8 Fascinating Museums for Anime and Manga Lovers!

8 Fascinating Museums for Anime and Manga Lovers!

For some reason, there’s a stereotype that museums are full of old, dusty things or weird paintings. If you don’t have an interest in antiques or people who are dead and gone, they might not be the place for you. However, there are a few museums in Japan that have dedicated themselves to the preservation and teaching of… pop culture?!

Yes, indeed. Manga and anime are far from dead -- in fact, they’re an ever-growing industry in Japan as well as overseas. The following museums offer historical displays, tasty treats, and a variety of ways for fans to interact with their favorite series. Let’s take a look!

1. Kyoto International Manga Museum

The Kyoto International Manga Museum is heaven for manga lovers! It boasts the world’s largest manga collection, with approximately 300,000 volumes of Japanese and foreign manga. Once you enter, you’re free to peruse each floor - separated by genre - and take any manga off the shelf to read. The museum encourages readers to relax and enjoy themselves while reading their favorite manga, and even suggests taking the manga outside to read on the lawn!

When your eyes hurt from reading, wander over to one of the multiple exhibits, watch a kamishibai show, or go behind-the-scenes to see how manga is really made. If you time your visit well, you might be able to catch a live-drawing from a famous artist or a workshop where you can draw your own manga using professional tools!

Kyoto International Manga Museum
452 Kinbuki-cho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto 604-0846
Open 10:00 am - 6:00 pm (Admission until 5:30 pm)
*Closed every Wednesday
Website: https://www.kyotomm.jp/en/

2. Suginami Animation Museum

The Suginami Animation Museum is on the small side, but it offers a treasure trove of information about the history of animation, how anime is made, and even about the technology that will evolve anime for the future. Visitors can watch classic anime in a specialized theater and even experience dubbing an anime as a voice actor!

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Special exhibits change about four times a year. While there are no cafes, restaurants, or specialty shops, English audio devices are available and admission is absolutely free!

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Suginami Animation Museum
Suginami Kaikan 3F, 3-29-5 Kamiogi, Suginami-ku, Tokyo 167-0043
Open 10:00 am - 6:00 pm (Admission until 5:30 pm)
*Closed every Monday
Website: http://www.sam.or.jp/english_home

3. Ghibli Museum

The Ghibli Museum is a go-to spot for tourists in Japan, famous for the way it transports visitors right into the world of their favorite Ghibli films. Younger visitors especially enjoy the reading rooms that were built with children in mind, filled with books personally recommended by Miyazaki Hayao himself.

Besides wandering through displays and special exhibitions, visitors can enjoy an original Ghibli short film at the Saturn Theater or satiate their hunger at the world’s cutest museum cafe. Read more about what the Ghibli Museum cafe has to offer here, and be sure to buy your museum ticket in advance!

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Ghibli Museum
1-1-83 Shimorenjaku, Mitaka-shi, Tokyo 181-0013
(Inside Inokashira Park)
Open 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
*Closed every Tuesday
Website: http://www.ghibli-museum.jp/en/

4. Fujiko. F. Fujio Museum

Doraemon is a world-famous series and also a staple in a typical Japanese childhood, but not many people know that there is actually a museum dedicated to the series’ author, Fujiko F. Fujio! Kids will be thrilled to see their favorite characters come to life again right before their eyes, and adults will truly feel the nostalgia while viewing the special exhibits.

The museum’s cafe also has some amazing themed food! After spending a day surrounded by bright designs and familiar characters, take a break for an Instagram-worthy lunch and browse through exclusive goods at the museum’s store. Just don’t forget to reserve your admission ticket at a Lawson convenience store before you visit!

Fujiko F. Fujio Museum
2-8-1 Nagao, Tama-ku, Kawasaki-shi, Kanagawa 214-0023
Open 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
*Closed every Tuesday
Website: http://fujiko-museum.com

5. Tezuka Osamu Manga Museum

Osamu Tezuka is known both as the “Father of Manga” and as the “God of Manga.” His hit series Astro Boy was Japan’s first broadcasted anime and Osamu personally trained many manga artists in his lifetime. If Tezuka had decided to become a doctor rather than an artist, manga and anime as we know it might never have been created, so it's no wonder he's got an entire museum dedicated to him!

The Tezuka Osamu Manga Museum has permanent exhibitions displaying his personal belongings and temporary exhibitions that introduce three of Tezuka’s 500 series per year. At the Animation Workshop, visitors can try to create their own anime while a replica of Tezuka sits at his studio, watching over them.

Tezuka Osamu Museum
7-65 Mukogawacho, Takarazuka, Hyogo 665-0844
Open 9:30 am - 5:00 pm
*Closed every Wednesday
Website: http://tezukaosamu.net/en/museum/index.html

6. Ome Akatsuka Fujio Museum

Manga artist Akatsuka Fujio passed away almost ten years ago, but this museum dedicated to his works is keeping his memory alive in west Tokyo. Find the charmingly retro building by looking out for a quirky statue and cardboard cut-outs right in front of the door, a great preview to the rest of the museum!

The place is literally covered in characters from his most popular series, Tensai Bakabon and Osomatsu-kun, and as expected of a museum dedicated to a comedy artist, just walking through the exhibits will make you laugh out loud! The second floor has a replica of Tokiwaso, an apartment that Fujio shared with other famous manga artists such as Osamu Tezuka and Fujiko. F. Fujio. Rare, original manuscripts are displayed along the walls - well worth a visit to check it out yourself!

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Ome Akatsuka Fujio Museum
66 Sumie-cho, Ome, Tokyo 198-0084
Open 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
*Closed every Monday
Website: http://ome-akatsukafujio-museum.com/

7. Hasegawa Machiko Museum

Among Hasegawa Machiko's works shines an undeniably huge hit, Sazae-san. It started off as a comic strip in the Asahi Shimbun newspaper, first published in 1946, and became an anime in 1969. Almost fifty years later, it's still airing! As a result, it's no wonder that this museum will make you feel as if you’re back in Showa Japan.

Besides Sazae-san exhibits, the museum also houses Hasegawa’s extensive art collection and has a shop that stocks cute stationery goods and souvenirs. You can also sit down to relax for a cup of coffee with Sazae-san!

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Hasegawa Machiko Museum
1-30-6 Sakurashimmachi, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo 154-0015 
Open 10:00 am - 5:30 pm (Last admission 5:00 pm)
*Closed every Monday
Website: http://www.hasegawamachiko.jp/

8. Anpanman Museum

Kids will LOVE this museum, which features a superhero made of bread and all of his friends. Anpanman has been airing since 1988 and, despite the author’s passing in 2013, new movies and episodes continue to be released each year. Anpanman even holds the Guinness record for most characters in an animated series!

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Since the museum was mostly made for kids, all of the exhibits are completely touchable - in fact, most of them can be crawled through or climbed on. If you’re lucky, you might even come across Anpanman or one of his friends on their walks through the museum to greet visitors. Don’t forget to buy some anpan souvenirs before you leave!

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Anpanman Museum
Sendai Location:
101-14 Odawarayamamoto-cho, Miyagino-ku, Sendai, Miyagi 983-0817
Open 10:00 am - 5:00 pm (Last admission 4:00 pm)

Yokohama Location
4-3-1 Minatomirai, Nishi-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa 220-0012
Open 10:00 am - 6:00 pm (Last admission 5:00 pm)

Nagoya Location
108-4 Urayasu, Nagashima-cho, Kuwana, Mie 511-1135
Open 10:00 am - 5:00 pm (Last admission 4:00 pm)

Kobe Location
1-6-2 Higashikawasaki-cho, Chuo-ku, Kobe, Hyogo 650-0044
Open 10:00 am - 6:00 pm (Last admission 5:00 pm)

Fukuoka Location
5/6F, 3-1 Shimokawabata-machi, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka, Fukuoka 812-0027
Open 10:00 am - 6:00 pm (Last admission 5:00 pm)

Find any museums to put on your bucket list? Per usual, when planning a visit, don’t forget to double-check details such as ticket admissions and museum holidays. Once you’re in, though, relax and let yourself be immersed in the world of your favorite characters and authors!

This is a Tokyo Otaku Mode original article.

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