Osaka regards its history and culture with as much pride as it does its culinary prowess and cosmopolitan appeal. Visiting Osaka's museums contextualizes the city's important role in regional and national history. The top museums in Osaka invite and encourage visitors to explore the city's culture, past and present.
Museum of Oriental Ceramics
The Museum of Oriental Ceramics displays nearly 3,000 works of art from China and Korea, many of which have been designated as national treasures. The museum was founded in 1982 near the verdant Nakanoshima Park. Some of the most popular exhibits are the Ataka Collection of Chinese and Korean ceramics and the Rhee Byung-Chang Collection of Korean ceramics. The ceramics harken back to a deep tradition in East Asia that still lives on today. For that reason, this museum attracts large crowds and is one of Osaka’s very best.
The Museum of Oriental Ceramics is near the Naniwabashi Station on the Keihan Railway in Osaka. The entrance fee is 500yen ($5USD), and there are student discounts.
Osaka Museum of Housing and Living
Meander the streets of Osaka during the 1800s in the Osaka Museum of Housing and Living. This innovative museum brings history into the present with re-created buildings and streets from Osaka’s past. The life-sized model of Osaka during the Edo Period is the only one of its kind in Japan. Designed to be a realistic representation, it includes drug stores, a neighborhood, and even a bath house. Along with being transported to another time, visitors learn about Osaka’s development and how life has changed throughout the centuries through interactive exhibits.
The Museum is off of exit 3 of the Tenjinbashisuji-rokuchome subway station in Osaka. Admission is 600yen ($6USD).
National Museum of Art, Osaka
The building that houses the National Museum of Art (NMAO) is a work of modern art itself. The unique architecture symbolizes the growth patterns and strength of bamboo. All of the museum’s exhibitions are underground with the ground floor serving only as an entrance. The museum prides itself on collecting top-notch post-war era contemporary art from around Japan and the world. In 2007 the NMAO moved locations and now resides on scenic Nakanoshima Island, less than a five-minute walk from Higobashi Station on the Yotsubashi Subway line in central Osaka. Admission is 420yen ($4USD).