Museums Off the Beaten Path

Japan is home to a number of world-class museums listed in every guide book. But the country’s less-known facilities, dedicated to everything from the horseshoe crab to traditional Japanese toys, noodles, robots, and even parasites, are also well worth a visit. These articles, exploring some of Japan’s more obscure and unusual museums, are for both Japan-based readers and anyone planning a trip to Japan!

A North Korean Spy Ship in Yokohama: The Japan Coast Guard MuseumJulian Ryall

The Japan Coast Guard museum displays the day-to-day operations of the JCG, although the incident it was opened to showcase—the sinking of a North Korean espionage boat—resembles a spy thriller more than real life.

Money Through the Ages: A Walk Through Japan’s Currency MuseumJulian Ryall

Money—always a popular subject—is front and center at the Currency Museum, a Bank of Japan facility located near Tokyo Station. Here historically important currency samples from Japan and across East Asia are on display, along with every paper note ever issued by the Bank of Japan. Get your hands on some money with this museum’s interactive displays!

Parasites on Parade: A Tokyo Museum Showcases Our Repulsive CompanionsJulian Ryall

The Meguro Parasitological Museum is a Tokyo institution focused on the science of parasites. It’s the place to go to learn about tiny skin-dwelling organisms, 9-meter tapeworms, and everything in between.

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