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Source: TripAdvisor(R)

[2019 Edition] Top 20 Art Museums in Japan Based on Online Reviews

Japan is home to a wide array of art museums, such as those that showcase rare, historic pottery pieces and paintings; museums that are known for their unique way of displaying artworks; and spots that will make you feel the vibe of modern Japan with works created by local, contemporary artists. With that, here are the Top 20 museums in Japan according to online reviews! The gardens and cafes annexed to the museums will also be featured! (Source: TripAdvisor(R))

No. 20: Okada Museum of Art (Hakone, Kanagawa)

Hakone-machi, Kanagawa is a place frequented by tourists for its hot spring resorts. If you stay the night in Hakone and explore the surrounding areas, then Okada Museum of Art would be a great spot that is also easily accessible.
This museum displays historic pottery works and paintings from Japan, China and Korea. There is a cafe outside the museum where you can enjoy a footbath as you would in a hot spring district. It is famous for treating visitors to a relaxing footbath while marveling at the massive mural that is a replica of the national treasure “Fujin Raijin-zu Byobu” (folding screens of the Wind God and the Thunder God) through glass.

[Access]
From Shinjuku Station, get on the Odakyu Limited Express Romancecar to Hakone-Yumoto Station. Transfer to Hakone Tozan Railway and get off at Kowakidani Station. Get on a bus and get off Kowakien bus stop. The museum will be a short walk from there.
[Admission]
Adults/university students: 2,800 JPY, High school/junior high school/elementary school students: 1,800 JPY

Source: TripAdvisor(R)

No. 20: Okada Museum of Art (Hakone, Kanagawa)

493-1 Kowakudani, Hakone-machi, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa

No. 19: Mori Art Museum (Minato, Tokyo)

Mori Art Museum is located in Roppongi Hills, one of the most popular sightseeing destinations in central Tokyo. It specializes in contemporary art and thus far, it has earned rave reviews for every exhibit it has mounted. A ticket to this museum will also give you access to the Roppongi Hills Observation Deck Tokyo City View. Mori Art Museum is open until late on most days, so it might be a great idea to go there quite late to enjoy the beautiful nighttime view of the pieces on display. Make sure to check the museum’s schedule through its homepage, though, to make sure that it will be open late on the day you plan to do that. If you drop by Tokyo City View after visiting the museum, you will get to see the dazzling nightscape of Roppongi, too.
[Access]
The museum is directly connected to Tokyo Metro’s Roppongi Station. Enter from the general ticket counter on the 3rd floor of Roppongi Hills Mori Tower.

[Admission]
Adults: 1,800 JPY, Students (university/high school students): 1,200 JPY, Children (4 years old to junior high school students): 600 JPY, Seniors (65 years old and above): 1,500 JPY

Source: TripAdvisor(R)

No. 19: Mori Art Museum (Minato, Tokyo)

Roppongi Hills Mori Tower 53F, 6-10-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo

No. 18: The National Art Center, Tokyo (Minato, Tokyo)

Similar to Mori Art Museum, The National Art Center, Tokyo is also located in Roppongi and its very building is a piece of art in itself. This museum is definitely popular for the various exhibitions it holds, but visitors also flock to the museum thanks to its massive exhibition space, the largest in all of Japan, that gives them a relaxing feel while they go around and admire the artworks. Its cafe space is characterized by a high ceiling and sunlight shining through glass windows, making it the perfect spot to sit back and bask in the afterglow of your visit to the museum.

[Access]
The museum is directly connected to Nogizaka Station on the Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line.
[Admission]
Different for each exhibition

Source: TripAdvisor(R)

No. 18: The National Art Center, Tokyo (Minato, Tokyo)

7-22-2 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo

No. 17: Yamanashi Prefectural Museum of Art (Kofu, Yamanashi)

Yamanashi Prefecture, which borders Tokyo on the west side, is also popular for Mt. Fuji and as a producer of grapes. The Yamanashi Prefectural Museum of Art has been loved as the museum of Jean-François Millet, as it showcases many of his works such as the famous “The Sower”. The exhibitions of famous painters and artists could get really crowded when they are held in the Tokyo area, but if you go to this museum, the exhibits are permanent so you will get to enjoy a pleasant and slow walk while admiring the pieces on display.
If you go outside and observe the artworks placed in the garden, you will also capture a magnificent view of Mt. Fuji up close!
[Access]
From Shinjuku Station, take the JR Chuo Main Line limited express train to Kofu Station. Ride a bus or taxi for about 15 minutes from Kofu Station.
[Admission]
Permanent Collection/Adults: 520 JPY, University students: 220 JPY, High school students and younger, and seniors aged 65 years old and above: Free

Source: TripAdvisor(R)

No. 17: Yamanashi Prefectural Museum of Art (Kofu, Yamanashi)

1-4-27 Kugawa, Kofu-shi, Yamanashi

No. 16: Hokusai Museum (Obuse, Nagano)

Located on the northern side of Yamanashi, Nagano is a prefecture that has recently become the talk of town for having the most beautiful starry sky in Japan. Hokusai Museum is a spot that displays plenty of original paintings of Katsushika Hokusai who was a master of ukiyo-e (a genre of painting depicting the customs and manners of people that thrived during the Edo period (1603 - 1868)). While most ukiyo-e works are woodblock prints, this museum will also let you see paintings meticulously made in detail to showcase exquisite touches from the artist. The accessories painted with ukiyo-e design that are sold at the museum shop are quite fancy, too, so you should drop by on your way out of the museum.
[Access]
Take the Nagano Electric Railway’s limited express from JR Nagano Station and then get off at the nearest Obuse Station. The museum is an approximately 12-minute walk from the station.
[Admission]
Adults: 1,000 JPY, High school students: 500 JPY, Elementary and junior high school students: 300 JPY, Guests younger than elementary school students: Free

Source: TripAdvisor(R)

No. 16: Hokusai Museum (Obuse, Nagano)

485 Oaza Obuse, Obuse-machi, Kamitakai-gun, Nagano

No. 15: Adachi Museum of Art (Yasugi, Shimane)

Located in Shimane on the west side of Honshu that is facing the Sea of Japan, the Adachi Museum of Art mainly showcases modern and contemporary Japanese paintings, such as those made by Taikan Yokoyama. This museum will treat you to an array of Japanese paintings and a vast Japanese garden, so you are bound to filled with appreciation for Japanese culture when you visit. Its garden that was given three stars by the French travel guidebook Michelin Green Guide Japan alone is definitely worth seeing!

[Access]
From Yonago Airport, take the airport bus to JR Yonago Station and from JR Yonago Station, transfer to the JR San-in Main Line and get off at JR Yasugi Station. Take the free shuttle bus to the museum from the station.
[Admission]
Adults: 2,300 JPY, University students: 1,800 JPY, High school students: 1,000 JPY, Elementary and junior high school students: 500 JPY

Source: TripAdvisor(R)

No. 15: Adachi Museum of Art (Yasugi, Shimane)

320 Furukawa-cho, Yasugi-shi, Shimane

No. 14: Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum, Tokyo (Chiyoda, Tokyo)

Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum is located at the heart of Tokyo, as it is right in the middle of Tokyo Station and the Imperial Palace. Despite is urban location, however, visitors are still guaranteed a relaxing time here thanks to the museum’s green courtyard and its faithful recreation of Western-style architecture in Japan about 100 years ago through the use of fabrication methods and materials from that period in the country’s history. It also boasts easy access, so it is a recommended place to stop after you are done shopping.

[Access]
Approx. 5-minute walk from JR Tokyo Station (Marunouchi South Exit).
[Admission]
Varies by exhibition

Source: TripAdvisor(R)

No. 14: Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum, Tokyo (Chiyoda, Tokyo)

2-6-2 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

No. 13: Toyama Glass Art Museum (Toyama, Toyama)

Toyama is located in the part of Hokuriku region that is facing the Sea of Japan. This prefecture is focused on the production of glass, so it is only natural that the Toyama City Glass Art Museum showcases contemporary art made of glass. Visitors are mainly impressed and give positive reviews about the beauty of the glass art pieces here, as well as the gorgeous and expansive building of the museum itself. Many of the reviews given by visitors have to do with the beauty of the museum’s atrium. This museum is also near Toyama Station, and its admission fee is affordable at just 200 JPY, so you should definitely drop by when you visit Toyama.

[Access]
Take the city train loop line from Toyama Station, get off at Grand Plaza-mae and then walk about 2 minutes.
[Admission]
Adults/university students: 200 JPY

Source: TripAdvisor(R)

No. 13: Toyama Glass Art Museum (Toyama, Toyama)

5-1 Nishi-cho, Toyama-shi, Toyama

No. 12: Shimane Art Museum (Matsue-shi, Shimane)

Located by the edge of Lake Shinji, Shimane Art Museum is a spot that showcases paintings, sculptures, arts and crafts, and photographs in permanent exhibits. However, it is also characterized by its massive collection of paintings that were inspired by water, which is the theme of this museum. Note that Lake Shinji that is right in front of the museum also happens to be a lake with a spectacular sunset that has been chosen as one of the Top 100 Sunsets in Japan. So, make sure to watch the lake being enveloped by the beautiful sunset after you are done admiring the pieces of art. There are sculptures of 12 rabbits on the lawn by the shore that appear to be hopping, and they claim that you will have good luck in love or marriage if you gently rub the second rabbit from edge of the lake. However, be gentle when you rub the rabbit!

[Access]
Take the airport bus from Izumo Enmusubi Airport or walk for approx. 15 minutes from JR Matsue Station
[Admission]
Special Exhibition and Museum Collection set/Adults: 1,150 JPY, University students: 700 JPY, Elementary, junior and high school students: 300 JPY

Source: TripAdvisor(R)

No. 12: Shimane Art Museum (Matsue-shi, Shimane)

1-5 Sodeshi-cho, Matsue-shi, Shimane

No. 11: The Museum of Oriental Ceramics, Osaka (Osaka, Osaka)

The Museum of Oriental Ceramics, Osaka is a place where you can quietly come face to face with ceramics from Japan, China, and Korea. Its collection includes two registered national treasures and 13 important cultural properties of Japan. You will surely find it interesting how they showcase the ceramics here, such as in display cases that are illuminated by natural lighting and in rotating display stands. This museum is located in the center of Osaka, so it would be easy to incorporate this spot in your itineraries for sightseeing and shopping.

[Access]
Take the Osaka Subway Midosuji Line from JR Shin-Osaka Station and get off at Yodoyabashi Station.
[Admission]
Permanent Exhibition/Adults: 500 JPY, University and high school students: 300 JPY

Source: TripAdvisor(R)

No. 11: The Museum of Oriental Ceramics, Osaka (Osaka, Osaka)

1-1-26 Nakanoshima, Kita-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka

No. 10: Nezu Museum (Minato, Tokyo)

Nezu Museum is an art museum that will make you forget the hustle and bustle of the city when you enter, so much so that you probably won’t believe it is located in Omotesando! It mainly exhibits antique art from Japan and its neighboring countries. The best time to visit this museum would be when the Kakitsubata-zu Byobu (irises drawn on folding screens by Korin Ogata), registered as a national treasure of Japan, is open to the public from April through May. This exhibit is mounted at the time when irises actually bloom in Japan, so you can also see real irises at the Japanese garden inside the museum. Another reason Nezu Museum has been getting much love from visitors is the beauty of its vast garden.

[Access]
Approx. 8-minute walk from Tokyo Metro’s Omotesando Station.
[Admission]
Special Exhibition/Adults: 1,300 JPY, students: 1,000 JPY, Junior high school students and younger: Free
Museum Collection Exhibition /Adults: 1,100 JPY, Students: 800 JPY, Junior high school students and younger: Free

Source: TripAdvisor(R)

No. 10: Nezu Museum (Minato, Tokyo)

6-5-1 Minami-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo

No. 9: Miho Museum (Koka, Shiga)

Situated beside Kyoto, Shiga is a prefecture that is known for Lake Biwa, Japan’s largest lake. Miho Museum is located in Shiga, and it showcases art from around the world, including those from Japan, Egypt, West Asia, Rome and South Asia. The gorgeous approach to the museum was designed by I.M. Pei, who designed the iconic glass pyramid at the Louvre in Paris, and a walk on that road is bound to make an impression. While this museum may not be that easy to reach, it appears out of nowhere in the middle of the mountain, so it will make you feel like you stumbled into a mysterious world.

[Access]
From Kyoto Station, take the JR Biwako Line to Ishiyama Station and then get on the Teisan Bus at Ishiyama Station. You will arrive at the museum in about 50 minutes.
[Admission]
Adults: 1,100 JPY, High school/university students: 800 JPY, Elementary/junior high school students: 300 JPY

Source: TripAdvisor(R)

No. 9: Miho Museum (Koka, Shiga)

300 Tashiro Momodani, Shigaraki-cho, Koka-shi, Shiga

No. 8: Ohara Museum of Art (Kurashiki, Okayama)

Kurashiki in Okayama, which is located in Japan's Chugoku region, is a popular tourist destination where the aesthetic district has kept the old townscape intact. Here, you will find Ohara Museum of Art which is known as the first private art museum in Japan that focused on Western art. Its collection today is filled with works by world-renowned painters such as Monet, Gauguin, and Renoir, as well as Japanese art and ancient Eastern and Western art. You will surely enjoy pieces of art that were collected based on their stunning beauty and wonderful aesthetics.

[Access]
From Sanyo Shinkansen’s Okayama Station, transfer to Sanyo Line and then get off at Kurashiki Station. It will be an approximately 15-minute walk from there.
[Admission]
Adults: 1,300 JPY, University students: 800 JPY, Elementary, junior and high school students: 500 JPY

Source: TripAdvisor(R)

No. 8: Ohara Museum of Art (Kurashiki, Okayama)

1-1-15 Chuo, Kurashiki-shi, Okayama

No. 7: Aomori Museum of Art (Aomori, Aomori)

Located adjacent to Sannai Maruyama Historical Site in Aomori City, the Aomori Museum of Art is a fairly new museum since it just opened in July 2006. Aomori is also the hometown of famous Japanese artist Yoshitomo Nara, so this museum offers many of his works in its collection. His huge sculpture called “Aomori-ken (Aomori Dog)” is especially worth seeing.

[Access]
From JR Shin-Aomori Station, take the route bus Nebutan from the Shin-Aomori Eki Higashiguchi bus stop and get off at the Kenritsu-bijutsukan-mae bus stop.
[Admission]
Adults: 510 JPY, High school/university students: 300 JPY, Elementary/junior high school students: 100 JPY

Source: TripAdvisor(R)

No. 7: Aomori Museum of Art (Aomori, Aomori)

185 Aza Chikano, Yasuta, Aomori-shi, Aomori

No. 6: Seiji Fujishiro Museum (Nasu, Tochigi)

The Seiji Fujishiro Museum has over 70 years’ worth of works of art by Seiji Fujishiro, an artist made famous by kage-e (shadow picture). It may be a small museum, but it is surrounded by a forest, so it feels like a house of fairies. Don’t forget to drop by the museum’s cafe before you head home. The chairs shaped like the dwarves that appear in Fujishiro’s works are really cute!

[Access]
After getting off at Nasushiobara Station on the Shinkansen’s Utsunomiya Line, take the Kanto Bus and get off at Ikken Chaya bus stop. It will be a 15-20-minute walk from there.
[Admission]
Adults: 1,800 JPY, 3 years old to junior high school students: 1,100 JPY, 95 years old and above: 1,200 JPY

Source: TripAdvisor(R)

No. 6: Seiji Fujishiro Museum (Nasu, Tochigi)

203 Yumoto, Nasu-machi, Nasu-gun, Tochigi

No. 5: MOA Museum of Art (Atami, Shizuoka)

Shizuoka’s Atami City is a hot spring district that faces Sagami Bay, and perched on a small hill overlooking the bay is MOA Museum of Art. This museum mainly displays Japanese pottery, including “Iroe Fujihanamon Chatsubo” (tealeaf jar with wisteria design), handwritten works, and sculptures. It is located on a hill, so the view of the sea will give you a sense of openness. There are also cafes and restaurants within the premises, and since you went all the way to the museum already, why not order some Japanese sweets and green tea at the Teahouse Ippaku-an to go with the atmosphere of the museum’s collections? Enjoy your food while admiring the tea utensils that adorn the vast space.

[Access]
Take a bus from JR Atami Station and get off at MOA Museum.
[Admission]
Adults: 1,600 JPY, High school/university students: 1,000 JPY, Junior high school students and younger: Free

Source: TripAdvisor(R)

No. 5: MOA Museum of Art (Atami, Shizuoka)

26-2 Momoyama-cho, Atami-shi, Shizuoka

No. 4: Hiroshima Museum of Art (Hiroshima-shi, Hiroshima)

Hiroshima Museum of Art offers a collection of works from world-famous painters such as Van Gogh’s “Daubigny's Garden”, and pieces by Monet, Renoir, Picasso, and Leonard Foujita. It is also close to the center of Hiroshima City, so you can drop by in conjunction with your other sightseeing destinations in the area

[Access]
From JR Hiroshima Station, take a tram bound for Eba and then get off at Kamiyacho-higashi Station. It will be an approximately 5-minute walk from there.
[Admission]
Adults: 1,300 JPY, Students: 1,000 JPY, Children: 500 JPY

Source: TripAdvisor(R)

No. 4: Hiroshima Museum of Art (Hiroshima-shi, Hiroshima)

3-2 Motomachi, Naka-ku, Hiroshima-shi, Hiroshima (in Central Park)

No. 3: Otsuka Museum of Art (Naruto, Tokushima)

Located in Naruto-shi, Tokushima in Shikoku region, the Otsuka Museum of Art reproduces famous paintings from all over the world using full-size ceramic plates. It may just have replicas, but note that this museum is famous for allowing visitors to get a look at masterpieces in a way that they can only do with replicas. The works are baked in ceramic plates, but the surface bears the original touch of the artists, so they faithfully recreate up to the overlapping of paint and the grazes made by the brush.
The works are expressed in ceramic plates, so something that is unique at this museum is that you can directly touch the paintings. If you go around the museum outside, you will see Monet’s “Water-Lilies” painted on the wall, and a reproduction of the Sistine Hall on the mural of the chapel at the site. You will surely have a great time going around for hours on end.

[Access]
From Tokushima Station, take the Tokushima bus and get off at Otsuka Kokusai Bijutsukan-mae bus station.
[Admission]
Adults: 3,300 JPY, University students: 2,200 JPY, Elementary, junior and high school students: 550 JPY

Source: TripAdvisor(R)

No. 3: Otsuka Museum of Art (Naruto, Tokushima)

65-1 Aza Fukuike, Tosadomariura, Naruto-cho, Naruto-shi, Tokushima

No. 2: Tanaka Isson Museum (Amami, Kagoshima)

Kagoshima is located at the southernmost tip of Kyushu that is situated at the southwest section of Honshu. Amami Oshima is an island that is found farther south of Kagoshima. Isson Tanaka was an artist who moved to Amami Oshima when he was 50 years old, and worked at a dye factory and painted when he saved enough money. His works are mainly paintings of subtropical flora and fauna of Amami Oshima, so if you see the plants on the island after you see his paintings, you will get to enjoy another facet of their beauty.
If you visit Amami Oshima that is filled with air of Japan’s southern lands, make sure to visit this museum.

[Access]
From Amami Airport, take a local bus to Amami Park. The museum is located in the park.
[Admission]
Adults: 520 JPY, High school/university students: 370 JPY, Elementary/junior high school students: 260 JPY

Source: TripAdvisor(R)

No. 2: Tanaka Isson Museum (Amami, Kagoshima)

1834 Setsuta, Kasari-cho, Amami-shi, Kagoshima

No.1: Pola Museum of Art (Hakone, Kanagawa)

And finally, at the No. 1 spot is Pola Museum! This museum is located at the hot spring district of Hakone, just like Okada Museum of Art that is in the 20th place. Here, you will not only enjoy the works of great masters such as Monet, Renoir, Cezanne, Van Gogh and Picasso, but also the glass-walled building that offers an expansive, relaxing space inside that is filled with natural light and lush greens from outside. Visitors also love the restaurant inside the museum that offers course meals that change according to the special exhibits on display in the museum! The dishes are inspired by the ingredients that artists love and their hometowns, so you are sure to enjoy a meal while immersed in the world of art. After eating, go ahead and walk on the promenade that goes around the museum. Admire the sculptures scattered in the area as they are illuminated by the sunlight that is filtered through trees.

[Access]
There is a direct bus to the museum from Odakyu Hakone-Yumoto Station.
[Admission]
Adults: 1,800 JPY, 65 years old and over: 1,500 JPY, High school/university students: 1,300 JPY, Junior high school students and younger: Free

Source: TripAdvisor(R)

No.1: Pola Museum of Art (Hakone, Kanagawa)

1285 Kozukayama, Sengokuhara, Hakone-machi, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa

As showcased in this article, there are a lot of unique museums in Japan! Make sure to search if there is an art museum in the area where you plan to visit. A trip to one of these art museums will make your trip truly memorable!

*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.

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