No one is too old to love teddy bears. What is it about a good cuddle with a teddy that gives you that magical sense of comfort? If you’re a teddy-loving fan, get transported into the world of soft toys at one of these five Japanese teddy museums!
The Izu Teddy Bear Museum is home to Teddy Girl, the most expensive antique teddy bear in the Guinness Book of World Records. Teddy Girl, a Steiff teddy bear made in 1904, was bought from an auction by Yoshihiro Sekiguchi (関口芳弘) for 171,600 USD (18 million JPY) in 1994. There are also other antique teddy bears on display that will give you an insight into the history of this beloved plush toy.
Don’t miss out on the special exhibition on the second floor which features My Neighbor Totoro (となりのトトロ)! You will recognize scenes from the movie cleverly set up and the cat bus, of course, remains a favorite among visitors.
The museum’s shop offers different teddy bear plush toys that you can take home with you as well as other souvenirs like cookies, tea cup and saucer sets, and tumblers. Right next to the shop is the tea room Teddy’s Garden where you can enjoy tea, coffee, and cakes.
The Izu Teddy Bear Museum is open from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm every day except Tuesdays. There is an admission fee of 1,080 JPY for adults, 860 JPY for junior high and high school students, and 640 JPY for elementary school students. The museum is a 10-minute walk from the Atami Station (熱海駅) on the Izu Kyuko Line (伊豆急行線).
The Hida Takayama Teddy Bear Eco Village is the world’s first environment-themed teddy bear museum. The building is a 180-year-old renovated gassho-zukuri (合掌造り) farmhouse where over 1,000 adorable bears from around the world are on display.
Stop by the Little Bear Cafe and try their menu that uses organic ingredients for a healthy selection of food such as salad, pizza, and vegetable bowls. They also have a variety of drinks to choose from, including tea and coffee. A teddy bear-shaped chocolate parfait is also available but might just be too cute to eat!
The museum is open from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm daily from April to December (up to 5:00 pm only in January and February) and closed on Wednesdays from January to March. The admission fee is 600 JPY for adults, 500 JPY for high school students, 400 JPY for junior high and elementary students, and free for pre-school and younger.
The Hida Takayama Teddy Bear Eco Village is within walking distance from the JR Takayama Station (高山駅).
The Tateshina Teddy Bear Museum is the world’s largest teddy bear museum occupying 3,200 square meters showcasing over 11,000 teddy bears! The exhibition area is divided into 18 sections with country themes. There is a Christmas-inspired area for Finland, fairy tale for Denmark, a royal wedding for the United Kingdom, and a Venice-inspired set for Italy, among many others! A visit to this museum feels like a trip around the world!
From April to October, the museum is open from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, and from November to March, it is open from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm. Admission fee is 1,400 JPY for adults, 800 JPY for elementary and junior high school students, 300 JPY for toddlers, and free for children under 3 years old. With advance reservation, they also offer a 10% discount on admission fee for groups of 15 people or more and 20% discount for groups of over 30. If you are celebrating your birthday on the day of your visit, you can enter the museum for free! All you have to do is inform the staff and provide proof of your date of birth before entering the museum.
The museum is a 50-minute bus ride from the Chino Station (茅野駅) on the Chuo Main Line (中央本線) of JR East. Get off at the Nishi Shirakabako (西白樺湖) bus stop and it’s just a 2-minute walk to the museum.
The collection at Nasu Teddy Bear Museum includes antique bears and artistic bears. Antique bears include a 1910 Steiff bear, 1940 Suhuco bear, and a 1940 Chad Valley bear. Rushmore bears, inspired by the statues of presidents in Mt. Rushmore, are part of the many artistic bears that are also on exhibit.
Similar to the Izu Teddy Bear Museum, the Nasu Teddy Bear Museum also has a Teddy’s Garden where you can enjoy sweets such as pudding, cakes, scones, and ice cream. Drop by the museum shop to get original goods that will make some nifty souvenirs for you and your friends.
The museum is open from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm. There is an admission fee of 1,080 JPY for adults, 860 JPY for junior high and high school students, and 640 JPY for elementary school students. Children younger than elementary school students and adults over 70 may enter the museum free of charge. The museum also offers a 100 JPY discount for groups of more than 10 people.
The Nasu Teddy Bear Museum is a 30-minute car ride from the Nasushiobara Station (那須塩原駅) operated by JR East.
Marvel at the scenic view surrounding the Yamanakako Teddy Bear World Museum which is located on a hill overlooking Mt. Fuji and Lake Yamanaka. Part of the museum’s collection is the Happy Teddy Bear by artist Judi Paul, a 2008 Golden Teddy Award nominee. Steiff, Cheeky, and Hermann bears are also on display at the museum.
See the cute teddy bear goods that you can purchase from the museum shop. They also have limited edition items such as the collaborative collectible figure from BE@RBRICK.
The museum is open from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm. Admission fee is 900 JPY for adults, 700 JPY for junior high and high school students, and 500 JPY for elementary school students.
The museum is a 5-minute walk from the Asahigaoka (旭ヶ丘) bus terminal.
These teddy bear museums are perfect for families and teddy bear lovers alike. Experience the love and happiness that each teddy bear brings by visiting any of these museums next time you are in Japan!