12 Must-Visit History and Culture related Museums in Nagoya

Nagoya is full of museums and cultural events, which make the city a perfect destination for Japanese history buffs. Whether you’re already in Japan or still planning your next trip, we have picked some of the best history and culture museums in Nagoya, so you can add them to your bucket list.

Get to Know Japan’s History and Culture.

Museums are a great way to learn about local culture, history, and heritage. So prepare yourself to go back in time from the Warring States to modern Japan by visiting the following museums in Nagoya.

1. Tokugawa Art Museum

Tokugawa Art Museum
Entrance of the The Tokugawa Art Museum

The Tokugawa Art Museum has one of the best collections of Edo Period scrolls, art, and other artifacts of the Tokugawa Samurai clan.

Aside from the objects that have been passed down in the Owari Tokugawa clan, it is worth mentioning their exceptional scroll collection filled with exquisite traditional illustrations in ink. All the exhibitions are displayed with easy to understand, in-depth English explanations.

Also, right next to the museum you can find the Japanese garden, Tokugawaen. The garden offers beautiful views of the central pond, streams, and pathways and gives the weary traveler a place to relax. It is also a great place to take pictures of a traditional Japanese landscape garden.

We recommend taking a break at the Japanese cafe Sozansou and enjoying Matcha tea with traditional confectionery sweets.

*You can find detailed explanations in english.

NOTE: Check out the virtual site of the Tokugawa Art Museum. A great opportunity to dive into Japan’s history and forget the travel limitations for a while.

Tokugawa Art Museum (徳川美術館)
Entry Fee: Adult 1,400 yen, child 500 yen
Opening Hours: 10:00 – 17:00; close on Mondays
Address: 1017 Tokugawacho, Higashi Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 461-0023
Phone: (+81) 052-935-6262
Website | Google Maps

2. Nagoya City Museum

Nagoya City Museum
Entrance of the Nagoya City Museum

Nagoya City Museum’s collection includes archaeological artifacts, fine arts, crafts, documents, books, and folk objects including Samurai armors and weapons. “The History of Owari” is its permanent exhibition. This exhibition displays many objects that describe the history of the ancient Owari area, which encompases Nagoya and part of its surroundings. 

If you want to see everything displayed at the Nagoya City Museum you will need the whole day, but for a shorter visit, you can simply choose the exhibitions that most interest you.

*You can find few explanations in english depending on the exhibition.

Nagoya City Museum (名古屋市博物館)
Entry Fee: Adult 300 yen, child 200 yen
Opening Hours: 9:30 – 17:00; close on Mondays
Address: 1-27-1 Mizuhotori, Mizuho Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 467-0806
Phone: (+81) 052-853-2655
Website | Google Maps

3. The Showa Museum of Art Nagoya

The Showa Museum of Art Nagoya
Entrance of the Showa Museum of Art. Image via nagoya-info.jp

The Showa Museum of Art showcases a private collection that is mainly focused on the Tea Ceremony. You can find exquisite ceramic tea bowls and tools, ancient calligraphy scrolls, and fine Japanese lacquerware. These pieces are not only from Japan but also from China, Korea, and some other south-east Asian countries. 

This museum is worth seeing, especially if you are interested in the tea ceremony and want to deepen your knowledge.

If you would like to experience a tea ceremony in Nagoya, check out this post for more information about your options.

The Showa Museum of Art Nagoya (昭和美術館 )
Entry Fee: Adult 600 yen, child 500 yen
Opening Hours: 10:00 – 16:30; close Mondays
Address: 4-1 Shiomicho, Showa Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 466-0837
Phone: (+81) 052-832-5851
Website (Japanese only) | Google Maps

4. Furukawa Art Museum

Furukawa Art Museum
Entrance of the Furukawa Art Museum. Image via trip.com

The Furukawa Art Museum collection focusing on contemporary Japanese paintings, including oil paintings, ceramics, crafts, and 15th century illustrated manuscripts. 

The best part of visiting this museum is its traditional tea house called Sukiya Cafe. You can have Matcha green tea along with delicious seasonal Japanese sweets while enjoying the beautiful view of the Japanese garden.

Furukawa Art Museum (古川美術館)
Entry Fee: Adult 1,000 yen, child 500 yen
Opening Hours: 10:00 – 17:00; close on Mondays
Address: 2-50 Ikeshitacho, Chikusa Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 464-0066
Phone: (+81) 052-763-1991
Website (Japanese only) | Google Maps

5. Shidami Kofungun Experience Museum

Shidami Kofungun
A Kofun. Image via wikipedia

The Shidami Kofungun Experience Museum (nicknamed “Shidamu”) opened its doors in 2019.
It is a preserved archaeological park with 7 Kofun, megalithic tombs built during the Kofun period (4th – 7th century AD). These tombs were built as a burial site for the imperial family so worshippers of the period could visit and pray there.

During your visit to the museum, you can dress in Kofun period clothes. This activity is especially fun for families with young children.

There are also Haniwa (Kofun pottery) workshops. It is easy to make your own pottery and it will be a good memento of your trip to Nagoya.

*You can find few explanations in english.

Shidami Kofungun Experience Museum (体感! しだみ古墳群ミュージアム)
Entry Fee: free, except the exhibition hall 200 yen
Opening Hours: 9:00 – 17:00; close on Mondays
Address: Oaza Kamishidamiji Sakiyama 1367, Moriyama Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 463-0001
Phone: (+81) 527390520
Website (Japanese only) | Google Maps

6. Japanese Sword Collection Room Nagoya – Marunouchi (Touken Corporation)

Japanese Sword Collection Room
Samurai armors and Katana

The Touken Collection hosts several valuable Samurai artifacts such as armors, spears, halberds and matchlock guns, from the Kamakura Period (1185–1333) to the Edo Period (1603 – 1868). We recommend this museum for those who want to know more about Samurai and to see some real beautifully decorated battlegear.

Japanese Sword Collection Room Nagoya (刀剣コレクション 名古屋・丸の内)
Entry Fee: free
Opening Hours: 9:30 – 17:30; close Saturdays and Sundays
Address: Token Marunouchi Building 1F, 2-1-33 Marunouchi, Naka Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 460-0002
Phone: (+81) 052-232-8011
Website (Japanese only) | Google Maps

Nagoya’s Meiji and Taisho Era at a Glance.

Nagoya has a so-called cultural road that runs through the residential district that was once home to Nagoya’s rich and powerful. During the Meiji and Taisho era artists, merchants, bankers, writers, and the Toyoda family who founded the present-day Toyota Motor Corporation all lived in the area.

Today many of the beautiful residences have been turned into museums to visitors can experience the splendor of the recent past.

7. Cultural Path Shumokukan

Cultural Path Shumokukan
Entrance of the Cultural Path Shumokukan

Shumokukan was the former residence of Tamesaburo Imoto, a wealthy pottery and porcelain trader. Shumokukan, built in 1926, has a western-style building and Japanese-style building that includes a tea ceremony room and a very lovely Japanese garden.

Shumokukan houses temporary exhibitions from local artists and foreign residents.

Cultural Path Shumokukan (文化のみち 橦木館)
Entry Fee: Adult 200 yen, child free
Opening Hours: 10:00 – 17:00; close Mondays
Address: 2-18 Shumokucho, Higashi Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 461-0014
Phone: (+81) 052-939-2850
Website | Google Maps

8. Cultural Path Futaba Museum

Cultural Path Futaba Museum
Entrance of the Cultural Path Futaba Museum

Futaba Museum, designated as a registered Tangible Cultural Property, was the former residence of Japan’s first actress called Sadayakko Kawakami and the successful Japanese businessman Momosuke Fukuzawa. The house was relocated and restored and today houses documents related to Sadayakko Kawakami.

The architectural style of the house is from the Taisho Era (1912-26) to early Showa Era (1926–1989), inside you can find many personal items, such as stained glass in the Grand Hall on the first floor and furnishings of the time.

*You can find few explanations in english.

Cultural Path Futaba Museum (文化のみち 二葉館)
Entry Fee: Adult 200 yen, Children free
Opening Hours: 10:00 – 17:00; close Mondays
Address: 3-23 Shumokucho, Higashi Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 461-0014
Phone: (+81) 052-936-3836
Website | Google Maps

9. Cultural Path Hori Art Museum

Cultural Path Hori Art Museum
Entrance of the Cultural Path Hori Art Museum. Image via nagoya-info.jp

Hori Art Museum is a small museum that displays artworks that Makoto Hori, the founder of the Daitec Group, has collected over the years. The collection exhibits pieces from many Japanese artists that were influenced by the “School of Paris” during the early Showa era. 

The entry fee is a bit high, but it’s worth it for those who like paintings of this era.

Cultural Path Hori Art Museum (文化のみち 堀美術館)
Entry Fee: Adult 1,000 yen, child 500 yen
Opening Hours: 12:30 – 17:00; close Mondays
Address: 25 Akatsukacho, Higashi Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 461-0026
Phone: (+81) 052-933-5151
Website | Google Maps

Other places of interest on the Cultural Path include Nagoya City Hall, Nagoya City Archives, the Aichi Prefectural Building, the former residence of Sasuke Toyoda, Kenchuji Temple as well as the residence of Tetsujiro Haruta and the Nagoya Ceramics Hall.

Exploring the Most Delicious Local Food and Drink Culture.

From local specialties to unique treats, Nagoya’s love for its specialty foods will surprise you. Here are some of the most interesting food-related museums in and around Nagoya.

10. Mizukan Museum (Handa)

Mizukan Museum
Entrance of the Mizukan Museum

Rice Vinegar is an important ingredient in Japanese cuisine. In the Mizukan Museum, you can learn about the rich history of Japanese vinegar and Mizukan’s history as a vinegar manufacturer. There are many themed rooms and activities to learn about the process of making Japanese vinegar and how it is used in many Japanese foods such as Sushi.

At the end of the exhibition, there is a Sushi making workshop, and you can also buy a bottle of rice vinegar with your own label! 

*Advance reservations are required.
*You can find few explanations in english.

Mitsukan Museum (ミツカンミュージアム)
Entry Fee: Adult 300 yen; Children 200 yen; Children under 6 years 100 yen
Opening Hours: 9:30 – 17:00; close Thursdays
Address: 2-6 Nakamuracho, Handa, Aichi 475-0873
Phone: (+81) 0569-24-5111
Online Tour Bookings | Website | Google Maps

11. Kunizakari Sake Museum (Handa)

Kunizakari Sake Museum
Entrance of the Kunizakari Sake Museum

Along with Rice Vinegar, Handa city is one of the biggest producers and exporters of Sake (“Nihonshu” in Japanese) in Japan.

The museum is a 200-year-old building that was actually used by the Nakano Sake Brewery to produce Sake. The museum has exhibits on Sake history and its preparation process and tools, as well as the history of Handa.

This museum will be particularly interesting for Sake lovers since it includes a Sake tasting corner where visitors can sample different types of Sake and plum wine. Of course, there is also a shop where you can buy your favorite kind of Sake.

*You can find few explanations in english.

Kunizakari Sake Museum (國盛酒の文化館)
Entry Fee: free
Opening Hours: 10:00 – 16:00; close Thursdays
Address: 2-24 Higashihonmachi, Handa, Aichi 475-0878
Phone: (+81) 0569-23-1499
Website | Google Maps

12. Kakukyu Hatcho Miso Museum (Okazaki)

Kakukyu Hatcho Miso Museum
The entrance of the office of Kakukyu Hatcho Miso Museum

Miso is a unique Japanese seasoning with a history of more than 1300 years. It is obtained by a process of fermentation and ripening of rice, soy, and wheat. Every region in Japan has its own type of Miso and Nagoya’s Miso, a variety of red Miso called Hatcho Miso, is one of the most popular thanks to its deep flavor.

In the museum, you will see the manufacturing process and you can also see the tubs which are used to ferment the Miso for 2 years. These massive tubs that hold 5 tons of Miso, are quite impressive close-up. Of course, there’s also a tasting corner!  
*You can find few explanations in english.

Tours are held on weekdays from 10:00 to 17:00 every hour. On Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays you may reserve a guided tour in advance. The guided tour takes around 30 minutes. At the end of the tour, visitors are offered samples of Miso.

There is a souvenir shop filled with different varieties of Miso and other related products as well as a restaurant where you can try dishes made with Miso. For dessert, don’t forget to try the Hatcho Miso ice cream. It’s quite a hit among visitors!

You can taste the local red Miso and learn more about it on a Specialties of Nagoya Food Tour.

Specialties of Nagoya food tour

Kakukyu Hatcho Miso Museum (八丁味噌)
Entry Fee: free
Opening Hours: 9:00 – 17:00
Tour bookings: shop@hatcho-miso.co.jp
Address: Okandori-69 Hachijochoji, Okazaki, Aichi 444-0923
Phone: (+81) 056-421-0151
Website | Google Maps

If you like any of the listed museums, make sure to plan a visit for your next trip to Japan once the coronavirus outbreak is over!!

Did you enjoy this article?

Make sure to also check out our other posts about Nagoya and trust us if we say Nagoya is not boring!

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Which museum on the list is your favorite? If you have visited any museum on the list please share it and tag us on social media with #nagoyaisnotboring

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About the author

Web and Graphic designer based in Nagoya (Aichi Prefecture) for more than 15 years. She is very passionate and loves Japanese culture and history. She is a expert tour guide on Sumo, Sake and Japanese crafts. She is also a photographer, travel writer....and a travel-food-dance lover.

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