Admission to Tokyo’s most popular museums can be pricey, but there is one specific day a year where many of the city’s top institutions open for free. That day is November 3, a public holiday in Japan known as Culture Day, which was established in 1948 for the purpose of promoting arts and culture. A large number of museums and art galleries offer free entry on this special day, such as the National Museum of Modern Art, the Tokyo National Museum, the National Museum of Nature and Science and many more.
Looking at the list of facilities below, we can’t think of a better day for some free and educational museum hopping in the metropolis.
The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo
It usually costs ¥500 to enter this museum to see its MOMAT collection, but on Culture Day it'll be free. Celebrating its 70th anniversary this year, the MOMAT collection is one of the largest art exhibitions in Japan. Out of the collection’s 13,000 works, 200 pieces are on display, of which four are designated important cultural properties.
The National Museum of Western Art
Enter the permanent collection for free to see paintings and sculptures from the 15th century to more modern pieces, including works by Claude Monet and Jackson Pollock.
Tokyo National Museum
Japan’s oldest and largest museum houses over 110,000 works, including Japanese arts and antiquities, artworks from other parts of Asia, as well as ancient artefacts from the Horyuji Temple in Nara.
National Museum of Nature and Science
There are two large permanent exhibitions here. The Japan Gallery focuses on the country’s formation, its flora and fauna and its first inhabitants, while the Global Gallery looks at science, astronomy and the evolution of life.
Dedicated to the history and techniques of printing, this museum has an interesting collection of vintage posters, flyers, books and maps on display.
Katsushika City Museum & Planetarium
At the planetarium you can see a 'digital universe', which has been created based on all the planetary data collected throughout history. Deepen your knowledge about astronomy at the museum, or trace the 90-year history of Katsushika ward at a special photo exhibition.
Institute for Nature Study
This primaeval forest in central Tokyo was established as a scientific study area in 1949. The park contains myriad plants, birds and insects. The one-room museum at the entrance has a map showing how the greenery in Tokyo has decreased since 1677, and an exhibition on different bird sounds.
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