10 Anime Museums in Japan for Otakus and Manga Fans

10 Must-Visit Museums in Japan for Anime and Manga Fans

Your best anime-filled getaway starts here.

Remember waking up on weekend mornings and tuning in to your favourite anime shows like Dragon Balls, Doraemon, Sailor Moon, and more? Those were certainly much simpler times. While some of these anime series may be over (thanks for the memories, Ash and Pikachu!), you can always relive those childhood memories in these anime museums in Japan! From famous manga exhibitions to exceptional studio animation galleries.

Read on to learn more about these fascinating archives that you should check out on your next trip.

Also read: 10 Best Airbnb Homes & Vacation Rentals in Japan for the Trip of a Lifetime

Best anime museums for the otaku in you

1. Ghibli Museum

ghibli anime museums in japan

Image credit: Wei-Te Wong 

Head to the fabled Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, Tokyo, and be lost in the magical world of Miyazaki’s classics. That said, you don’t have to be a fan of Studio Ghibli’s works to enjoy visiting this whimsical museum. Anyone who loves to feast their eyes on beautiful things will love it here.

Have fun taking in the detailed views of character illustrations, paintings, and projections. All of these will give you in-depth insights into how the films are brought to life. The main showcase is a 3D zoetrope called the Bouncing Totoro. Marvel at over 300 static figures from My Neighbour Totoro turning into motion as the display starts to spin and the flashlight begins to light up. 

ghibli anime museums interior

Image credit: Wei-Te Wong 

Aside from their permanent and special exhibitions, you can also bring the little ones to the cafe, reading room, or rooftop garden. Before you head home, remember to immerse yourself in their short animated film screening at Saturn Theatre in this museum’s basement. Hands down the most astounding anime museum Tokyo has to offer.

TripZilla Tip: Book your tickets three months in advance via the JTB website for those outside Japan. If you’re in Japan or have a friend who resides in the country, you may purchase your ticket/have your friend buy one for you (on the 10th of each month for the whole following month) at any Lawson Convenience Store.

2. Toei Animation Museum

When we talk about top anime attractions in Tokyo,  Toei Animation Museum will always make it into the list. Who doesn’t know the famous animation studio behind Dragon Ball, Sailor Moon, Pretty Cure, and One Piece series? And looking at these much-loved franchises’ raw, behind-the-scenes processes will surely be a priceless experience for all fans. So, make sure to add this to your list of must-see anime museums in Japan. 

Established in July 2018, it allows visitors to search for their favourite Toei anime titles on a touchscreen video panel across the wall. You’ll be getting detailed information regarding the anime history and each franchise’s opening and closing theme songs. It’s an excellent way to see how much the studio has progressed!

Afterwards, enjoy walking through the rotating display of original storyboards and character designs of your beloved series. There’s also a designated area for kids to play in the museum. Psst don’t miss the chance to take home some souvenirs that are uniquely “Toei” at the museum’s gift shop. Definitely one of the best places to go in Tokyo for anime fans.

Also read: 10 Family-Friendly Airbnb Apartments in Tokyo

3. Fujiko F. Fujio Museum

Fujiko F. Fujio Museum is one of the most fanciful anime museums for otakus and manga fans of all ages. Located in the suburbs of Kawasaki, this incredible archive is a tribute to the works of Fujiko F. Fujio. He is the mastermind behind Doraemon a popular manga and animated series about a blue robotic cat from the 22nd century that travels back in time and befriends a boy named Nobita Nobi.

Catch the original works of your beloved maestro across this museum’s Exhibition Room I, or you can look at his actual study desk, where the legend used to work on his masterpieces. From a pile of books to a collection of his comic art supplies, the exhibit will surely touch the hearts of every fan. Remember to head to the museum’s theatre room and watch an original short film of your favourite earless cat that cannot be viewed anywhere else.

You can also bring your kids to the Manga Corner, where they can read Doraemon comics to their hearts’ content. Or better yet, take them to the Rooftop Playground, where they can meet Doraemon and his friends scattered around the playground. To top your visit to this museum, dig into the delicious meals at their cafe before you bring home some Doraemon-themed souvenirs from their gift shop. Undoubtedly one of the best anime museums you should visit.

4. Suginami Animation Museum

If you’re looking for an anime museum that caters to more casual fans, Suginami Animation Museum will do you wonders. Aside from its free admission, this museum stands out the most for being the place that celebrates the rich history of Japanese animation — from how anime is made and its influences to the types of technology that will shape it in the future.

Not just that, it is also among the best anime museums that prepare hands-on activities for visitors to try. So, do check out their digital workshop that allows you to bring your drawings to life, dubbing booth that lets you become an anime voice actor, as well as a movie theatre for you to watch classic anime screenings. FYI, this informative archive is also equipped with an English-language audio tour. We assure you that this is one of the top places to go in Tokyo for anime fans out there.

5. Tokyo Anime Centre

Though it’s not officially labelled or called an anime museum, Tokyo Anime Centre, which is now a part of DNP Plaza, serves its purpose as one. In fact, it is one of the top anime attractions in Tokyo that dubs itself as “the definitive spot for anime and anime-related entertainment”. This centre is a more popular choice among locals and foreign visitors as it is actively hosting various anime events from time to time.

Some of the crowd’s favourites include exclusive interviews with Japan’s top voice actors and animators. The anime museum also holds month-long exhibitions featuring specific anime titles and production studios, as well as a permanent exhibition focusing on anime production technology and screening. 

Aside from that, you can also bring yourself to the museum’s bookstore and cafe upstairs. And don’t miss out on the chance to get your favourite anime merchandise ranging from mugs, keychains, figurines, mouse pads, and more from their gift shop! Most of the top reviews agreed that this centre is easily the most wholesome anime museum Tokyo puts forth.

6. Anpanman Children’s Museum

Yes, the name seems more appealing to the younger ones, but even adults can enjoy their time at Anpanman Children’s Museum. If you’re not familiar with/or never heard of Anpanman, he is Japan’s beloved cartoon superhero with a red bean paste pastry (anpan) as a head, and is on a mission to bring down Baikinman, an evil anthropomorphic germ.

The first floor of this anime museum is free to enter. Here, you’ll get access to the Anpanman-themed gift shop, arcade,  bookstore, photo studio, bakery, restaurants, and food court. Meanwhile, the 2nd and 3rd floors serve as the main attractions of this place, featuring live-action theatre and a large play area that successfully recreates the world of Anpanman for the fans. 

And if you’re lucky enough, you’ll bump into Anpanman and his friends patrolling the museum, greeting everyone with cheeky smiles on their mascot faces! FYI, this is among the anime museums with multiple locations in Japan — from Yokohama, Fukuoka, and Nagoya, to Kobe and Sendai. So choose one that’s closest to you and treat yourself to a fun-filled museum trip.

TripZilla Tip: The tickets to this wonderful museum need to be reserved in advance, so check out their website for further details.

Also read: The Ultimate Japan Travel Guide for Gamers & Anime Fans

Must-visit manga museums for manga fans around the world

7. Kyoto International Manga Museum

Kyoto International Manga Museum is a huge library-inspired archive not only for Kyoto anime and manga fans but all manga lovers worldwide. Its massive manga collection (up to 50,000 volumes) is the main attraction of this place. You can either browse through the collection straight from the shelves or via the Research Reference Room which can be accessed upon request for research purposes. 

This museum houses some of the most interesting manga collections including pre-war magazines, woodblock prints from the Edo period, post-war rental books, as well as popular comics from around the world. 

Apart from its interestingly huge collection, this manga museum also holds manga-related events such as comic exhibitions and manga workshop expos from time to time. Definitely one of the best Kyoto anime attractions you should check out!

8. Ishinomori Manga Museum

Ishinomori Manga Museum (aka Ishinomaki Mangattan Museum) nestles in Miyagi Prefecture. We believe fans of Cyborg 009 and Kamen Rider will immediately recognise the name Shotaro Ishinomori. He is a renowned manga artist who was an influential figure in the world of anime, manga, and tokusatsu (live-action films with heavy special effects). And this particular archive was meant to commemorate Ishinomori’s works.

In this egg-shaped building, you will be able to find a collection of comics, life-size statues, and artworks from the manga maestro’s popular series. Other exciting stuff to look forward to are the original animation theatre for screening and the multimedia workshop that allows you to experience the creation of anime hands-on. 

And just like the other museums, you can let loose and dig into some tasty meals from their cafe.  Afterwards, buy yourself some souvenirs from the gift shop.

9. Kitakyushu Manga Museum

The Kitakyushu Manga Museum has its own distinctive feature as it introduces a great collection of comics which focuses on manga artists from Kitakyushu Prefecture. Some of the established names include Matsumoto Leiji, Hatanaka Jun, Watase Seizo, and Hojo Tsukasa. This manga museum offers a tour which comprises the elements of seeing, reading, and drawing altogether. 

Aside from the usual manga and manga artists exhibitions, do check out their Manga Time Tunnel. It displays a collection of works from 1945 up to this date. The light at the end of the tunnel would be a manga library that allows visitors to read all the manga-related materials freely. The museum also runs an international manga drawing competition where the winners will get their own manga displayed in a special exhibition.

Psst, don’t forget to take a snap (or two) of your picture with a life-size Captain Harlock statue! This popular hero from Galaxy Express 999 awaits you at the entrance of the sixth floor.

10. The Osamu Tezuka Manga Museum

The Osamu Tezuka Manga Museum is one of the best anime attractions in Osaka that you should visit. It is located in the city of Takarazuka, which is the hometown of the legendary Osamu Tezuka — Japan’s Walt Disney. Here, you can explore the world of Osamu’s imagination spread over three floors. 

Get to know the backstory of this famous manga artist on the first floor of this museum. Next, head upstairs for exhibitions of Osamu’s iconic works such as Astro Boy and Kimba the Lion. You may also find these masterpieces translated into other languages in this museum. Afterwards, chill at their Jungle cafe and get yourself some Astro Boy t-shirts and keychains from their gift shop.

In the basement of this archive is a studio called Anime Laboratory. The lab invites visitors to try their hand at creating their own animations. Heads up, the replica of the great manga artist will overlook you as you get your work done in the studio!

Also read: 15 Airbnbs in Osaka That Are Even Better Than Hotels

The fact is you’ll never run out of anime- and manga-related adventures in Japan. So, find the best anime museums in Japan to explore and just go!

Facebook image credit (left): Angie Ng | Instagram

About Author

Izzati Haron
Izzati Haron

Izzati is an author to two poem anthologies, a slam poet wannabe, and a full-time nanny to her kitties. She loves dreaming about traveling the world just like most protagonists in the movies, but more often than not, her bank account only permits her to travel to her backyard.