Located in a charming, quiet neighborhood in Shibuya, the Toguri Museum of Art is a must-visit for those interested in Asian ceramics - particularly old porcelain.
Toguri Museum of Art - image © Florentyna Leow
The Toguri Museum of Art is not the kind of place one stumbles across. Located in the quiet neighborhood of Shoto in Shibuya - about halfway to Yoyogi Park - it’s the kind of place you’d only find if you already knew about it. Still, it’s a real gem of a place if you have even the slightest vestige of interest in Asian ceramics.
As with most private museums, the Toguri Museum of Art is the result of one wealthy person’s obsessive collecting. In this case, the accolade goes to businessman Toru Toguri, who had a particular taste for porcelain. By 1987, he had in just under three decades amassed one of the largest and finest collections of old porcelain to be found anywhere in the world.
His 7000-piece strong collection includes Japanese, Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese pieces. The museum doesn’t have a habit of borrowing or lending out pieces from the collection, so you won’t ever see any of the pieces here displayed at other institutions. Art historians and ceramics connoisseurs will have a field day at the museum. However, even casual visitors will find much to learn and enjoy here, as the museum has recently begun conducting the occasional guided tour in English.
Another lovely initiative by the Toguri Art Museum: every fourth Monday at the museum is a designated ‘Free Talk’ day, when visitors are welcome to openly discuss the artworks without the need to keep their voices down.
There are usually only 100 pieces or so on display at any time, ensuring that each visit is likely to be quite different. However, ending each visit with a cup of green tea and a slow few minutes contemplating the garden is the one constant.
Toguri Museum of Art
1-11-3 Shoto, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 150-0046
10am-5pm (Saturday, Sunday, and Tuesday-Thursday, last entry 4:30pm)
10am-8pm (Friday, last entry 7:30pm)
Closed Monday or the following Tuesday when Monday is a national holiday
University and High School Students: 700
Junior high and elementary school students: 400
Train: 10-minute walk from the north exit of Shinsen Station on the Keio Inokashira line.
Official Website (English)
Where Is This Place Located?See this place on the Truly Tokyo Google map:
- Open the Tokyo map
- You will see the list of places on the left hand side. (Click the 3-line icon in the top left corner if not). Scroll down or use the map search (the magnifying glass icon) to find the place you want.
- Click the name of the place in the list. Its location pin will be highlighted on the map.
- Map pins are color coded - BLUE: Hotels / Ryokan / Guesthouses | VIOLET: Ryokan | PINK: Places to Eat | GREEN: Shops | YELLOW: Things to See and Do
- If you're using the map on your phone, open the map and then search for the name of the place. The map will then zoom in on its location.
Tokyo Vacation Checklist
- For all the essentials in a brief overview, see my First Time In Tokyo guide
- Check Tokyo accommodation availability and pricing on Booking.com – usually you can reserve a room with no upfront payment. Pay when you check out. Free cancellations too
- Need tips on where to stay? See my one page guide Where To Stay In Tokyo
- You can buy a Japan SIM card online for collection on arrival at Tokyo Narita or Haneda airports. Or rent an unlimited data pocket wifi router
- See my comprehensive Packing List For Japan
- Compare airline flight prices and timings for the best Japan flight deals.
- If you're visiting more than one city, save a ton of money with a Japan Rail Pass – here's why it's worth it
- A prepaid Suica card makes travelling around Tokyo much easier - here's how
- Get essential travel insurance for Tokyo – World Nomads is well-regarded (and here's why)