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Stamp collectors and stamp enthusiasts will be excited to explore the centerpiece of this specialty museum - an impressively huge collection of more than 330,000 postage stamps from around the world, carefully arranged in hundreds of vertical display drawers by country and continent. [Show more]
Run by cigarette conglomerate Japan Tobacco, this oddly specialized museum focuses on the history of tobacco use around the world and the history of the Japanese salt industry. Graphic design historians can draw inspiration from a huge wall display showing the evolution of Japanese tobacco advertising over the past century and a half, as well as scrapbooks filled with hundreds of cigarette packages from around the world. [Show more]
Predating the era of cat and rabbit cafes by many years, petting zoos offer a friendly, interactive animal experience for young kids (and their parents) without the cover charge or the expensive cafe au lait. [Show more]
By far the noisiest museum we've been to in Tokyo, Asakusa's Drum Museum is also one of the most interactive. Hundreds of percussion instruments of all shapes and sizes are on display here, many of them waiting to be banged on by visitors - just look for the color-coded musical-note icons next to each exhibit. [Show more]
In the early twentieth century Japan exported huge numbers of tin-plate toys to countries around the world, and this charming little musuem traces that history, displaying some 3,000 antique toys made between the 1890s and the 1960s. Shelf after shelf is filled with miniature antique firetrucks and streetcars, zeppelins and submarines, rockets and robots, drum-beating bears and cymbal-smashing bunnies. [Show more]
Officially known as the Japan Newspaper Museum, this beautifully designed modern facility is both entertaining and informative. Three floors of exhibits cover the history of the newspaper industry in Japan as well as the nuts and bolts of print production. [Show more]
Somehow the residents at Miysis seem friendlier and more playful than the usual cat cafe denizens. Perhaps they're just happier in their environment - the playroom here is a big, sprawling space designed to keep cats content, with lots of carpeted trees to climb and upholstery to shred, as well as numerous spots in which to perch or nap. [Show more]
The Traditional Craft Center in Aoyama offers handy one-stop shopping for a range of Japanese crafts. It's all here and it's all for sale - from pottery, lacquerware and carving knives for your everyday needs to more esoteric washi (paper products), calligraphy brushes, and lacquered deerhide. [Show more]
A mini-botanical garden close to Shibuya Station, the compact greenhouse here is crowded with more than 200 kinds of tropical plants as well as a few tanks full of fish and bugs. The facility runs weekly gardening classes (in Japanese) and holds regular annual events such as "Let's Play with Beetles" each August and a five-day evening firefly-watching party in June. [Show more]
More spacious than the average rabbit cafe, Ohisama is divided into a glassed-in play area, where you can feed and pet the bunnies, and a couple of different lounge areas where you can relax over a cup of coffee and peruse rabbit-related manga and other literature. [Show more]
Located near Aeon's Makuhari corporate offices, this massive shopping complex contains some 350 retails shops and restaurants, along with movie theaters and sports facilities. It's made up of four separate parts - the main mall (which includes a large restaurant zone) and separate malls for sports, children, and pets. [Show more]
More than twelve million people a year visit the halls of this huge convention center, which hosts international conferences, trade shows and design festivals. Designed by the architectural firm of AXS Satow and completed in April 1996, the facility provides a total exhibition area of 80,000m2, spread over three main buildings. The center is easily accessible by water bus as well as by rail and bus. [Venue data]
Although they started out providing 1/100th-scale cut-out figures to be used in architectural models, Terada has greatly expanded their line-up to cater to scale-model hobbyists, offering kits that feature miniature animals, sports settings, Christmas scenes and dozens of other themes. Miniature kits are priced at Y1500, and they also sell model-construction tool sets and plastic display cases. [Show more]
Although it's called a Calligraphy museum, the collection here focuses mainly on the early history of the Chinese (and later Japanese) written language through its use in inscriptions on ancient Chinese jade, bronze and ceramic objects. There are also a large number of stone funerary slabs (stela), some dating back 2,000 years. [Show more]
Since the store's recent renovation, Mitsukoshi's two-level food hall has expanded to more than a hundred food stalls run by well-known restaurants, bakeries, sweets shops, tea sellers, and other purveyors of gourmet food and drink. The tiny wine-tasting counter is a pleasant place to stop for a quick glass and a cheese or ham plate to nibble on. [Show more]
Run by the JRA (Japan Racing Association), this horse-centric park has extensive riding grounds and over 100 resident horses. Equine-related shows and more informal events are held frequently on weekends, while weekdays tend to be quieter - you'll probably spot a few horses wandering about, but most people are here for picnics or to stroll through the 45-acre grounds. [Show more]
Recently refurbished, the Metro Museum focuses on the Tokyo subway system, with several hands-on driving simulators, a big model train layout (with shows four times a day), and exhibits of subway cars through the ages, tunneling equipment and historic subway maps. [Show more]