Yokohama Doll Museum
Yokohama Motomachi: Museum
Yokohama Doll Museum: Yokohama Motomachi
Yokohama Motomachi / Museum
Open 9:30am-4:30pm (last entry). Closed Mondays.
Admission Y400 for permanent collection; additional fee for special exhibits, which varies by exhibit
Average visit time: 30-90 minutes

This specialized museum houses thousands and thousands of dolls. The collection starts off with a huge display of traditional dolls and human figures from more than 100 countries around the world. Japan is represented by numerous styles such as Hina dolls for Girl's Day celebrations, daruma good-luck amulets, and kokeshi dolls with distinctive cylindrical bodies.

Other exhibits focus on specific doll-related areas. You can follow the history of American doll fads, including Barbie, Cabbage Patch, and many more. Dollhouses with varying degrees of intricacy are displayed alongside collections of miniature household items to furnish them. Animal figures range from realistic farm animals to teddy bears and similar toys.

If you enjoy discovering 19th-century European dolls with eerie facial expressions to startle your friends, there are a fair number scattered among the exhibits here, so happy hunting.

In addition to showing off its permanent collection the museum puts on fairly substantial special shows running a few months each. These cover a wider scope than you might expect, ranging from historical overviews to shows of contemporary art built around specific themes. Check the museum website for details.

The lovely modern building housing the museum was designed by Sakakura Associates and completed in 1986. There is a large museum shop at street level, plus a museum cafe operated by a Seattle-based coffeehouse.

Naka-ku, Yokohama, Yamashitacho 18.
3 minutes from Motomachi-Chukagai Station (Minato-Mirai line)
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