12 Tokyo Art Museums — From the Most Famous to Hidden Gems

12 Best Tokyo Museums for Every Kind of Art Fan

Eye candy for art lovers everywhere!

Entering Tokyo art museums is like falling into a wonderland of creative inspiration. You never know what doorways or portals of imagination you might walk into. 

While making your way across the city, it’s not uncommon to see posters of the latest museum exhibitions and installations plastered across the walls of train stations. That is to say, you don’t have to venture too far on a plane to follow the call of art. You can drop by these visually captivating Tokyo museums, waiting for you right here in the heart of Japan

Also read: 10 Family-Friendly Airbnb Apartments in Tokyo

Tokyo art museums you should visit

1. Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum

Aside from being a famous gathering site for hanami, Ueno Park is also home to the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, one of the most popular art museums in the city. Built in 1926, this brick-faced museum features highly coveted paintings, ceramics, sculptures, calligraphy, and woodblock prints from Japanese and international artists. 

While it has no permanent collection, this museum in Tokyo hosts an ever-changing rotation of thematic exhibitions across six galleries. Past showcases have included the works of Van Gogh, Picasso, Renoir, Cézanne, and Klimt.

Address: 8-36 Ueno-Park Taito-ku, Tokyo 110-0007

Opening hours: Sunday to Thursday, 9.30am to 5.30pm; Fridays, 9.30am to 8pm; closed on Mondays

2. Yayoi Kusama Museum

Step into a room of polka-dotted pumpkins at the Yayoi Kusama Museum in Tokyo, where five floors of a minimalist building and a rooftop gallery in Shinjuku are dedicated to Japan’s most celebrated living artist. 

The Japanese-American artist was born with a condition that caused her to hallucinate spots from a very young age. Today, Kusama’s avant-garde creations are distinguished by their dotted patterns, abstract swirls, vivid colours, and pinpricks of light. Moreover, her Infinity Mirror Room installations conjure the illusion of limitless space, where every corner is touched with a brush of the surreal. 

tokyo museums: yayoi kusama

Image credit: Celline Mercado

Since this Tokyo museum tends to be frequently booked by, well, anyone with an Instagram account, be sure to purchase your tickets well in advance through the website. Therefore, time your visit carefully, as you can only wander around the museum for 90 minutes. 

Address: 107 Bentencho Shinjuku-ku Tokyo 162-0851 Japan

Opening hours: Thursday to Sunday; 11am to 5.30pm; closed from Monday to Wednesday

Also read: Naoshima: An Island in Japan That’s Brimming With Art

3. National Museum of Western Art

tokyo museums: western art

Image credit: 663highland

What do Rodin’s The Thinker, Monet’s Les Nymphéas, and Van Gogh’s Roses have in common? These renowned pieces have all found a home at the National Museum of Western Art, cradled in the beautiful tree-lined streets of Ueno Park. 

Designed by the Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier, this UNESCO World Heritage Site contains 5,500 works of Western art in its permanent collection, including an entire room devoted to Monet. No wonder it’s among the most beloved Tokyo art museums! 

Image credit (L-R): Ribberlin; Matsukata Collection 

As you behold the legacy of prolific painters in these halls, a clear realisation rings true: You don’t have to fly all the way to Europe to witness great art. For fans who are looking forward to visiting this Tokyo museum, do note that it is temporarily closed until 17 Mar 2023 for facilities maintenance.

Address: 7-7 Uenokoen, Taito City, Tokyo 110-0007, Japan

Opening hours: Sunday to Thursday, 9.30am to 5.30pm; Friday to Saturday, 9.30am to 8pm; closed on Mondays 

4. MORI Building Digital Art Museum: teamLab Borderless

Image credit: ginomempin

If there’s anything that our friends’ vacation photos of Japan have taught us, it’s that we shouldn’t miss Insta-worthy opportunities when we see one. Thankfully, this digital museum in Tokyo has plenty of photo-perfect moments! 

The Mori Building Digital Art Museum: teamLab Borderless in Odaiba is a multi-sensory experience that collapses the boundaries between the spectator and the objects of art. Thus, dancing lights projected from ceiling-to-floor installations let visitors walk through a glowing world without borders. 

Consequently, this is what the museum believes and proudly manifests: If paintings could move, we would be right in the middle of them. Whether radiant lanterns are surrounding you like fireflies or the mirrored floors reflect bursts of colour, this interconnected digital forest will make you see stars. 

Update as of 2 Mar 2023: teamLab Borderless in Odaiba has closed and will relocate to Azabudai Hills for its Toranomon-Azabudai Project. The project will be completed this year, so let’s look forward to what it has to offer.

5. Ghibli Museum in Mitaka

tokyo museums

Image credit: Wei-Te Wong

Pinned sketches of character designs. Splashes of paint captured in their exact hues. Volumes containing photographs of real-life locations in Japan. These are laid out on the tables like treasure maps all over the Ghibli Museum, leading you into the fantasy worlds of Spirited Away, My Neighbour Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Howl’s Moving Castle, and more. 

If watching films by Hayao Miyazaki makes you happy, then so will this Ghibli Museum! Inside, film screenings and special exhibitions offer a window into the mind of Hayao Miyazaki, whose hand-painted backgrounds have changed the landscape of traditional animation forever. 

tokyo museums: ghibli

Image credit(L-R): ultraodel; Seth Vidal

Meanwhile, delightful cameos of characters are strewn like jewels throughout this humble enclave, positioned near Inokashira Park. Greet the giant robot on the grounds, or stop by the Straw Hat Cafe for ice cream. This is a museum that takes you by the hand and tells you that it’s okay to let your inner child run wild every once in a while. 

Address: Mitaka-shi, Tokyo, 181-0013, Japan

Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 10am to 5pm; Weekends and Holidays, 10am to 7pm 

Also read: I Spent a Day Eating My Way Through the Real-Life Town of ‘Spirited Away’

6. The National Art Centre, Tokyo

The National Art Centre was opened back in 2007 as one of the country’s institutions established under the Independent Administrative Institution National Museum of Art. It spans 14,000 square meters, making it one of the largest art exhibition spaces in Japan to host a broad spectrum of art shows. 

The art centre aims to create a new culture that encourages mutual understanding and inclusion via the power of art. It also has no permanent collection, so the public can experience different and new forms of artistic expression. As of writing, some of the ongoing and upcoming exhibitions include Painting Love in the Louvre Collections, LIGHT: Works from the Tate Collection, and the Exhibition of Yves Saint Laurent.

Address: 7 Chome-22-2 Roppongi, Minato City, Tokyo 106-8558, Japan

Opening hours: 10am to 6pm; closed on Tuesdays 


teamLab’s artwork is very well-known on the international stage, but its art exhibition in Tokyo is definitely something you would not want to miss when you’re in the city. Here, you get to experience four large-scale artwork spaces and two gardens by teamLab. What’s better, the art here is combines the elements of visual, sound, and touch. You can even walk into the spaces barefoot to truly feel the art!

Tokyo teamLab requires a ticket to enter, but you still can get in touch with one of the art pieces, Universe of Fire Particles Falling from the Sky in the public area. When you’re done exploring the art, grabe a bite or two at Vegan Ramen UZU Tokyo, where the dining spaces double as immersive rooms, like the Reversible Rotation – Non-Objective Space. You can also enjoy your meal or simply lounge on the outdoor One Stroke Bench. Talk about practical art installations! 

The exhibition is extended until the end of 2023, so seize the opportunity to visit teamLab Planets TOKYO.

Address: 6 Chome-1-16 Toyosu, Koto City, Tokyo 135-0061, Japan

Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 10am to 8pm; Weekends, 9am to 9pm; closed on Thursdays 

8. Nezu Museum

One of the must-visit Tokyo museums is Nezu Museum located in the Minato ward. Nezu Museum’s art genre covers Japanese and Chinese pre-modern art. Now, it has approximately 7,400 pieces of artwork in its collection, which include seven national treasures. Lush bamboo trees encircle the museum, with floor-to-ceiling windows that showcase both the artwork and nature at the same time. 

Address: 6 Chome-5-1 Minamiaoyama, Minato City, Tokyo 107-0062, Japan

Opening hours: 10am to 5pm; closed on Mondays 

9. Intermediatheque

Intermediatheque is situated in JP Tower and is jointly operated by the University of Tokyo and Japan Post. Its unique name indicates that the museum is dedicated to “interdisciplinary experimentation venturing into the cultural creation of a new kind, based on the fusion of every means of expression.” 

Though the space is not as huge as other Tokyo art museums, it holds a permanent exhibition of the scientific and cultural heritage collections of the University of Tokyo; like the animal skeletons, mineral samples, mechanical and mathematical models, phonographs, antique camera equipment, African musical instruments, and tribal wood carvings. 

It also holds special exhibitions from time to time. For instance, the current ongoing special exhibitions are Cattleya Rhapsody – Orchids Blossom Colombia Version, Birds in Paradise, and Analogy of Couture – Constructing Garment / Knitting Architecture.

Address: Japan, 〒100-7003 Tokyo, Chiyoda City, Marunouchi, 2 Chome−7−2 KITTE

Opening hours: 11am to 6pm; closed on Mondays 

10. The Sumida Hokusai Museum

One of the most popular Tokyo museums, The Sumida Hokusai Museum was constructed in 2016, in honour of Katsushika Hokusai: a world-renowned ukiyo-e artist who spent nearly the entire 90 years of his life in Sumida ward creating a large number of masterpieces. You are probably familiar with his woodblock print art: The Great Wave off Kanagawa, which features a large spiral wave with Mount Fuji at the back.

The permanent exhibits consist of seven areas, allowing visitors to learn about Hokusai’s life and art. At the time of writing, the current special exhibitions are Scenery of Both Banks of the Sumida River and Sketches by Hokusai. There is an upcoming special exhibition called The Hokusai Bird Park, which will run from 14 Mar to 21 May 2023.

Address: 2 Chome-7-2 Kamezawa, Sumida City, Tokyo 130-0014, Japan

Opening hours: 9:30am to 5:30pm; closed on Mondays 

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11. SOMPO Museum of Art

Opened back in 1976, SOMPO Museum of Art is Japan’s first high-rise art museum, nestled in the busy streets of Shinjuku. The museum’s exterior design contains vertical and curved surfaces, which follow the design of its core collection of Seiji Togo’s artworks while maintaining harmony with the existing buildings around it. 

You’ll also find yourself admiring Vincent Van Gogh’s Vase With Fifteen Sunflowers. This Tokyo museum is the only place in Asia that houses a masterpiece from Van Gogh’s Sunflower series as a permanent exhibit.

Address: 1 Chome-26-1 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 160-0023, Japan

Opening hours: 10am to 6pm; closed on Mondays 

Also read: Van Gogh Paintings: Where To Find His Paintings Around The World!

12. National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo

Also known as MOMAT, the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, is one of the Tokyo art museums demonstrating modern Japanese art. The art collection dates back to the 20th century to the present day, consisting of both Japanese and Western-style artworks like paintings, prints, sculptures, photographs, and videos.

Besides, there is also an annexe to the museum, namely The Crafts Gallery. It showcases modern crafts and design, including ceramics, glasswork, lacquerware, woodwork, bamboo work, textiles, dolls, metalwork, and more. In light of the spring season in Japan, there will also be an exhibition called the Spring Festival 2023, portraying masterpieces that feature cherry blossoms and other spring flowers.

Address: 3-1 Kitanomarukoen, Chiyoda City, Tokyo 102-8322, Japan

Opening hours: Wednesday to Monday, 10am to 6pm; closed on Tuesdays 

Also read: Off the Beaten Path in Tokyo: 16 Best Things to Do That Are Under the Tourist Radar

Needless to say, this bustling city is brimming with an insatiable wonder for art and the people who create it. Out of all these wonderful Tokyo art museums, which one calls out to you the most? If you have any memorable experiences or creative snapshots you would like to share with our travel community, tag us on IG: @tripzillamag or check out our official Facebook page!

About Authors

Tiffany Conde
Tiffany Conde

Tiffany wrote articles on travel, food, and pop culture for TripZilla. As she plans her next adventure, she enjoys writing about the coolest places to stay around the world and where to find them.


Cecelia Chang
Cecelia Chang

Born in a new village in Selangor, Malaysia, Cecelia loves three things in life: Good food, good views, and good deals. She also enjoys exploring new places and experiencing new things on her travels.