Tokyo is home to some of the world's finest museums. Any day of the week you could see masterpieces by artists from around the world, as well as world-class exhibits on the origins of the earth or dinosaur skeletons.
But, there are also plenty of small, off-the-beaten-path museums that offer much to enjoy. Take a look at these places for an alternative day out.
The award for Tokyo's quirkiest museum goes hands-down to the Meguro Parasitological Museum. The star of the collection is an 8.8 meter (29ft) tapeworm taken from a woman's body, and the exhibits display over 300 kinds of parasites.
A must for Miyakazi Hayao's fans (the director of Spirited Away). The museum has displays on how animation is created as well as playrooms inspired by the movies where you can jump and enjoy being part of this fantasy world. A real-life replica of the bus from “My Neighbor Totoro” is one of the highlights.
It's hard to decide what's better -- the museum or the tasting room at the end. The historical part teaches you about beer production complete with a 3D exhibit. At the end you can get a sampler with four kinds of beers for only 400 yen!
This is the only kite museum in the world (at least that we know of!). Over 3,000 kites on exhibit. You can really get a sense of the flow of time by looking at the drawings on the kites.
Stay one day in Japan, and chances are you'll experience an earthquake (though it's likely to be so small you'll hardly feel it). The Ikebukuro Earthquake Museum teaches you how to react properly, including a chamber that shakes to the tune of a 7-degree earthquake.
Ever wondered what ten million yen look like? The main star of this museum is a real ten million note! You can also learn about the history of money, how it is made, and the latest anti-forgery tactics.
Bag fans beware, this museum is addictive! Bags from around the world made from just about every material and skin available.
Shitamachi literally means downtown, but it refers to the traditional working-class neighborhoods of Tokyo. The museum depicts their way of life during the Taisho period. One of the rooms is a “shitamachi” house, where you can interact with artifacts from the era.
Japan's mecca for its national pastime. Bronze reliefs of Japan's top players plus lots of baseball paraphernalia from Japan and abroad. You can test your batting skills against pro-pitchers (at least their computer versions) at the batting cages.
At first these two products don't seem to have much in common, but they used to be monopolies by the Japanese government and that's why they're displayed side by side. Why not head afterwards to the nearby Egyptian restaurant Luxor to smoke shisha (water pipe) and get a hands-on experience?
Are you a photography buff who's already seen everything on offer at yodobashi camera? Then maybe you should visit JCII where they trace the development of cameras from the earliest models to the latest technological marvels.
Make sure to arrive on time at the Horology Institute (no pun intended, they have short business hours!) to take a look at the collection of watches from around the world. The top attractions are the first quartz watch ever made and the first wristwatch made in Japan.
Are you a sailor at heart? Cross sections of ships and interesting displays on the history of sea travel. To make it a complete experience, take a sea bus from Hinode Pier to the museum and later continue your sea trip to the Shinagawa Aquarium on the same sea bus line.
You don't have to be a kid to enjoy all the hands-on displays at this high-tech mecca. The planetarium is state-of-the-art but you'll need to arrive early to book a ticket for one of the shows. A full day of high-tech fun is guaranteed.