5 Best virtual museum tours in Japan

Due to the current lockdown caused by the novel Coronavirus (Covid-19), in Japan as well as the rest of the world all the public places including museums have been closed until the pandemic is over. However, some museums offer virtual tours, thanks to the nowadays technologies we are able to visit some famous museums and galleries without leaving our homes. Now you can visit some Japanese museum exhibitions and check out desired masterpieces online through the Google Arts & Culture Street View, moreover, this service is free of charge! We introduce you 5 Best virtual museum tours in Japan: Tokyo and Kyoto National museums, Miraikan, National Museum of Nature and Science and Adachi Museum of Art.

1. Tokyo National Museum

The oldest museum in Japan – Tokyo National Museum is also known as one of the biggest museums in the world and can be found in Ueno Park, Tokyo. While the museum holds over 100,000 art pieces, 89 national treasures, and many other meaningful cultural artifacts, currently it also offers more than 100 artworks available to be explored online on a virtual tour. Tokyo National Museum is a home for a wide range of artworks and other treasures from Japan and Asia that gives an opportunity for students to learn as well as to conduct research on hundreds of books and photographs that are related to art.
The museum has a 30-minute virtual tour of the Gallery of Horyuji clay, sculpture, textile, metal, ceramic, rock, wood, gold, bronze, and many more treasures.

To virtually visit the Tokyo National Museum click here.

2. Kyoto National Museum

Kyoto National Museum is considered to be one of the oldest and largest museums in Japan. The Museum’s permanent and temporary exhibitions consist of over 8,000 artworks and national treasures of pre-modern Japanese art. Kyoto National Museum was built in 1887 for the purpose of protecting the artworks and other national Japanese treasures from damage. Although the virtual tour is currently unavailable you can still see the artworks online. The collection consists of Edo period paintings, ink paintings, pottery, and porcelain items, treasures from temples and shrines, decorative golden items, kimonos, and other textiles, Deva masks, calligraphy and kanji works as well as archeological artifacts and paintings and drawings from other genres.

To see the artworks of the Kyoto National Museum click here.

3. Miraikan

Miraikan – The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation in Odaiba, Tokyo is a science museum created by the Japan Science and Technology Agency in 2001. The museum consists of 3 floors filled with educational and entertainment material consisting of earth screenings of natural disasters and global environment, exploration of humanity and biology, shops as well as many interactive exhibitions. Google Arts and culture is currently offering 3 walkthrough options:
Geo Cosmos – an Earth scale model which projects natural and man-made disasters and exploration of the word.
Android – exploring the idea of humanity and androids.
International Space Station – a module of a real space habitation.

Google Arts and culture also provide online visitors with 3 stories on Earth, Humanity, and Robots, and space exploration, these stories contain images, videos, and reading material.

To virtually visit the Miraikan Museum click here.

4. National Museum of Nature and Science

The National Museum of Nature and Science is located in Ueno Park, Tokyo. As one of the largest science museums in Tokyo, it offers exhibitions of natural history and interactive science. The museum holds taxidermy items, animal skeletons, and many reading and video materials on biology, sea life, and world exploration. NMNS opened its doors in 1877 not only as a museum but also as a central institute for science and history research. Apart from the exhibitions, you can visit two galleries:

Japan Gallery – with the theme of “The Environment of the Japanese Archipelago” which explores the formation of the Japanese population and their relationship between nature.
Global Gallery – with the theme of “The History of Life on Earth” which explores evolution, extinction, and the relationship between all living beings.

Additionally to the galleries and exhibitions, you can explore 11 stories on Earth’s origin, history of science, world mysteries, Edo period, animals, astronomy, and many more stories available in video, audio, and written format.

To virtually visit The National Museum of Nature and Science click here.

5. Adachi Museum of Art

The modern Japanese art museum Adachi opened its doors in 1970 in Yasugi, Shimane Prefecture by the founder Zenko Adachi, the museum is famous not only for its stunning art but also for its landscape Zen garden that surrounds the building. The Adachi Garden is so spectacular that for 16 years it has been awarded as the “Best Japanese Garden” by the Journal of Japanese Gardening for its beautiful Dry Landscape garden, The White gravel, Moss, and The pond gardens. The museum’s collection consists of works by Taikan Yokoyama, Takeuchi Seiho, Kawai Gyokudo, Tomioka Tessai, Sakakibara Shiho, and Adachi himself. The main media of artworks is paper, textiles, and silk, and the museum also houses ceramic pieces from Kitaoji Rosanjin.

To virtually visit The National Museum of Nature and Science click here.