No Cost Excitement in Tokyo! 6 Fascinating Free Museums!
One of the biggest stereotypes about travelling in Japan is that it’s too expensive to have fun. And that may be true, to an extent. But you don’t have to blow all your savings just to entertain yourself—why not enjoy some fascinating museums for free? In Tokyo there are countless of exhibitions and museums that open all year round, and some of them welcome visitors at no charge. It’s a great way to spend an afternoon in the city, and discover something new at the same time.
Here are just a few!
Suginami Animation Museum
If you love watching anime, how about going one step further and watching the process behind one of Japan’s most famous cultural exports? Western Tokyo is known for being the home to many animation studios and the Suginami Animation Museum is one of them. Learn about the rich history of anime and go behind the scenes as you witness the production of popular anime series. Fans would certainly gain an even deeper appreciation for all the hard work that goes into every frame you see on screen. You can even have a go at it yourself! Experience the digital process on computer and feel what it’s like to be an anime creator.
Official website: http://sam.or.jp/english_home
Meguro Parasitological Museum
There are zoos and cafes where you can get up close with all sorts of animals. At this museum, you can get even closer than ever before…with parasites. They may be small and largely unnoticed, but look carefully and you’ll discover a myriad of bugs and parasites that typically escape people’s attention. The Meguro Parasitological Museum wants to show you an intriguing world of wonderfully complex creatures, safely kept in jars for your safe viewing pleasure. Being surrounded by jars of parasites might not sound like a typical weekend activity, but at least you’ll raise some eyebrows with your stories!
Official website: http://www.kiseichu.org/
The artistic creativity of the Japanese has always been rooted in their long history, and over time their art has only evolved and expanded. Somewhere along the timeline origami was created, and the beautifully simple art of paper folding became famous around the world. In this modern day it’s still a significant form of art that is manifested in an endless array of designs and techniques. At the Origami Kaikan in Ochanomizu, Tokyo, the diverse display of colors and folded patterns are a feast for the eyes. Visitors can admire, learn, and even shop for origami at this vibrant museum.
Official website: https://www.origamikaikan.co.jp/
Museum of Yebisu Beer
Don’t just treat yourself to a beer—be surrounded by bottles and bottles of them! Enter a rich world of the famous Yebisu beer and satisfy all your senses with the flavor of this renowned brewery. Behind every bottle is over a century’s worth of history and exquisite technique, carefully crafted over a long process. The museum takes you behind the making of this beloved beer, so you can get an exclusive look at the traditional brewing practices and the company’s mission to let people all over the world enjoy that delicious brew. Entering the gallery is free, although you can pay a little extra to include a beer tasting.
Official website: http://www.sapporobeer.jp/brewery/y_museum/
Meiji University Museum
Time to go back to school—but not for boring lessons. The Meiji University Museum, located in the basement of the campus, will keep you entertained with their odd and delightful artifacts collected over the decades in Japan. There are all sorts of unique exhibits in their diverse collection, so you can spend the day wandering between the glass cases and finding items of peculiarity you wouldn’t have thought of. From archaeological finds to retro products to torture instruments used in the past, you’re in for a bizarre trip back in time. Time travel has never been more fun and more free.
Official website: https://www.meiji.ac.jp/museum/
Tokyo University of Agriculture
Meiji is not the only school around that opens its doors to the public. The Tokyo University of Agriculture also has a museum, solely dedicated to the food and agriculture that they themselves devote research to. Opened in 2004, the museum showcases the fruits of their labor with their studies on the very food we survive on. Everything is meticulously laid out and presented in an effectively simple way so that visitors can gain useful knowledge even on a short trip to the museum. Get to know your environment and your relationship with nature at the Tokyo University of Agriculture.
Official website: http://www.nodai.ac.jp/campus/facilities/syokutonou/
If you’re in Tokyo and you think that you’ve run out of things to do (or money to spend), it’s worth peeking into the corners of the city and checking out these few places where you can comfortably spend your time uncovering new objects and ideas. These museums have a lot to offer due to the sheer passion for their respective fields, so you can be sure to have a satisfying experience no matter which one you go to.
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