5 Recommended Museums in Osaka
There are plenty of museums in Osaka, a city popular for sightseeing. Here are 5 major museums.
This museum, inside Tennouji Park, is a treasure trove of Eastern art. It's a popular museum because you can enjoy comparing art from many countries. The land was donated by one of Japan's three biggest zaibatsu (business conglomerates pre-WWII) families, the Sumitomo family. Walking around the Japanese garden, Keitakuen, is one of its big delights. They have over 8,000 art pieces, including 15 important cultural artifacts like works by Ogata Korin and Hokusai, as well as Chinese paintings and writings, Chinese stone Buddhist images, ancient Japanese art, and more. Also, the collection of Japanese industrial arts like metalwork, lacquerware, and pottery has many items that reveal daily life, so the pieces are very familiar which make people enjoy this collection even more!
The National Museum of Art, Osaka, is in the center of the city in Nakanoshima and it's famous for having a façade that looks like an work of art itself. However, it's also known being built mostly underground. It moved to this location in 2004, but it originally opened in 1977 and systematically gathered modern art pieces from around the world. Pieces that were exhibited in the Japan World Exposition in Osaka in 1970 such as those by Calder and Miro were moved here. Most of their collection are pieces by artists like Cezanne and Picasso, but other than that they're all pieces from after WWII (1945). They have pieces by famous artists like Warhol and Kusama Yayoi on exhibit, so you can learn more about the world of modern art.
On the 16th floor of the skyscraper, Abeno Harukas in Abeno, is the Abeno Harukas Art Museum. Because this museum exhibits a wide variety of genres and eras and is very user-friendly, it's become a spot where many people come to experience art and culture. In 2014, as a special anniversary exhibition, they exhibited the treasures of Todaiji, the temple in Nara that houses the world's largest bronze Buddha statue. They also have exhibits featuring pop culture like Star Wars and the anime Youkai Watch that have been hits with young people. Because it's in a business district, it's a recommended place to easily go with your family after you check into your hotel.
The National Museum of Ethnology is the largest ethnological museum in the world, introducing societies and cultures of ethnic groups from all around the world. It's inside Expo Commemoration Park in Suita. The main building splits the world into 9 parts, including Oceania, America, Europe, Africa, West Asia, and East Asia, and offers exhibits on the areas as well as corners about their music and language.
If you look at everything along with the guide, it feels as though you start with Oceania and make an entire circle around the world eastward. There are documents that you can touch and many models of buildings, so there is a sense of realism to the point that it feels like you might be able to feel the breath of the people living there.
The Osaka Museum of Natural History is inside Nagai Park, and it's a museum with the theme of "nature and humans." It's outfitted with games and videos, so it's a popular museum that families can enjoy. In the main building, there are about 10,000 pieces relating to flora, fauna, insects, fossils, and more exhibitions. The skeletal specimen of the fin whale and the restored image of the Naumann elephant pack a punch! The most popular exhibit are the fossils of dinosaurs including the triceratops. There are even fossils that were excavated in Osaka. Outside of the building is a garden that includes an area recreating what Osaka's flora looked like 2 million years ago. You learn about the history of humans on earth as well as evolution in a fun way, so this is definitely a place to check out with your family!
Osaka has many charming museums! Why not add a few of them to your itinerary of your Osaka trip?
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.