Japanese Sword Museum (Token Hakubutsukan)
Japan is famous for both its warrior history and its finely made crafts, and the two things can be seen side-by-side at the Japanese Sword Museum. Displaying swords, mountings, armor, samurai costumes, and other metalwork, this specialist museum is fascinating for visitors who are interested in Japanese culture and history.
The Japanese Sword Museum intends to preserve Japanese swords with artistic value, as well as the traditional methods of creating them. Many items and techniques were nearly lost after World War II, when many swords were confiscated. The museum displays permanent and temporary exhibits that focus on specific artisans or periods. Travelers interested in visiting the Japanese Sword Museum can do so independently, or with a guide on a customizable private tour of Tokyo. As it’s located in the Ryogoku area, near the sumo stadium, there are a number of other interesting attractions nearby.
Things to know before you go
- Entrance fees vary depending on the exhibition. Children under 15 are free.
- There’s an on-site bookstore selling books in several languages.
- Displays have English translations.
How to get there
The easiest way of reaching the museum is via train or subway. Either take the JR Sobu Line to Ryogoku Station and leave from the west exit, or take the Toei Subway’s Oedo Line to Ryogoku Station and leave from the A1 exit.
When to get there
Like many Japanese museums, this one is closed on Mondays unless a public holiday falls on a Monday, in which case it will be closed on Tuesday that week instead. It’s also closed during the New Year holiday period, and when exhibitions are being changed.
Visit the Edo-Tokyo Museum
The Japanese Sword Museum is near the better-known Edo-Tokyo Museum, and travelers who are interested in learning more about the history of Tokyo and Japan should visit this excellent museum, too. The large Edo-Tokyo Museum has lifelike displays showing what life used to be like in Tokyo (or Edo, as it was once called), including a life-size replica of the famous Nihonbashi bridge.
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