Studio Ghibli is often dubbed ‘Disney of the East’, having brought to a global audience animated classics such as Howl’s Moving Castle and Spirited Away. Fans will marvel at this beautiful museum in Inokashira Park in Mitaka, which features character-themed stained glass windows, colourful plants and flowers and forest animal sculptures.
Popular character Totoro in the form of a mascot welcomes visitors at the entrance. Inside, expect to find a wonderland of characters, a theatre showing exclusive short films, a rooftop garden, a themed cafe and a bookstore. There is also a replica of the Catbus from the movie My Neighbour Totoro.
Tickets are known to be snapped up fast and can be purchased as early as the month before your intended visit.
Nearest station: Mikata (you can take a community bus to the museum from the south exit of the station for a small fee)
This extensive museum displays statues of brave samurai warriors, replicas of their swords and their costumes. The samurai has been a Japanese historical icon for hundreds of years. Originating from the Heian period from 794 to 1185, samurai were warriors that were hired by wealthy landowners to form their own armies. The two most powerful of these landowning clans, the Minamoto and Taira, eventually battled each other for supremacy. Minamoto Yoritomo emerged victorious and set up a new military government in 1192, led by the shogun or supreme military commander. The samurai would rule over Japan for the next 700 years.
There are combat showcases and even an area where you can wear a samurai costume and pose with a replica weapon of choice.
Nearest station: Seibu Shinjuku
Learn about Charles M. Schulz, the cartoonist who created the comic strip Peanuts that introduced Snoopy and Charlie Brown to the world. Although Schulz is American, the Japanese have embraced his world of Peanuts and showcase his work in the cutest possible way here. Visitors can view unique original cartoons from his collection, comic strips, memorabilia, and every six months, the Snoopy Museum will introduce new exhibitions curated by the Charles M. Schulz Museum in California. Cafe Blanket is an attraction in itself, with a themed menu serving treats that are almost too gorgeous to eat or drink.
Nearest station: Roppongi
SEE ALSO: 10 of the cutest dessert cafes in Tokyo
Yebisu Beer is brewed and bottled in Japan and it is in this museum that you can discover the history and techniques of making beer. There is also a tasting room and a beer gift shop. We recommend signing up for the 40-minute Yebisu Tour, which includes two glasses of beer at the end. Additional glasses of beer can be purchased at a discounted rate, if you choose to hang around the tasting room.
Nearest station: Ebisu
Situated in Roppongi Hills, the Mori Art Museum is a grand gallery on the 53rd floor of the Mori Tower. The museum houses modern art exhibitions in a variety of genres, including fashion, architecture, design, photography and video, with a focus on contemporary Asian art. Spectacular art aside, we love that the museum has a stunning indoor observatory and rooftop observation deck that’s open till late. It’s a beautiful place to take in the city skyline.
Nearest station: Roppongi