural properties of Japan and other Asian countries. Open 9:00–17:00, ¥1000–1500. JR Yamanote line to JR Ueno Station. Follow signs to museum. 03-3822-1111.
Trains are the big feature. Real-life exhibits include Imperial carriages and Japan’s first steam locomotive. Nautical, automotive, and aerial exhibits as well. Open 9:30–17:00, ¥310. JR Sobu local line to Akihabara Station. Use exit sign “Electric Sign.” Follow signs to museum. 03-3823-6921.
Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum
Collections by contemporary Japanese artist groups whose works include oil paintings, traditional-style Japanese paintings, sculptures, crafts, graphic designs, and calligraphy. Special exhibitions as well. Open 9:00–17:00, fee varies. JR Yamanote to JR Ueno Station. Use Park exit and follow signs to museum. 03-3823-6921.
National Museum of Western Art
An impressive collection of Western art. The main building was designed by Le Corbusier. Focus on Rodin and the French Impressionists. Open 9:30–17:00, ¥130 (student rate). Use same directions as Metropolitan Art Museum. 03-3828-5131.
Kanto Earthquake Museum
Housed in a temple, this museum holds exhibits that survived the disastrous 1923 Tokyo earthquake and charts the occurrence of earthquakes in the Tokyo area. Open 9:00–16:30, Free! JR Sobu local line to Ryogoku station. Use Sumo Stadium exit. 03-3623-1200.
Fukagawa Edo Museum
A hauntingly authentic recreation of a whole block of Edo’s waterfront neighborhood, several hundred years ago. Leave your shoes at the door and walk into 17th-century Japanese life. It feels as if the people had just stepped outside for a minute. Open 9:30–15:00, ¥300. Torai Subway line to Monzen-nakacho Station. Exit towards Etai Dori Avenue. Find a police box and ask for a detailed map in English.
Natural Science Museum
Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography
Meiji Jingu Treasure Museum
Near the Meiji Jingu Shrine and Gardens. Displays items that belonged to Emperor Meiji, who laid the foundations of modern day Japan. Open 9:00–16:00, ¥50. JR Yamanote to Hanajuku Station. Follow signs to museum.