Museums

The Shinyokohama Ramen Museum

It was 1958, and we were hungry. Luckily, we were near Narutabashi Station, where there are at least a dozen ramen shops to choose from. We sat down to big bowls of steaming noodles, and talked about the news of the day… Khrushchev seems a reasonable new leader for the Soviets, doesn’t he? Then my cellphone rang and I remembered: this isn’t 1958. And there is no train station called Narutabashi. The year was 2014 and we were inside Shinyokohama’s Ramen Museum.


The Seedy Pleasures of East Shinjuku

We had seen a lot of Tokyo’s different faces: cute, modern, weird, beautiful, historic, confusing. But until our visit to East Shinjuku, we hadn’t experienced the famously seedy side of Tokyo. The Golden Gai, Kabukicho and Piss Alley are three areas which forever changed our impression of the city. (A change for the better? I’ll leave that unanswered.)


The Studio Ghibli Museum

Since releasing Castle in the Sky in 1986, the magicians of Studio Ghibli have come to dominate the world of Japanese animation. Spirited Away, Porco Rosso, Howl’s Moving Castle, and The Wind Rises are just some of the studio’s feature films, nearly all of which have been hailed by critics and beloved by audiences the world over. We’ve been Ghibli fans for years, and made it a point to visit the studio’s museum in Inokashira Park.


In and Around Tokyo Midtown

It surely won’t keep the title for long but the tallest habitable building in Tokyo is currently the Midtown Tower, part of the Tokyo Midtown complex in Akasaka. We spent a day checking out the sights around Midtown, including the National Art Center and the tranquil Nogi Shrine.


The Hara Museum of Contemporary Art

Hidden away on the far side of Shinagawa, off an alley which cuts behind the Laforet Hotel, the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art is not the easiest place in the world to find. But tracking it down might be worth the effort, depending on which exhibition is currently showing.


The Historic Neighborhood of Fukagawa

Across the Sumida River from Nihonbashi, Fukagawa is one of Tokyo’s original fifteen wards. We spent a day wandering around its uncrowded streets, allowing the district to surprise us with an excellent museum, a tranquil garden and, for lunch, a delicious bowl of the neighborhood specialty, Fukugawa Meshi.


The Tokyo Stock Exchange

The world’s third-largest stock exchange is found in Tokyo, headquartered in the financial district of Nihonbashi. Guests are welcome to visit the complex, and watch the high-stakes action from a platform above the main trading floor.


The Taimeiken Restaurant and Kite Museum

Between the shopping mecca of Coredo Mall and the Tokyo Stock Exchange, we came across a quaint museum which feels completely out of place in modern Nihonbashi. The small and cluttered Kite Museum is hidden away without fanfare above Taimeiken, one of central Tokyo’s favorite restaurants.


The Miraikan Future Science Museum

We had a feeling that our visit to Odaiba Island’s Miraikan Future Science Museum was going to be awesome, and we were right. The only disappointment came when it closed, and we had to leave. Officially named the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, this is the most cutting-edge science museum we’ve ever visited.


Atago Hill and the NHK Broadcast Museum

There was a time when one could see the entirety of Tokyo, or Edo as it was then known, from atop Atago Hill. Today the view is obscured by a wall of skyscrapers, but climbing the steep hill is still worth the effort, thanks to the presence of the Atago Shrine and the adjacent NHK Broadcast Museum.


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