Suginami Animation Museum
Nishi-Ogikubo: Museum
Suginami Animation Museum: Nishi-Ogikubo
Nishi-Ogikubo / Museum
Open 10am-6pm (enter by 5:30). Closed Mondays.
Free admission; free audio guide
Average visit time: 20-40 minutes

Cartoon fans can learn about the history of Japanese animation, try their hand at using animation software and browse through a massive library of DVDs and comics at this free museum. The museum's attached theater boasts a 150-inch screen and surround sound. All displays are well captioned in English, and the free audio guide provides a good capsule tour of the collection.

The main exhibition space is dominated by a history wall illustrating the timeline of Japanese anime with images, toys, and videos played on period-appropriate TV sets. There are also recreations of the work desks of several famous animators, and hands-on displays of a zoetrope and other early pre-animation devices. Life-size statues of popular characters provide ample photo ops.

Upstairs is an area for temporary exhibitions. The four shows per year focus mostly on current anime productions, with original drawings, production materials, autographs of voice actors and large-size cutouts for visitors to take photos with. English-language explanations of each new show. can be found on your audio guide.

The museum's well-stocked library has several video stations where you can watch DVDs of your favorite anime. There seem to be a few hundred titles with English subtitles (or English dialog), as well as smaller collections in German, Czech, Italian, French, Thai and other languages. Video stations are limited to thirty minutes at a time when the museum is crowded.

Inspired by all this creativity, you may want to try out some animation software for yourself, which you can do in the museum's workshop. And if you want a souvenir of your visit, the compact museum shop offers a selection of plush toys, action toys, special-edition DVDs, calendars, Doraemon-themed towels and other goods.

Suginami-ku, Kamiogi 3-29-5.
15 minutes from Nishi-Ogikubo station (JR)
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