Yushukan War Museum

A political controversy surrounds Yasukuni Shrine because since 1978, fourteen class A war criminals are among the 2.5 million people enshrined at Yasukuni. Furthermore, the visits by several Japanese prime ministers and cabinet members to the shrine since 1975 have been causing concerns regarding a violation of the principle of separation of church and state. Next to the shrine buildings stands the Yushukan, a museum that commemorates and documents Japan's wars from the perspective of the conservative right wing.

read more

Cup Noodle Museum

The Cup Noodle Museum is enormous, looking more like an art gallery than a temple to convenience food. Spread out over several floors, starting with over 3,000 (different) instant noodle packages, there is a recreation of the shed where Momofuku developed his ramen, his story presented beautifully (and the comparisons to an art gallery continue – it really is impressive). The highlight for me, was towards the end, where you have an opportunity (if you book it) to make your own instant ramen in the Chicken Ramen Factory.

read more

Takao Trick Art Museum

The Takao Trick Art Museum is a big maze of optical illusions, 3-D artwork and clever angles for photo taking to create the impression of fun, dangerous and impossible feats. Stand on the "X" on the floor with a pained look on your face, have your friend holding the camera stand in the designated spot over there, and suddenly it looks like a real whale is leaping out of the picture frame and onto your back. Stand on the glass floor that looks as if it covers a bottomless pit and try to figure out how the mirrors create that effect from a drop of only a few centimeters. The Trick Art Museum is as much about puzzling over the illusions as it is creating funny photos to share on Facebook.

read more

Meguro Parasite Museum

Why would you want to visit a parasite museum, let alone this one? Well, first of all, this is the only parasite museum in the world. So, if you’re going to visit one, it’s going to be this one. Second, you’re never going to be able to see things like this in person unless you’re the proud host of said parasites. Come here to enjoy giant tape worms, parasitic turtle heads, educational maps, and more! We spent maybe an hour or so here, but it was very educational and interesting. So, if you’re into science, or if you’re just into weird things, head on over to the Meguro Parasite Museum. Give them a donation, though, they need your yens to do all that parasite-related research upstairs!

read more