Extinct Media Museum
Otemachi: Museum
Extinct Media Museum: Otemachi
Otemachi / Museum
Open 11am-7pm. Closed weekends.
Admission Y1,000
Average visit time: 20-40 minutes
Reserve in advance if you want an English-language tour.

This charming hands-on museum is jam-packed with now-obsolete gadgetry that once represented the cutting edge of technology and industrial design. Hand-cranked movie cameras, pre-war film cameras, manual typewriters and early-model laptops are among the highlights of the collection, which covers the decades from the 1930s to 2005. There's also a wide range of "extinct media" including discontinued film and magnetic tape formats.

Unlike most historical museums, here you're allowed to pick up and (carefully) handle the exhibits, and of course you can take all the photos you want. A detailed timeline of technological advances, from the purely mechanical to ever-more-sophisticated electronics, is laid out on one wall. There is ample signage in both English and Japanese.

We were lucky enough to visit on a day when the museum director, Takuya Kawai, was present, and he gave us a detailed 15-minute tour of the exhibits in English, showing off some ancient movie cameras, typewriters, and a professional video editing controller. (Ordinarily you need to make an appointment through the museum website for the tour, which is highly recommended.)

Museum T-shirts and tote bags are for sale in the tiny "museum shop" corner. If your interests run more towards obsolete audio technology, there is a sister museum in Koenji that specializes in defunct music players and cassette tapes - check the website for details.

Chiyoda-ku, Uchi-Kanda 2-3-6.
4 minutes from Kanda Station (JR and Ginza lines)
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