Love Manga? Here Are 4 Manga Museums in Japan That You Should Check Out

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  • Many travelers include museums in their trips as they are the perfect places for purposeful leisure. For people traveling to Japan who are interested in Japanese comics or manga, there are also several manga museums across the country that you can visit. In addition to finding current manga anywhere around Japan, these museums take you deeper into the culture and history of this art.

    1. Saitama City Manga Museum

    Considered the first manga museum in Japan, Saitama City Manga Museum’s purpose is to nurture and preserve manga culture. It was built in 1966, on the site of the residence of Kitazawa Rakuten, the Father of Modern-Day Japanese Manga.

    The museum has regular exhibits dedicated to the works of Kitazawa, and there are also special exhibits dedicated to other manga artists or mangaka such as Riyoko Ikeda (known for The Rose of Versailles) and Osamu Tezuka (known for Astroboy). The museum also has a manga reference room filled with an extensive collection of published manga. Access to the room is free and it is open on Sundays and holidays, which gives visitors the pleasure of reading all the manga they want.

    The museum is an easy 1 hour train rideaway from central Tokyo, so it could easily be a hall-day trip.
    Entrance to the museum is free and they are usually open from Tuesdays to Sundays, from 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM.

    Saitama City Manga Museum Website *Automatic translation available

    2. Suginami Animation Museum

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    Located in Suginami Ward, Tokyo, the Suginami Animation Museum is a place where visitors can have a fun and interactive way of learning about Japanese animation. Yes, it’s not exactly manga, but as any Japanese pop culture fan can tell you, anime is usually manga adaptations on screen.
    The museum features a chronological timetable of the history of Japanese animation. There is also a pillar where visitors can see drawings and autographs of famous mangaka artists.

    For the interactive aspect, visitors can use the displayed equipment to try and make anime and even experience dubbing! The museum is also tourist friendly, with audio guides and brochures available in multiple languages.

    Free admission.
    Closed on Mondays. Open on national holidays, but closed the day after the holiday.
    Working hours: 10am to 6pm (5:30pm last admission)

    Suginami Animation Museum Website

    3. Kyoto International Manga Museum

    Opened in December 2006, the Kyoto International Manga Museum aims to be a facility that promotes the research of manga culture all over the world. This does not only include Japanese manga but all types of comics from around the globe. With a basement and three floors filled with bookshelves of manga (around 300.000 manga volumes), it is no wonder this place is considered a mecca for manga lovers.

    Aside from their permanent manga collection, the museum also occasionally holds exhibits with various themes. Additionally, the museum has a section for children’s books and kamishibai or picture-story show. Kamishibai is a form of storytelling that is unique in Japan, where the storyteller performs with picture boards.

    The Kyoto Manga museum has an interactive side too. From manga reading corners all around the museum complex (the garden included), to booking special manga drawing workshops (must book in advance), this museum is open to exploration. You can also watch manga artists at work, as well as attend occasional lectures with famous authors.

    Admission: 800 yen for adults, 300 yen high school and junior high students, 100 yen for elementary school students.
    Closed on Wednesdays. Open on national holidays, but closed the day after the holiday.
    Working hours: 10am to 6pm (5:30pm last admission)

    Kyoto International Manga Museum Website

    4. Ishinomaki Mangattan Museum

    Located in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, the Ishinomaki Mangattan Museum is dedicated to the works of Ishinomori Shotaro. Ishinomori is well known for several manga series, including Kamen Rider and Cyborg 009. His works are considered as pioneers of the transforming ranger genre. The museum displays a collection of his comics and artworks. His other creations can also be found around Ishinomaki City.

    Much of the museum’s collection was destroyed during the 2011 tsunami, but the museum’s structure was sturdy enough to survive. The museum reopened on March 23, 2013, after intensive restoration work.

    Ishinomaki Mangattan Museum Website

    Visiting museums can be a great way to spend your time, and a win-win. Aside from enjoying yourself, you also gain knowledge. The manga museums in Japan aim to promote and educate people about manga culture, with the hope that future generations can continue to appreciate it and make it flourish. If you have the time, you should definitely visit these museums.

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