Postal Museum Japan @ Tokyo Sky Tree

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Name: Postal Museum Japan

Kind: Museum

Location: Tokyo Sky Tree @ 35°42’36.40″ N 139°48’45.84″ E

Address: 1 Chome-1-2 Oshiage, Sumida City, Tokyo 131-8634, Japan

Our Rating: ⭑⭑⭑⭑☆

Worth it? Yes.

Last updated 6/27/2020

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Also see our full Tokyo Sky Tree Superguide + ONE @ Tokyo Hotel pages.

At Tokyo Sky Tree, there is an awesome Japanese postal museum – the Postal Museum Japan. Admission is about $6 and it’s well worth it.

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The museum is extremely well done + includes many artifacts going back as far as the late 1800’s. There are delivery vehicles, uniforms, advertisements, post boxes, and even the world’s only comprehensive collection of every stamp ever issued worldwide (the collection is so huge + valuable, you’re not allowed to photograph it).

To get there, take the Hanzomon Metro Subway line to Oshiagé/SKYTREE Station, go up through the TOKYO SKY TREE mezzanine station area, and then take the vast escalators up to the ground floor. Go to the 6th floor from the Tokyo Solomachi Bldg. entrance (there’s a side elevator in the lobby), take the elevator there, and then exit left to the Postal Museum. Tickets are at the front counter. There is also a huge Family Mart conbini (convenience story) on the lower escalator level.

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Hanzomon Line Map. Oshiagé/SKYTREE station is on the far right (east), Shibuya, the western terminus is on the far left (west). Notable stops include Kinshicho, Suitengumae, Otemachi, Omotosando, and the western terminus, Shibuya. Shibuya, Nagatcho, Otemachi stations are major interchange points for other lines (indicated by the colored circles above stations on the above map). At 5 of the stations you can change to the Ginza Line for Akihabara and Ginza stops.

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Head up out of the station to the TOKYO SKYTREE TOWN mezzanine, then hang a left here to get to the escalators up to the lobby. There are lots of stores and vending machines here. There is also a huge map. Note the color-coded Metro exit sign in yellow.

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The massive escalators from the station mezzanine area up to the Solamachi Bldg. lobby. A Family Mart conbini is straight ahead.

The massive escalators from the station mezzanine area up to the Solamachi Bldg. lobby. A Family Mart conbini is straight ahead. Note there are also a few coin lockers on the right where you can stash your stuff while @ Sky Tree if they are not all in use.

As a footnote, at the Tokyo Solamachi Bldg. there’s more to do: 2 long food court hallways, a massive food/gift floor, an aquarium, an info desk, a rooftop terrace outside Sky Tree itself, coffee shops, and various other attractions – and tickets to the Sky Tree’s 2 spectacular observatories (floors 350 + 450). Cost for the observatories is around $50 per adult as of 2019. Be sure to check out the glass floor in the 1st observatory – for a dizzying view of the ground 350 floors below:

Glass floor in 1st Tokyo Sky Tree observatory.

There’s a complete Tokyo Solamachi floor guide here.

You can also walk all the way around the Sky Tree/Solamachi complex on the sidewalks outside. On the north side of the complex is another subway line – the Tobu subway.

Within a block or two of Sky Tree are a Post Office, Life Supermarket, Mr. Donut, Sizzler restaurant, a MOS Burger, several conbini (convenience stores), and a great hotel called ONE @ Tokyo (about $100-$120/night). ONE @ Tokyo also has a limited small free bike parking rack for guests. Sky Tree also has one but it is very expensive – about $20/day – and it has a rolling shutter which closes @ midnight. There is also a small coin laundry on a side street near ONE @ Tokyo. ONE @ Tokyo also has a great rooftop patio and observation deck where you can get spectacular views of Sky Tree and the town of Oshiagé.

Also nearby on the Hanzomon Metro Subway Line is Sumiyoshi. The Hanzomon Line is interesting because it’s one of the most convenient lines in Tokyo – Oshiagé/SKYTREE is the eastern terminus of the line, but just a few minutes to the west and you’re at Tokyo Station which is a great area to explore + walk around in. The 2nd stop on the line from Sky Tree – Kinshicho – is also well worth a stop and look around. In fact you can walk from Sky Tree to Kinshicho to the south in about a 1/2 hour. Near Kinshicho is TOBU Hotel Levant – a Sky Tree Partner Hotel. There is all sorts of good shopping in Kinshicho – including 3 major depato (department stores) – OIOI (Marui), Termina, and PARCO/SEIYU. In the basement of OIOI there is an excellent Japan Meat stop with great midnight grocery sales, and there’s an inexpensive SEIYU in the basement of the PARCO, right next to the Metro exit. All of this is in Minshicho about 1.5 miles to the south of Sky Tree. If you’re a meat-eater you can bring back a good haul from Japan Meat or SIEYU and cook it up in your hotel room. You can even find a whole tin of Danish butter cookies at midnight SEIYU sales for 100¥ (around $1). Well worth a few miles walk.

There is also a very nice First Cabin capsule-style hotel near Suitengumae Station on the Hanzomon Line (Z10) just two more stops to the west. The staff is more than friendly and speaks English – and the place is spotless. It’s tucked back off a side residential street in a quiet neighboorhood, just next to the Sumida River – but worth a stay if you don’t want to stay at a more expensive hotel near Sky Tree.

Just next to the Life Supermarket outside Sky Tree is also another hotel – The Richmond Hotel.

The Museum

Once in the Solamachi/Sky Tree lobby, take the elevators to the 6th floor. There you can buy tickets @ the museum’s front desk for $6.

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Inside the museum. The world’s largest collection of postage stamps is at the far end.

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Late 1800’s postal advertisements.

The museum has all kinds of historical artifacts worth checking out:

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Delivery scooter from the 1960’s.

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Delivery worker uniforms spanning close to 200 years.

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Mailbox from early 1900’s.

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Early postal lanterns.

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Early post box from late 1800’s.

That’s it for now. Enjoy your trip to the Postal Museum Japan and Sky Tree. Plan to spend around 2-3 days total in the area as there’s lots to do. The lines for the observatories are generally a mob scene – especially on weekends, so plan accordingly. Expect lots of screaming kids on weekends.

LINKS

Postal Museum Japan

Google Map

Tokyo Sky Tree Superguide

Floor Guide @ Tokyo Sky Tree

Shops

Hanzomon Metro Subway Line

Oshiagé/SKYTREE Station

Tokyo Skytree Station

Access by trains

ONE @ Tokyo Hotel

Inside A Japanese Post Office (With a few donuts)

Tobacco and Salt Museum

TOBU Hotel Levant

First Cabin Suitengumae

Richmond Hotel

MOS Burger Japan

AEON Supermarkets

Mr. Donut Near Sky Tree

VIDS

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Hokusai Museum

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Name: Hokusai Museum

Kind: Museum

Location: 35°41’45.93″ N 139°48’01.54″ E

Address: 2-7-2 Kamezawa, Sumida ward, Tokyo 130-0014

Phone: 03-5777-8600

Site: hokusai-museum.jp

The Sumida Hokusai Museum in Ryogoku is an interesting little stop. There are various levels of admission – a small free gallery, and larges ones at $18 and $26.

To get there, take the JR Chuo-Sobu line to Ryogoku Station (JB21), exit north or west, and head west. You will pass the massive Edo-Tokyo Museum on your left, and a few blocks up on your left, in a small, non-descript aluminum-looking bldg. is the Hokusai Museum.

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Hokusai was Japan’s most famous painter who lived in the 16th century. He is best known for a ukiyo-e style of wood block painting, including his most famous work, 36 Views of Mt. Fuji. and Fine Wind, Clear Morning.

As a footnote, Ryogoku Station is one stop east of Kinshicho, another area worth checking out.

There’s lots to do in this area – known as Sumida. The Sumida River and walks are to the west, Tokyo Sky Tree is to the northeast, and there is also a Japanese Sword Museum 2 blocks to the northwest at the Former Yasuda Garden, which is free. There is also the massive Ryogoku Kokugikan sumo museum just south of the garden and just north of the station. Tokyo Sky Tree’s location was deliberately planned so that it would have spectacular views from this garden. One block northeast of that is Yokoamicho Park, also worth a look. During the Great Kantō earthquake of 1923, 44,000 people were killed in the park when it was swept by a firestorm. There is also a tiny park just behind the Hokusai Museum with spectacular views of Sky Tree.

The Edo-Tokyo Museum is a spectacular feat of engineering, and is not to be missed. Admission is reasonable at $18 and well worth it. The inside of the museum is a massive recreation of an Edo-period village including a massive wood bridge, traditional Japanese houses, and all sorts of exhibits. Be sure not to miss it while in the area.

2 blocks north of Edo-Tokyo Museum is a very nice, albeit somewhat expensive hotel, the Dai-ichi Hotel Ryogoku. A block north of that is another museum, the Great Kanto Earthquake Memorial Museum.

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There’s also a nice organic grocery right across the street from the Hokusai Museum.

There is also a seperate Hokusai Museum in Nagano, northwest of Tokyo, and a gallery at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Hokusai Museum, shown at the red marker on the right. Ryogoku Sta. is to the left. The sumo museum is the bldg. with the green roof just north of the station. The Sumida River is on the left.

LINKS

https://hokusai-museum.jp/

https://www.city.sumida.lg.jp

https://en.japantravel.com/tokyo/sumida-hokusai-museum/35523

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thirty-six_Views_of_Mount_Fuji

https://www.rome2rio.com/s/Tokyo-station/Ry%C5%8Dgoku-Eki

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_railway_stations_in_Japan

http://www.tokyo-park.or.jp/park/format/index087.html

http://www.tokyo-park.or.jp/#googtrans(en)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ch%C5%AB%C5%8D-S%C5%8Dbu_Line

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kei%C5%8D_Line

https://www.mfa.org/exhibitions/hokusai

http://greatkantoearthquake.com/index.html

VIDS

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KGxFp6Vg18

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JeTFqveZOGU

Okamura Chair Museum Akasaka

Name: Okamura Chair Museum

Kind: Museum

Location: 35°40’30.53″ N 139°44’19.80″ E

In Akasaka – just behind Japan’s central gov’t area, along Sotobori-Dori is a chair museum by the company Okamura. This company has made office chairs in Japan for decades as well as some of the car seats for early Honda and Toyota cars.

To get there turn south at the intersections of Aoyama-Dori and Sotobori-Dori in Akasaka, head past the large Bic Camera, then about 2.5 blocks south, and it will be on your left.

It’s shown here with a reverse view looking north – it’s on the right with the red sign, and Bic Camera is up on the left with the red sign on top.

To get there by Metro subway, exit at Tameike-Sanno station (Ginza Line 06 and Namboku Line 06), turn left, head one block south, turn right (north) onto Sotobori-Dori, then head north 2 blocks. It will be on your right. It’s only 3 blocks from the station.

It closes early though 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM most days. There’s a helpful information desk on the 2nd floor. Enter through the automatic sliding glass doors, and head up the stairs.

There’s a fair amount of other things to do in the area – across the street are the TBS HQ, a nice shopping arcade called Akasaka Sacas, and to the south Akasaka Intercity Air, as well as Toranomon Hills futher south on Sotobori Dori. If you go far enough south on Sotobori Dori, you will end up in Shimbashi near the Shimbashi JR station. Tokyo Metro Ginza Line 08 also stops there.

There is also a very cool small backstreet lined with shopping, restaurants, and hotels one street west of the Bic Camera building which you can enter at 35°40’39.74″N 139°44’10.63″E. Well worth a look.

Roppongi Hills and Ark Hills are just a few miles further west.

A massive Family Mart at 35°40’24.39″N, 139°44’19.62″E, and a Japan Post office right across the street from that.

First Cabin Akasaka is also close by (35°40’22.56″N, 139°44’15.66″E).

Sotobori-Dori west of central gov’t buildings shown above, to the south of the museum.

LINKS

All eyes on Akasaka

TBS

Akasaka Sacas

Akasaka Sacas @ tripadvisor

First Cabin Akasaka