Weird and Wonderful Anime Museums You Must Visit in Japan

Japan is not only the ‘land of the rising sun’, but also the birthplace of Japanese anime and ‘otaku’ culture (READ: Have fun in USJ). Visit quirky museums and discover the country’s favorite cartoon and movie characters. Get ready for a charming journey that’ll take you through a visual paradise.

Ghibli Museum Tokyo

Ghibli Museum: Mitaka, Tokyo
Ghibli Museum: Mitaka, Tokyo

Familiar with Studio Ghibli films? You’re in for a treat! Don’t miss the chance to immerse yourself in the whimsical museum filled with inspiring works from the beloved animation film studio. Head to Mitaka, located in west Tokyo and be greeted by Totoro, the studio’s beloved character, at the entrance. Admire the museum’s unique architecture and historical design. Exchange your normal ticket for a souvenir ticket so you can watch charming folk stories including ‘A Sumo Wrestler’s Tail’ at Saturn Theater.

See character paintings, stills, and projections, and learn how the studio brought the films to life. See hand-crafted Ghibli character window and lamps, made with vivid stained glass. Feel a sense of childlike wonder when you see a 15-foot robot from ‘Castle in the Sky’ along with models of steam-powered machines and flying contraptions. The highlight is the Totoro zoetrope, an animation device featuring over 347 static figures, transforming into moving figures by making it spin with strobe lights.

Daydream away while sipping a cup of tea at Straw Hat Cafe. Relive your childhood and feel the heartwarming nostalgia of Studio Ghibli with this activity.

Snoopy Museum

Meet Snoopy, Charles Schulz beloved comic beagle, at the Snoopy Museum in Roppongi. Snoopy may be from America, but he is well-loved in Japan. As Asia’s first Snoopy Museum, the place is fairly new. Check out various exhibits boasting original artwork from the creator, Charles Schulz himself. Learn the stories behind the artwork, like Snoopy’s origins and Schulz’ family life. If you’re looking for adorable gifts and souvenirs, you can get plushy Snoopy dolls, comic postcards, vintage collectibles, stationery, and confections.

After seeing all the drawings, sketches, short films, and designs to your heart’s delight, take a break at the PEANUTS-themed Cafe Blanket – it’s even got cute snoopy-shaped biscuits. Fill your day with simple joys and be surrounded by adorable Snoopy! Get your tickets here with KKday.

Fujiko F. Fujio Museum

Fujiko F. Fujio Museum
Flickr/ Chi-Hung Lin under CC

Did you grow up watching Doraemon cartoons on Sunday mornings? Step back in time and reminisce at the Fujiko F. Fujio Museum (also known as Doraemon Museum), located in Kawasaki. Explore the vast art collection of humorous comic styles and original sketches. This includes famous manga (comics) such as Doraemon, 21-Emon, and Kaibutsukun.

Who said cartoons were just for kids? Rediscover Doraemon’s shenanigans with Nobita by spending time in manga reading rooms, play rooms, and movie theaters. Learn how Fujio crafted the characters, and his creative process using audio guides. Try your luck at collecting capsule toys of your favorite characters. Head to the playground and see the magic pink door that lets Doraemon travel anywhere.

Finally, taste a variety of Doraemon themed dishes at the museum’s café. Snack on themed dishes like Doraemon tiramisu and rice casserole. Book now and embark on a magical adventure of Japan’s iconic series.

Which Japanese character did you grow up watching? Share your favorite with us!