This website uses cookies for your convenience. please refer to our  Cookie Policy

Nearby Japanese Traditional Arts and Craft Museums

When one visits Japan, we all think about the modernity of the cityscape with highrises, neon lights, and non-stop commotion. But Tokyo offers another facet--a more traditional side to its visitors if they just looked. Here are four museums that showcases the traditional arts and crafts of Japan, from the Ukiyoe of Hokusai to glassworks, customs, and fashion of Edo period.

Ota Memorial Museum of Art

If you appreciate Ukiyoe, Hanga, or Nikuhitsuga, then Ota Memorial Museum of Art is a can’t miss place for you. Showcasing some 14,000 pieces of artworks from various eras, and the museum is constantly rotating its exhibits monthly. It is best to check here, where the museum posts information about the exhibits in English. If you are lucky, you may see the original “Kameido Umeyashiki” by Utagawa Hiroshige, an artwork that Vincent van Gough later homaged titled, “Flowering Plum Orchard”. Access to the Ota Memorial Museum of Art by public transport takes about 40 minutes from the hotel. The museum is open 6 days a week (with closure on Mondays), and is open between the hours of 10:30am to 5:30pm (last admission at 5:00pm).

The Sumida Hokusai Museum

Hokusai, best known for his woodblock print series, Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji, is perhaps one of the most renowned Japanese artists of all times. Located minutes from the Edo-Tokyo Museum and the Ryogoku station, the museum offers permanent exhibits as well as seasonal special exhibits as well. The permanent exhibit takes you through the history of Hokusai and his relationship to the Sumida neighborhood (where the museum is located). As you pass through the hall in a counter-clockwise direction, you will see the different eras of Hokusai’s art career displayed in high-definition replicas. The Sumida Hokusai Museum is about 40 minutes by train or bus from the hotel. The museum is open 6 days a week (with a closure on Monday), and is open between the hours of 9:30am to 5:30pm (last admission at 5:00pm).


While Hanasho is not a museum, and rather a store, what it sells is spectacular and has a long history dating back to the Edo period. Edo-kiriko is a traditional glassware originating in the late Edo period Japan. “Kiriko” means “faceted” in Japanese and these glasses showcase some of the most refined decorative designs on glassware. The Edo-kiriko is an art in itself where artisans with years of experience make the cuts into the glass freehand. These craftsmen are talking about precision levels of 0.1mm and anything beyond the margin of error is considered imperfect and not worthy of sales. Hanasho’s Edo-kiriko glasses have been given to foreign dignitaries like former President Obama as well as the heads of states in the 2014 G8 Summit. Hanasho also offers beginner classes (Japanese only) to all ages to try the art of Edo-kiriko, but if making it yourself is not your thing, you can visit one of the two stores Hanasho operates in Tokyo. Access to the Nihonbashi store is about 20 minutes by train from the hotel.


Edokomon-Daimatsu is a dye factory focused on preserving the Edokomon design but with a breath of fresh ideas like making Edokomon design wine glass markers. The Daimatsu store has been around since 1935, and has been passed down through three generations within the Nakajyo family line. While the facility is rather small, it has some of the only-one in the world tools and furnace that allows for the perfect coloration of the fabric with the Edokomon design. Edokomon-Daimatsu and its museum is about 40 minutes by train from the hotel, and is open Monday through Friday between 1:00pm and 5:00pm.