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Tokyo is a very active city. There are countless places to see, from the classics like Tokyo Tower, Asakusa, Roppongi, and Ikebukuro, to new sites which are constantly opening, especially as the Olympics are going to be held in Tokyo in 2020. But here I would like to recommend some places for some quality quiet time, with 11 must visit museums in Tokyo.

1. The National Museum of Western Art

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Wei-Te Wong/Flickr

With Rodin’s the Thinking Man and the Gates of Hell displayed in its entrance, the National Museum of Western Art is a highly recommended art museum in Tokyo. You can see Monet’s Les Nympheas and Gogh’s Roses in their permanent exhibit. Official site here

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Cloganese/Flickr

2. The Museum, Bunkamura

The Museum of Bunkamura may be hard to locate at first, since it is in Shibuya, a very crowded city, but it’s definitely worth the trip. Exhibitions change every 2-3 months, with beautiful displays and designs. Also, living up to it’s name (Bunkamura – Culture Villiage), other facilities, such as theaters and cinemas are nearby. Try checking it out too. Official site here.

3. Tokyo Metropolitan Museum

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鶴野紘之/Flickr

Tokyo Metropolitan Museum is a large museum located just by Ueno Zoo. The museum has a lot of features, but what I like the best is its lockers. They have small lockers clearly visible from the entrance. Now, this may seem silly, but when you’re at an exhbition, and you’re standing for 1-2 hours, your luggage (especially your coat in winter) is going to be a nuisance. There are lockers in other museums, but not as clearly visible (so you won’t forget) as the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum. Official site here.

4. The National Art Center, Tokyo

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POHAN CHEN/Flickr

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With amazing modern architecture, The National Art Center, located in Roppongi, is the largest museum in Japan. Official site here. 

5. Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum

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Kentaro Ohno/Flickr

At the Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum, it’s not only the exhibitions you can enjoy, but the fine architecture as well. It was originally built for the Japanese royal family at the time when Art Deco was at its finest. You can see the history in the furnishings. Also, as you can see from the name of the museum (teien means garden in Japanese), the garden is really something. Official site here.

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6. National Museum of Nature and Science, Tokyo

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Wei-Te Wong/Flickr

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The National Museum of Nature and Science, Tokyo has exhibitions based on science. Permanent exhibitions include the Japan gallery and Earth gallery. The Japan gallery is a great way to learn about the history and habitat of Japan. The Earth gallery’s stuffed animals, as shown above, are an astonishing sight. Official site here.

7. Tokyo National Museum

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Daisuke Sakai/Flickr

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Daisuke Sakai/Flickr

Tokyo National Museum contains 87 national treasures and 633 important cultural assets. With 5 facilities, each one themed, you can easily spend a day here. Official site here.

8. The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo

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The National Museum of Modern Art has exhibitions as well as a film center, showing documentaries or short films. Official site here.

9. Ghibli Museum, Mitaka

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Everybody loves Ghibli! Producing well known films such as Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke, Ghibili Museum is a dream land for fans. Please note that you need to buy a ticket beforehand in order to enter. For futher information, visit the official site here.

10. Nezu Museum

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Nezu Museum’s most admirable feature would be the garden, set in the traditional Japanese style, as you can see from the picture below. There are 4 tea rooms (茶室 Cha-shitsu), and 8 official viewing sites within the grounds. Official site here.

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11. Edo Tokyo Museum

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Tetsuji Koyama/Flickr

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Takuhito Fujita/Flickr

Edo Tokyo Museum is a excellent spot to experience Japanese culture to the fullest. Not only can you see the exhibitions, but you can experience them though touch, sound, and movement.  Official site here.

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