Discover a collection of artifacts and exhibits that trace the trajectory of human life in Japan and the wider world in this museum in Osaka’s landmark Expo ’70 Park.
The National Museum of Ethnology (Kokuritsu Minzoku-gaku Hakubutsukan or Minpaku for short) is a major museum in Osaka. Peruse magnificent collections of objects and artifacts that outline human history throughout the ages. You’ll see regional displays that highlight different places around the world, as well as fantastic audiovisual displays themed on music and linguistics. The architecturally striking institution joined a collection of notable landmarks in Banpaku-koen Park after the grounds were used to host the 1970 World Fair.
Admire the museum’s elegant architecture from the park. Make your way into the sleek foyer and begin your exploration of the spacious exhibition halls. The halls are divided into regional areas and focus on the daily lives and fascinating cultures of the world’s people. Browse displays of folk costumes, masks and tools, as well as exhibits that feature different architectural styles, watercraft and vehicles.
Examine the displays that explore music throughout different cultures and time periods. An immense range of musical instruments is displayed in this light-filled gallery. The exhibits are accompanied with audio recordings of the instruments in use, as well as videos and photographs.
Find further film and video recordings in the museum’s Videotheque booths. The museum’s library is one of the largest multi-lingual academic reference libraries in Japan. Save some time to check out the museum’s two special exhibition halls, which host new temporary exhibitions every spring and fall.
The museum has a shop that stocks a wide range of souvenirs and curios. Have a quick meal or a refreshing drink at the museum’s restaurant. Alternatively, pack a picnic to enjoy in the spacious grounds of Banpaku-koen Park.
The National Museum of Ethnology is located in the heart of the former Expo ’70 park and can be easily reached within 15 minutes’ walk from two Osaka Monorail stations. The museum is open daily, except for Wednesdays and the New Year’s period. Entry is inexpensive and discounts are available for students and children. While in the park, be sure to visit the Japanese Gardens and the Tower of the Sun sculpture.