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5 best 'Natural History Museums' nearby Tokyo

— Discover the five Natural History Museums just north of Tokyo —

(Click on the images below to find out more)

①  Nikko Natural Science Museum

Japanese: 日光自然博物館

Take a stroll among Nikko’s 🐺furries and explore your love of 🏔wildlife!

Come visit the 🏞Natural Science Museum, a space dedicated to Nikko’s 🐸wildlife.

Step into the Seasonal Color Hall and soar past Nikko’s peaks on a gigantic panoramic screen as you watch the 🌄🍁seasons go by! Then, head upstairs and let yourself be 😌captivated by the 🎼sounds of the forest as you walk through a diorama of 🌲towering trees, tiptoeing past deer, and coming 😱face to face with a life-size 🐻bear.

Don’t forget to stop by the 🎁gift shop to pick up a furry of your own, and when you’re done, why not borrow one of the museum’s 🚲bicycles and ✨explore Nikko for yourself!  Take a stroll among Nikko’s 🐺 furries and explore your love of 🏔wildlife!

2480-1 Chugushi Nikko city, Tochigi Pref. 321-1661
[Open hours]
April to Early November
9:00~16:30
Early November to End of March
10:00-15:30

[Closed]
Closed on Mondays during November to May *When Monday is a national holiday museum is open on Monday and closed on Tuesday (next day). Closed from 29th Dec to 3rd Jan
[Adults] 510 yen
[Children] 260 yen

1 hour for the museum.

There is many things to see in Nikko so you should stay 1-2 days in the area.

JR Nikko Station & Tobu Nikko Station

[By train & bus]

From JR Nikko Sta. or Tobu Nikko Sta., take the Tobu bus towards Chuzenji Onsen or Yumoto Onsen and get off at Chuzenji Onsen bus stop. (45min)

Museum is in front of the bus stop.
+81-288-55-0880

This information was correct at the time of publishing, but please check with the attractions and/or the tourist board before traveling.

② Saitama Museum of Natural History

Japanese: 埼玉県立自然の博物館

Welcome Aboard

A Journey from 🌌 300-million-year Ago to the Present!

Have you ever 💭 wondered how the geology of the Earth has transformed? Ever been ❓curious about how the area north of Tokyo was millions of years ago? 🏛️ Saitama Museum of Natural History holds all the answers to these questions and more ✨!

No matter if you’re a local or a first-timer, Saitama Museum of Natural History offers you brand-new surprises and 🎁treasures to discover! Come and dive yourself into a world of prehistoric fossils, 🏞️ forest replications, and creatures!

The rare exhibit of Paleoparadoxia, a 🔮 mysterious Sea Monster from 15 million years ago, will definitely make the ❤️ highlight of your day!

Come and break the dimensions of time and 🔎 experience the 🌎 world!

1417-1 Nagatoro, Nagatoro Town, Nagatoro-Gun, Saitama Pref. 369-1305 Japan
[Open hours]
9:00~16:00

[Closed]
Monday
*Open on Mondays if it is a national holidays and during July and August.

Also Closed these dates
2nd-9th Sep
29th Dec- 3rd Jan
14th Jan- 10th Feb
[Adults] 200 yen
[Children] Free 

1 hour for the museum.

There is many things to see and do in Chichibu so you should stay 1-2 days in the area.

2 hours 15min

[From Shinjyuku or Tokyo]

Take the JR Takasaki Line to Kumagaya Station.

From Kumagaya Sta. change to the Chichibu Railway (Chichibu Honsen Line) towards Kagemori and get off at Kami-Nagatoro Sta. and walk 300m.

[From Ikebukuro]

Take the Tobu Tojo Line to Kami-Nagatoro Sta. and walk 300m.

*You may have to change trains

Kami-Nagatoro Station (Chichibu Honsen)

300m from the station (5 min walk)

+81-494-66-0404

This information was correct at the time of publishing, but please check with the attractions and/or the tourist board before traveling.

③ Ibaraki Nature Museum

Japanese: ミュージアムパーク茨城県自然博物館

😱 Did You Hear a ROAR?

Come Meet ✨Dinosaurs and Learn about Ibaraki’s Great Nature!🌿

From 😱realistic dinosaur displays to 🐦outdoor activities, the Ibaraki Nature Museum has it all!

Ibaraki Prefecture attracts tourists from all over the world because of its 🌿great nature, so why not learn more about the mechanism behind those ✨amazing views?

This museum is especially great for your kids and for curious grown-ups! They have English 🎧audio guidance for you to thoroughly enjoy their diverse 🔭exhibitions, aimed to deepen your understanding of the trajectory of our 🌍earth. They also have outdoor activities like 🔍fossil searching (you can rent shovels😍), as well as a 🍵restaurant and a nice museum store!

700 Osaki, Bando city, Ibaraki Pref. 306-0622

[Open hours]
9:30~16:30

[Closed]
Closed on Mondays
*When Monday is a national holiday museum is open on Monday and closed on Tuesday (the following day).

Also closed from 29th Dec to 1st Jan
[Adults] 540 yen
[Children] 100 yen

1 hour 45 min

There are several ways, but easiest is to take the Tsukuba Express from Akihabara Sta. in Tokyo.

Get off at Moriya Station (40min) and take the bus to Iwai and get off at Shizen Hakubutsukan Iriguchi (30min) and walk 700m.

Moriya Station (Tsukuba Express) or Atago Station (Tobu Railway)

20-30min bus ride from Moriya Station and Atago Station

+81-297-38-2000

This information was correct at the time of publishing, but please check with the attractions and/or the tourist board before traveling.

④ Gunma Museum of Natural History

Japanese: 群馬県立自然史博物館

Take a walk through a million years of Gunma’s history!

Take a 👀close look at Gunma’s unique 🌻🌳wildlife!

From the marshy lowlands to the forested mountains, you’ll be 😳amazed by the life-size dioramas.

Pose next to a furry family of 📸🐻bears, and 👣walk right up to a caveman. Is that a 🐺fox slinking through the bushes? And don’t miss the towering collection of real dinosaur fossils. You won’t believe their size❗️ Watch out for that wooly 🐘mammoth!

From the dawn of 🌏Earth to the modern day, there’s something for ✨😃everyone!

1674-1 Kamikuroiwa, Tomioka City, Gunma Pref. 370-2345 Japan

[Open hours]
9:00~16:30

[Closed]
Closed on Mondays
*When Monday is a national holiday museum is open on Monday and closed on Tuesday (the following day).

They are closed a couple of weeks a year for maintenance so please check their website or contact them in advance!
[Adults] 510 yen
[Children] Free 

2 hours for the museum.

Tomioka Silk Mill (A UNESCO world heritage) is nearby to spend a day visiting the area (Tomioka city).

Take the Jyoetsu Shinkansen or Hokuriku Shinkansen (Bullet train) to Takasaki Station. 

From Takasaki Station take the Jyoshin Dentetsu to Jyoshu Tomioka station and take a taxi (15 min).

Jyoshu Tomioka Station (Jyoshin Dentetsu Railway) or JR Isobe Station (Shinetsu Line)

15 min taxi ride from either stations.

+81-274-60-1200

This information was correct at the time of publishing, but please check with the attractions and/or the tourist board before traveling.

⑤ Tochigi Prefectural Museum

Japanese: 栃木県立博物館

History & Cultural Museums nearby Tokyo (TOCHIGI PREFECTURAL MUSEUM)

Tochigi’s past and 🐒present all in ✨one museum!

Get up-close to Nikko’s 🐰bunnies, 🐒monkeys and deer without having to climb a ⛰️mountain! You’ll feel like you’re in the heart of 🌲🌳nature next to these life-like 😍replicas!

But it’s not just today’s animals. This museum will take you 😃back in time! Look a T-rex right in the 👀eye as his friends soar overhead. And don’t miss the furry 😮doll mascot from ancient Japan❗️

When you’ve seen the museum, step right outside and take stroll through the lush Tochigi Central 🏞️Park.

The best part is, it’s a quick 🚅train ride from Tokyo❗️ So what are you waiting for?

2-2 Mutsumi-cho, Utsunomiya City, Tochigi Pref. 320-0865 Japan

[Open hours]9:00~16:30

[Closed]Closed on Mondays

*When Monday is a national holiday museum is open on Monday and closed on Tuesday (The following day).

*Closed 2 weeks in June and end of year and New Year so please check their website or call them before visiting.

[Adults] 260 yen
[Children] Free 

1.5 hours for the museum

Take the Tohoku Shinkansen or Yamagata Shinkansen to JR Utsunomiya Station.

Catch the No. 37 bus to ‘Chuoukoen Hakubutsukan Mae’ or the No. 43 bus to ‘Bunseigeijyutsu Daigaku Fuzoku Chukou’ bus stop and walk 5 min.

 

Tobu Utsunomiya Station or JR Utsunomiya Station

From JR Utsunomiya Sta. or Tobu Utsunomiya Sta.

Take the No. 37 bus to ‘Chuoukoen Hakubutsukan Mae’ or the No. 43 bus to ‘Bunseigeijyutsu Daigaku Fuzoku Chukou’ bus stop and walk 5 min.

*From Tobu Utsunomiya Station you need to walk to the ‘Tobu Ekimae’ Bus stop

+81-28-634-1311

This information was correct at the time of publishing, but please check with the attractions and/or the tourist board before traveling.

Map of the Natural History Museums near Tokyo

Not what you’re looking for?

How about  Hiking / Trecking, or going to see amazing Sakura cherry blossoms or Autumn leaves?

Or Cycling in the coutryside near Tokyo or relax in an Onsen?

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