Ever since falling head over heels for anime and manga, it has been one of my life’s goals to visit Japan. And while I can’t wait to do the whole Akihabara thing, one of the things I’m most excited about doing in Japan is visiting some of the amazing museums it has to offer.
While it will take the equivalent of a small mortgage and learning to speak Japanese before I can fully appreciate the art and culture of Japan, there’s no reason that I can’t experience a great deal of Asian and Japanese art and culture in the meantime—albeit a little closer to my home in the good ol’ US of A.
So whether you live on the East Coast, the West Coast, or somewhere in-between, here are the top eight US museums where you can get your fix of Japanese and Asian culture!
The Freer and Sackler Gallery
Freer and Sackler Gallery
1050 Independence Avenue Southwest
Washington D.C., DC 20439-0001
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The Freer and Sackler Gallery is the only museum I’ve visited on this list (so far), and I have one word for it: classy. As expected of the Smithsonian, they have done an amazing job with this museum. Everything from the collections to the architecture make this museum a gem.
While the museum focuses on Asian art and culture as a whole, they often have special exhibits that are from one particular country in Asia (such as Japan) and it’s always a real treat. They also frequently work with the JICC (Japan Information and Culture Center), a part of the Japanese Embassy, to put together film festivals and other events, most of which focus on Japanese film and media.
If you are ever in the DC area, this museum is a must visit; even if you can only pop in for an hour or so, you will not regret it.
Japanese American National Museum Continue reading