Edo-Tokyo Museum
Photo: Tokyo Metropolitan Edo-Tokyo MuseumTokyo Metropolitan Edo-Tokyo Museum

Six Tokyo museums have put their prized collections online

The Tokyo Metropolitan Museum Collection is a free online depository featuring local and international artists

Emma Steen
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Emma Steen
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Museums and galleries in Tokyo may be closed for the time being due to the state of emergency, but with so many institutions bringing their art online, you can now easily view and learn about priceless masterpieces from home. One particularly vast database is the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum Collection, which pulls together the online archives of six Tokyo metropolitan museums. Best of all, it’s available for free.

A bulk of the digital collection belongs to the Edo-Tokyo Museum (pictured top), which has an online archive of approximately 370,000 items. Count ’em! They span 400 years from the Edo Period (1600-1668) to present day Japan, showcasing how Japanese art has evolved over the centuries.

Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum
Photo: Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum

You’ll find more Edo works in the form of architecture from the Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum collection. There may be only 30 exhibits, but each of them comes with a ‘360° panoramic view’ mode, which enables you to tour the exterior as well as interior of the buildings as though you were exploring them on site.  

Metropolitan Museum of Contemporary Art
Photo: Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo

More modern pieces can be found in the collections of Tokyo Photographic Art Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum and Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum. The Tokyo Photographic Art Museum in particular boasts 36,000 photographs available for viewing online. Expect works of Japanese photography masters taken from different stages of their career, including Shotaro Akiyama, Yasuhiro Ishimoto and Kikuji Kawada. 

Browse the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum Collection now.

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