Yushukan
Military MuseumsHistory Museums
9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
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The area
Address
Neighbourhood: Yotsuya / Iidabashi
Yotsuya and Iidabashi are areas that developed around the outer moat of the Imperial palace. Nearby in Kagurazaka, there is an old red-light district with a photogenic feel evocative of the ambiance of old Tokyo. Narrow paths with stone paving remain to this day, and there are long-standing restaurants with geishas and quaint old cafes in townhouse buildings.
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.0
167 reviews
Excellent
61
Very good
67
Average
25
Poor
3
Terrible
11

Canucktraveler
Peterborough, Canada17 contributions
May 2023 • Family
My husband and son are interested in military history, so we decided to visit the Japan war museum (Yushukan) while on vacation in Tokyo. We should have figured out something was not right when we first entered the museum where a train locomotive used in the Thai-Burma Railway was displayed, and there was no mention of the thousands of forced labourers who died during its construction in its description. I also thought it was strange that there was a sign that stated, “no lecturing or explaining.” However, I figured out the reason for this sign as soon as we got to the area of the museum on Japan’s modern military history and WWII. It seems that Japan liberated Manchuria and Korea. The displays also stated that the reason Japan invaded and occupied countries in Southeast Asia is to become less reliant on resources from the West by seeking these resources from neighbouring countries. The Rape of Nanjing is labeled as the Nanking incidence, and the signage implied that the atrocities committed by the Japanese Imperial Army was the punishment of fleeing Chinese soldiers disguised as civilians. At this point, I became so upset that we left the museum.

Please do not go to this place as it may be construed as your support for these appalling viewpoints. Is this how Japan still thinks of its role in WWII?
Written 3 June 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Janus M
4 contributions
Jul 2020 • Couples
The positive thing is that it is quite beautiful, many objects and artefacts and indeed well displayed.

The negative is, that this is the kind of museum you see in dictatorships. The portray of Japan's troublesome past including genocide, murder of millions of innoct civilians and including almost praising war criminals are really worrysome.

This is exactly the kind of propaganda museums you find in fascist regimes.
It's a disgrace that a country like Japan has a museum like this and obviously a lot of Japanese buy into this museums narrative.

It's basically not a museum in fact.
Written 28 July 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Roberts69
Northampton, UK18,288 contributions
Nov 2019
Whilst visiting the 'Yasukuni Jinja' a visit to the "Yushukan Museum" is a must, espcially if you have any interest in military artifacts and history. As well as military artifacts through the ages, with the majority from W.W.2., there are many personal exhibits in the museum with 'Last Message' letters written home by servicemen that gave their lives for Country and Emperor. Some of the letters to family written by 'Kamikaze' pilots and also by dishonoured military commanders were very moving. As a lover of military hardware the displays of Japanese 'Zero' aircraft, tanks and Kaiten. The Model C56 Locomotive from the opening of the Thai-Burma Railway whilst very poignant, (as many people died under forced labour), was again very interesting to see. I note some people have complained about the museum in their reviews as they say the artifacts glorify war and loss at war and say that many truths of the war and in particular war crimes have been changed or omitted all together, but what I would say to that is that all nations are guilty of this in their own interpretations of military events and displays of war memorabilia. In summary I enjoyed the museum and found it very interesting. At 1,000 Yen for an Adult entry, 500 Yen for a University Student or 300 Yen for other school students it is well worth a visit. Highly Recommended.
Written 9 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

2017KimRoss
Perth, Australia37 contributions
May 2019
The museum has alot of interesting machinery and artifacts, and I appreciated the English information. It occupies a parallel universe where Japan is presented as a victim, forced into World War Two against its will. No mention is made of any atrocities or war crimes committed by the Japanese. A small part of the museum, apparently dedicated to some of the top Japanese military brass of the time, including some convicted war criminals, is off limits to foreigners. I cannot help but think they are presented as heroes, based on the fantasyland the rest of the museum weaves.

If you have any knowledge of WW2, you will quickly pick up this is not a historically accurate museum, but propaganda with a purpose.

Without wanting to excuse this injustice, there is plenty of information on the internet which fits into the same category, and countries that sweep difficult subjects under the carpet.
Written 28 December 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

wadla
Adelaide, Australia120 contributions
Dec 2019 • Solo
I found this museum very cool. Like some of the other reviews say some of the Japanese perspective of how and why they went to war was interesting just make sure you come here with an open mind. There was enough English info to keep me interested just don’t expect for all of the exhibits to have english
Written 16 December 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Luluzz
Auckland Region, New Zealand82 contributions
Sept 2019 • Couples
We spent a great few hours here. One of us loves war history and the other tolerates it but really appreciated the ink stamps you can make in most rooms :-P

Most of the exhibits, particularly the large pieces, were really impressive and obviously well preserved and maintained. Note you can photograph most of the big exhibits but not the small ones. The building is impressive and everything is presented well.

The museum has a bit of a reputation of being blasé or gung ho about Japan’s war history / war crimes. We only saw a little bit of this and generally found it an interesting perspective. We were aware before
we went that war crimes weren’t covered
much, but we didn’t feel that the museum “venerated” war criminals.

The only parts we found a bit icky were how the suicide planes and boats were just woven into everything else as if they were an ordinary part of war and history...the suicide weapons have always struck me as a unique, stand out aspect of history and should have been presented as such. Also, the firebombing of Tokyo was mentioned but kind of “in passing” - it seemed strange that not more coverage was given to the virtual destruction of the city we were standing in.

The main theme of the modern history sections is that Japan first was powerless to resist being drawn out of isolation, then had to struggle to be a great power to overcome unfair disadvantages. This seemed a bit of an oversimplification of a complex and multifaceted period of history.

The sections on the wars with China suffered a little from a lack of content on the Chinese leaders and military, almost like they weren’t worthy of discussion.

The discussion about the outbreak of war in China in the 1930s was a mixture of rationalising and explaining aggression, blaming the Chinese at times, and one or
two conspicuous admissions of Japanese warmongering.

There was interesting coverage of the decision to go to war with the Western Powers in 1941. It was far more balanced and nuanced than what Western museums portray, although it certainly pushed things in suggesting the Americans were being unreasonable negotiators.

The big exhibition hall where photos are
encouraged is a must-see.

Overall it’s a great place to visit for any history fan. And we recommend buying the special stamp book from the bookshop - it was very cheap and a great souvenir.
Written 28 October 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

iainmcleod
Mid Calder, UK3,659 contributions
Oct 2019 • Friends
Staggered museum with free initial display and 2 additional areas. So shop cafe display one for free and 1000 yen for access to the other 2 spots.
Written 18 October 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

igoremu
Nuremberg, Germany40 contributions
Oct 2019
The neighboring Yasukuni-jinja is pretty unassuming, but this place is the real deal. It presents an overview of the history of the Japanese military, from medieval times through World War II.
Factual truth or neutrality was obviously not a major concern for those that designed the exhibition. I imagine this is what it would be like if a Japanese WWII general were to explain the situation to you. War crimes are not mentioned and there is a very strong focus and glorification of the kamikaze attacks.
There are several fascinating exhibits that are well worth seeing if you are interested in these kinds of things, such as fighter planes and different kinds of suicide attack craft.

If you are interested in the military equipment exhibits, I can recommend going, otherwise I would avoid this place. This is just my personal opinion, but I do not feel that this place is a worthy way to remember those that died (or were forced to die) for Japan.
Written 17 October 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Barbarella83
Airport West, Australia104 contributions
Sept 2019
Very interesting exhibits relating to Japans military history, including interesting displays of armour, weapons etc dating back to the early samurais. The WWII section gave some interesting insight into the Japanese perspective on what occurred and why.
Written 27 September 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ewan A
Newburgh, UK187 contributions
Jul 2019
Visiting this Japanese war museum was a real insight into how the Japanese view the fate of their nation in the Second World War. The displays are fascinating and very interesting to look at, especially the aircraft and naval displays. Many of the storyboards are accurate and go into good details - some of them however are factually inaccurate and have been heavily revised from former times, which is a little disappointing. It does however provide the westerner with a glimpse of how Japan's views what happened during the outbreak of the war and then what happened to it during the closing stages of the war and it is very interesting to compare approaches. If you're interested in war history and good displays, this is definitely worth a visit.
Written 16 September 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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