- Tokyo National Museum: Even professed museum-phobes should make a point of visiting the largest museum of Japanese art in the world, where you can see everything from samurai armor and lacquerware to kimono and woodblock prints. If you visit only one museum in Tokyo, this should be it.
- Edo-Tokyo Museum: Housed in a high-tech modern building, this ambitious museum chronicles the fascinating and somewhat tumultuous history of Tokyo (known as Edo during the Feudal Period), with models, replicas, artifacts, and dioramas. Guided tours in English are available for free.
- Mori Art Museum: Tokyo's highest museum, on the 53rd floor of Mori Tower in Roppongi Hills, offers fantastic views of Tokyo along with innovative shows of emerging and established artists from around the world. And it's open late most nights, too, making it my top pick for a romantic cultural experience.
- Open-Air Folk House Museum: It's in the neighboring town of Kawasaki, but the 30-minute train ride to this "village" of 34 traditional houses and historic buildings in a beautiful wooded setting makes for a lovely, educational outing. And the photographs you'll get of thatched farmhouses and other architectural gems will make you feel you've left Tokyo — not to mention the 21st century — far behind.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.