(Osaka, Kansai, Southern-Central Honshu, Japan)
Osaka has a decent array of museums, focusing on both the historical and contemporary. Highlights include a couple of historical museums, which shed a fair light on the wars that have affected Japan over the years.
The ethnic offerings are also worth a visit in Osaka, offering comprehensive information on the people who have inhabited these islands over the past millennia. Something a little different is the city's Bicycle Museum Cycle Centre, where almost half of all the bicycles used in Japan are produced.
Osaka International Peace Centre
Address: 2-1 Osakajo, Chuo-ku, Osaka, Japan, JP
Tel: +81 06 6947 7208
In an effort to bring about global peace, this museum in Osaka Castle Park educates the populace by presenting the horrors of war from those who have survived it. Unlike most Japanese war memorials, this one does not try to sugar-coat the realities of Japan's role in many of these conflicts. The exhibitions within the Osaka International Peace Centre use photos, relics and personal accounts to present a sobering look at many different historical conflicts and atrocities.
Open hours: Tuesday to Sunday - 09:30 to 17:00
Address: 1-5-10 Kaigan-dori, Minato-ku, Osaka, Japan, JP
Tel: +81 06 6577 0001
This undeniably modern structure is located near the aquarium and was designed by the famous architect Tadao Ando. There is always an eclectic and interesting group of exhibitions at the Suntory Museum, which make use of the airy rooms and dramatic background of the ocean behind its massive glass walls. The 3-D IMAX theatre provides additional entertainment.
Open hours: Tuesday to Sunday - 10:30 to 19:30
Bicycle Museum Cycle Centre
Address: 165-6 Daisen-Nakamachi, Sakai, 590-0801, Japan, JP
Tel: +81 07 2243 3196
An important local attraction where a huge number of bicycles are produced each year, the Bicycle Museum Cycle Centre was founded in the early 1990s. With over 50 extremely noteworthy bicycles on exhibit at any on time, the museum explains how cycling has evolved over years, with examples of important designs and developments. The spacious Bicycle Park completes the main attractions.
Open hours: Tuesday to Sunday - 10:00 to 16:30
Address: 1-1-79 Tenma 1-chome, Kita-Ku, Osaka, 530-0043, Japan, JP
Tel: +81 06 6351 6150
Located in the Kita area of Osaka, the Mint Museum is maintained by the Japanese Ministry of Finance. Many thousands of exhibits are on display around the museums, including a range of historic coins, examples of the local currency, sporting medals, important documents and historical items. The production plant can be observed in full action from various vantage points, with a guide on hand to answer your questions and explain the different processes.
Open hours: Monday to Friday - 09:30 to 16:30
Open-Air Museum of Old Japanese Farmhouses
Address: 1-2 Hattori Ryokuchi, Toyonakashi, Osaka, Japan, JP
Tel: +81 06 6862 3137
A particularly unique museum and truly one of a kind, the Osaka Open-Air Museum of Old Japanese Farmhouses boasts 11 authentic Japanese country houses, which are displayed in all their glory. Various other structures have been transported here from around the country and are surrounded by landscaped gardens, where the autumnal shades are an added attraction in their own right. Your visit will be greatly enhanced by the English-language booklet, which is available upon request.
Open hours: April to October, daily - 10:00 to 17:00; November to March, Tuesday to Sunday - 10:00 to 16:00