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Museums in Tokyo

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Japan
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State Guest House
The Tokyo State Guest House (迎賓館, Geihinkan) is one of two state guest houses of the Japanese government alongside another one in Kyoto. Contained within the Akasaka Imperial Estate in central Tokyo, the Tokyo State Guest House serves to accommodate world leaders, diplomats and other guests of honor during their visits to Japan. When not in use, sections of the grand estate are open to the public, with visitors able to explore some of the opulent rooms, picturesque gardens and the Japanese-style annex.
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The Hamamatsu Museum of Musical Instruments
The Hamamatsu Museum of Musical Instruments in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture is a must-see if you are living in or just visiting the city. Located close to Hamamatsu Station in the Seminar & Exchange Center of the Act City complex, the Hamamatsu Museum of Musical Instruments (Tel: 053 451 1128; 400 yen) showcases the city's long connection with the production of musical instruments by exhibiting a collection of diverse instruments from all over the world. The first Japanese European-style piano was made in Hamamatsu over 100 years ago and now the city is one of the world's foremost production centers for instruments made by Yamaha and Kawai, including pianos, synthesizers and electronic keyboards. With help from Yamaha, the Hamamatsu Museum of Musical Instruments has gathered over 1300 musical instruments, some of them extremely rare and valuable pieces.
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Tokugawa Art Museum
During the Edo Period (1600-1868), Nagoya served as the seat of the Owari, one of the three major branches of the ruling Tokugawa family. The family amassed great wealth that was only surpassed by four of the 200 feudal domains of the Edo Period. The Tokugawa Art Museum (徳川美術館, Tokugawa Bijutsukan) was built on the grounds of the Owari's former feudal residence and preserves and exhibits several of their treasures including samurai armour and swords, tea utensils, noh masks and costumes, poems, scrolls and maps.
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Gifu-Kakamigahara Air and Space Museum
Explore the museum that exhibits an extensive number of aircraft, aircraft-related materials, and materials related to the development of space technology. Gifu-Kakamigahara Air and Space Museum is the museum representing Japan in both air and space. It re-opened on March 24th, 2018, with an exhibition area of 9,400 square meters—1.7 times larger than its original size. The museum has been rebuilt into an educational environment that tells stories of our ancestors’ aspirations to fly in air and space; it also holds the power to inspire children to take on unthinkable challenges. The ”Aviation Area” of the museum is filled with the history and stories concerning humans’ development of aviation technology, while the "Space Area" contains stories about humanity’s challenges into space and information on the latest space technology. In addition to the above exhibition areas, the museum café and gift shop were also renovated allowing for an even greater experience than ever before. Educational programs and tours are planned to be held on a regular basis.
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Nagoya City Science Museum
A new building housing "Brother Earth", a 35-meter-diameter dome planetarium, was opened in March 2011. The planetarium is the largest in the world. Also, be sure to check out our four large-scale exhibitions featuring an aurora film shown in a -30°C and a 9-meter tall manmade tornado! These attractions are highly entertaining and allow museum visitors to experience the power of nature. Additionally, the building itself acts as an exhibit through the use of solar power, green walls, visible earthquake-resistant structures and elevator mechanisms.
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SCMAGLEV and Railway Park
Opened in 2011, the SCMAGLEV and Railway Park is the railway museum of Central Japan Railways (JR Central). The museum seeks to educate visitors on the advances in high speed rail in Japan and displays a number of actual trains including historic steam locomotives, world record setting experimental shinkansen (bullet train) and the latest magnetic levitating trains (maglev). A collection of 39 retired train cars are displayed in the museum. Many of these can be entered or viewed from underneath, and are accompanied by a host of exhibits explaining the different parts of the trains and all aspects of their operation and maintenance. Another section of the museum is dedicated to maglev trains and JR Central's plans to construct a maglev high speed link between Tokyo and Osaka. The second floor of the museum also has lots of learning experiences, which are specifically geared toward young children.
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Sado Gold Mine
The Sado Gold Mine was the largest gold and silver mine in Japan. It has a 400-year heritage spanning economic ups and downs from its opening in 1601 to its closure in 1989. The industrial remains of the gold mine including tunnels and mining infrastructure are designated both as a national treasure and as part of Japan’s Heritage of Industrial Modernisation. The site is a nominated candidate to the UNESCO World Heritage List. The remains of the gold mine are a popular location for history enthusiasts. The abandoned buildings remind visitors of Hayao Miyazaki's movie “Castle in the Sky”. Visitors can spend all day here to exploring the site’s photogenic scenery. The gold mine offers two routes that visitors can explore (no reservation is required, each route takes 30 to 40 minutes). These routes are open every day. Large groups or anyone particularly interested in the history of the mine can make a reservation for one of two guided tours. The guided tours are available from April to November and take about 100 minutes. One is available for groups of over 10 people, the other is only for visitors over 13 years.
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Asahi Beer Suita Brewery
Asahi is one of Japan's top four beer producers and has its roots in Osaka. Its most well-known and internationally recognized product is Asahi Super Dry, a very light, crisp lager, which was launched in 1987. The Suita Factory (アサヒビール吹田工場, Asahi Beer Suita Kōjō) in Osaka is the company's first brewery, built in 1891. Free brewery tours are offered at the Suita Factory which lasts about 90 minutes and includes a tasting session. Most tours are conducted in Japanese, while multilingual audio guides are available for download to one's mobile device. English tours are held only on a few selected days. A typical tour starts with a video presentation of the Asahi products and continues to galleries with displays about the history of the company and the production process of beer. It then moves on to observation decks from where the brewery's canning, bottling and packing areas can be viewed from behind windows. Along the way, there are also promotional posters from past decades and a section showcasing the factory's collection of international beers.
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Osaka Museum of History
The Osaka Museum of History opened in 2003 in a tall building next to NHK Osaka and just across the street from Osaka Castle. The building offers excellent views of the castle from its top floors. The museum exhibits are visually oriented with several large models. They chronicle the city's history, beginning in ancient times when Osaka served as Japan's first capital and site of the Naniwa Palace and ending with exhibits on the city's bustling shopping arcades of the early Showa Period. The museum's collection is set up on the upper floors of the building while the lower floors are occupied by a restaurant, shop and spacious lobby. Museum visitors first take the elevator to the top floor and then follow the exhibition route down.
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Osaka National Museum of Art
The National Museum of Art, Osaka (国立国際美術館, Kokuritsu Kokusai Bijutsukan) occupies two underground floors on Nakanoshima Island in central Osaka. The museum focuses on Japanese and foreign contemporary art, with exhibitions from the museum collection and special exhibitions. The museum's current building was opened in 2007 and was designed to represent the growth and shape of a bamboo plant. The facility was formerly housed in the Expo Museum of Fine Arts, built for the Osaka Expo in 1970.
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Bizen Osafune Japanese Sword Museum
Located in Osafune, a town that once flourished as a major produce of Japanese swords, the Bizen Osafune Japanese Sword Museum is one of a limited number of sword museums and features a variety of Japanese swords on display. Visitors can learn about the history and manufacturing process for Japanese swords as well as experience the beauty and power of the swords up close. The museum features several special exhibitions throughout the year that combine animations and video games, making this a popular destination for sword fans from across the country. In the adjacent workshop, visitors can see the skill of Japanese sword artisans, including the process where tamahagane, steel made from iron sand, is heated to 1300°C and then hammered to make a plate.
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Ohara Museum of Art
The symbol of the Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter, this private museum features Western works of art in an eye-catching building styled after a Greek temple. Based on Ohara Magosaburo’s collection of Western art, Ohara Museum of Art features a large collection of world-famous paintings and work such as one of El Greco’s “Annunciation” and Monet’s “Water Lilies.” The museum also features a pond with water lilies propagated from Monet’s residence.
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Mazda Museum
The Mazda Motor Corporation, founded in Hiroshima in 1920, still retains its corporate headquarters in the city of its origins. In addition to the headquarters, Mazda owns a large plot of coastal land which accommodates research and development laboratories, factories, and shipping facilities. The company museum and part of a factory are made available for public viewing. Like Toyota to Nagoya, Mazda plays a large role in Hiroshima's economy. Although Mazda is not as large as Toyota, it still produces over a million cars a year and is an innovative player in the Japanese auto industry. For instance, in 1991 Mazda became the first and only Japanese company to win the Le Mans Grand Prix. Continuing efforts to create more efficient vehicles include improving its version of rotary engines.
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Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
The museum continues to spearhead the global movement towards nuclear disarmament and lasting world peace. The museum is divided into the East Building and the Main Building. In the museum, the history of Hiroshima before and after the bombing is exhibited with pictures, movies and displays. Also, there are some items that convey the devastation caused by the atomic bomb. In spring, the Peace Park is covered with cherry blossoms.
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Oita Prefectural Art Museum
The Oita Prefectural Art Museum is located on Japan’s island of Kyushu. The modern and contemporary Japanese art collection is impressive; however, the biggest highlight of the museum is its elaborate modern architecture designed by noted architect Shigeru Ban.
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Sapporo Clock Tower
The Clock Tower (時計台, Tokeidai) is a symbol of Sapporo. The building was constructed during the early period of Sapporo's development in 1878 as a drill hall of the Sapporo Agricultural College. In 1881 a clock purchased from Boston was installed. Today, the Clock Tower serves as a museum with displays about the building's history and Sapporo on the first floor. On the second floor are displays about the clock and a spacious ceremony hall that calls to mind the simple buildings of the colonial American Midwest.
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Historic Village of Hokkaido
The Historic Village of Hokkaido (開拓の村, Kaitaku no Mura) is an open air museum in the suburbs of Sapporo. It exhibits about 60 typical buildings from all over Hokkaido, dating from the Meiji and Taisho Periods (1868 to 1926), the era when Hokkaido's development was carried out on a large scale. There are four different sections: a town, fishing village, farm village and a mountain village.
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Ainu Museum
The Ainu Museum is an outdoor museum that allows visitors to encounter the culture of Hokkaido’s indigenous people, the Ainu. At the museum, thatched-roof homes, called “chise,” form a settlement that seems to blend in with nature along the shore of Lake Poroto.
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Sapporo Beer Museum
Hokkaido is the birthplace of beer in Japan. Sapporo Beer, one of the oldest and most popular beer brands in the country, has been brewed in Sapporo since 1877. The Sapporo Beer Museum (サッポロビール博物館, Sapporo Beer Hakubutsukan) was opened in 1987 in a former brewery from the Meiji Period. The museum introduces the history of beer in Japan and the process of beer making. After the exhibitions, beer tastings are available at a small fee. Alternatively, paid tours are held in Japanese that include a tasting session at the end.
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Matsumoto Seicho Memorial Museum
Matsumoto Seicho Memorial Museum, a memorial to the world-famous writer and his great achievements. For these reasons, this area is known as the cultural area of Kitakyushu.
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Asahikawa City Museum
Asahikawa City Museum displays the Ainu culture and abundant materials related to it in Hokkaido. With a large number of person models, It can reproduce in full of presence the state of traditional life of Ainu people. A realistic model exhibit emerging in a dark place is a dynamic and powerful full mark. Valuable materials of northern ethnic groups other than Ainu people are also exhibited. And, "Time Maze Yukinbo" which displays the appearance of the people's lives and children's play in the Showa 30s and 40' s after the war in Japan, mainly in Asahikawa, is also popular.
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Snow Crystal Museum
It's like being in a dream! Extraordinary experience! The castle-like appearance of medieval Europe incorporates the elegant Byzantine architectural style everywhere, and the interior is all original design in the image of snow. The Snow Museum was created with the image of Japan's most beautiful the snowflake that falls in the Daisetsuzan system from the building to the exhibition. The Snow Museum was built in May 1991 using the European Byzantine style. The appearance that uses curves such as dome and arch gives an elegant impression. The Snow Museum is located on the hills of Asahikawa City, and the view that overlooks Mt. Daisetsu and the city and the appearance in harmony with the scenery of the four seasons attract visitors.
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Hokkaidoritsu Asahikawa Bijutsukan (Art Museum)
Hokkaidoritsu Asahikawa Bijutsukan is located in Tokiwa Koen, a park in Asahikawa city in northern Hokkaido. A major feature of this museum is its extensive collection of artworks crafted from wood, reflecting its location in Asahikawa, a city whose encompassing forests have given rise to a flourishing woodworking industry based on furniture manufacturing. Many works by artists connected to this region are also housed in the museum.
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Otokoyama Sake Brewery Museum
Otokoyama sake brewery museum introduces sake brewing culture as Japanese traditional industry and history of Otokoyama from 350 years. You can see valuable materials, document and sake set in the Edo period, and can also see a part of sake brewing when brewing. Free entrance fee, we sell items of the brewery limited in tasting & shop. About 200,000 people visit here every year with Furano, Biei and Asahiyama Zoo as a sightseeing spot in Hokkaido.
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Reimeikan Museum
The Reimeikan Museum (黎明館) is dedicated to local history and culture. On three spacious floors, it presents a wide variety of exhibits that cover the span of Kagoshima's history from ancient to modern times. There are a few interesting models, such as a large diorama of downtown Kagoshima at the beginning of the Showa Period (1926-1989) and a small scale model of a village from the middle ages. The museum was built on the former site of the local castle, known as Kagoshima or Tsurumaru Castle, and is surrounded by parts of the former moat and stone walls. The museum and castle ruins are located at the base of Mount Shiroyama, which literally means "castle mountain" in Japanese.
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Seoul Museum of History
The Seoul Museum of History is the only museum in Korea that represents the city’s history and culture. Since its establishment on the former site of Gyeonghuigung Palace in 2002, the museum has offered visitors the chance to experience 600 years of Seoul’s history and culture through interactive exhibitions. The three-story museum is divided thematically into three exhibition areas, including a special exhibition area, a permanent exhibition area and a hall that exhibits collections donated by the public. The museum offers accessible and interactive exhibitions to the public with various hands-on programs. For example, visitors are allowed to touch and explore the exhibits on display, which are replicas of originals in the museum. In addition, the museum offers the U-Exhibit Guidance System, an automatic translator (various languages are available) for visitors, which makes every tour convenient and interesting.
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Shanghai Postal Museum
One of the rare free museums in town, the original Shanghai Postal Museum in Hongkou well explains the history of the postal service in China. Venture up to the beautiful baroque rooftop to find a sculpted garden with a Romanesque clock tower and one of the city’s best low-level views: looking west up Suzhou Creek and east towards the Pudong skyline with the Art Deco Broadway Mansions in front.
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Sanshan Guildhall
Hang out in the old haunt of Fujian fruit merchants at the Sanshan Guildhall – one of many guildhalls to pop-up in the city for traders to seek camaraderie. Though it’s been shifted 30 metres south from its original position, this relatively late addition (built in 1909) is also the only well-preserved guildhall from the Qing dynasty and currently serves as a museum. 1551 Zhongshan Nan Lu, Bansongyuan Lu.
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Wuxi Museum
Founded on October 15, 2007, Wuxi Museum is built by combining former Wuxi Museum, Wuxi Exhibition Hall of Revolution and Wuxi Science Museum.
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China Dinosaur Park
China Dinosaur Park is located at the Modern Tourism & Recreation Park in Xinbei district of Changzhou, which was built in 1997 and opened to the public on September 20th, 2000. Also known as"OrientalJurassicPark", China Dinosaur Park covers a total area of over 600 mu, which perfectly combines museum, hi-tech acoustic, optic and electric technology, special video effects and multimedia network, and integrates exhibition, science popularization, entertainment, leisure and participatory performances.
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Nanjing Museum
Discover everything from ancient civilizations to the early days of the Republic in exhibitions, displays and performances. Being one of the first museums to be established in China, it is also one of the largest.
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Forbidden City - Palace Museum
The Forbidden City, also known as the Palace Museum, lies in the city center of Beijing, and was once the Chinese imperial palace of the Ming and Qing Dynasties (1368 - 1911). It was listed as a World Heritage Site in 1987 and is the largest, best-preserved ancient timber-built palace complex in the world.Rectangular in shape, the Forbidden City is enormous, covering an area of 72 hectares, and boasting more than 9,000 bays of rooms. It is divided into two parts – the Outer Court for national affairs in the south and the Inner Court as living quarters in the north. It is not only an immense architectural masterpiece, but also a treasury housing a unique collection of 1.8 million pieces of art, including ancient calligraphy and painting, imperial artifacts, ancient books and archives. A must-see in Beijing and the world’s most visited museum, it is worth spending half to one day to visit the Forbidden City and appreciate the precious cultural heritage of China.
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National Palace Museum
The Taipei National Palace Museum is a world-class museum that hosts an eclectic collection of treasures kept by generations of Emperors ruling from the Forbidden City. In WWII, Nationalist troops seized the most important pieces in order to prevent invaders from ransacking China's national treasures. A twist of fate eventually brought these treasures to Taiwan. The Taipei National Palace Museum is designed in the style of a Northern Chinese palace. The museum is home to hundreds of thousands of historical relics that make up the world's most comprehensive and precious collection of ancient Chinese artifacts. The entire collection covers 5,000 years of China's historical and artistic achievements. The museum provides Chinese, English, French, German, Japanese, Spanish and Korean language guides and museum-related literature. The museum is a must- see on any visitor's itinerary.
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Songshan Cultural and Creative Park
The 6.6-hectares Songshan Cultural and Creative Park in Taipei’s Xinyi District was completed in 1937 as the Songshan Tobacco Factory, which was one of the seed companies of a monopoly system mandated by the Taiwan Governor-General Office. The premises were one of Taiwan’s pioneers of modern industry, as well as the first professional tobacco plant. In 2001, the Taipei City Government named the tobacco factory the city’s 99th historic site and converted it into a park comprising city-designated historic sites, historic structures and architectural highlights. For more efficient reuse of space, the Songshan Cultural and Creative Park was built on the historic site as a production base for designers and cultural & creative businesses, as well as a venue for performances and exhibitions. The park introduced to its premises a Taiwan Design Museum and TMSK through partnerships with the Taiwan Design Center and prestigious Taiwanese glasswork label LIULI GONG FANG, respectively, besides a snack bar that was converted from the machinery repair shed.