With a long history as the cradle of Japanese culture, it’s little surprise that Kyushu has one of Japan’s most impressive history museums. What is surprising is the secluded location and the impressive architecture.

Photo by Gregory Lane

Designed by Japanese architect Kiyonori Kikutake (who also designed the spaceship-like Edo-Tokyo Museum), the museum has four floors, with the permanent exhibition on the fourth floor and temporary exhibitions on the third floor.

Kyushu National Museum Interior
Photo by Gregory Lane

The focus of the permanent exhibition is on cultural interchange between Japan and (mostly) neighboring countries. On display are scrolls, pottery, stone carvings and pictures from China, Korea and the Netherlands (with whom Japan traded with during the closed Edo period), among others.

A Mongolian anchor at the Kyushu National Museum
Photo by Gregory Lane

Admission and opening hours

Admission for the main exhibition is ¥400 for adults and ¥130 for university students. However, regular admission to the special exhibition varies; it was ¥1,600 when we visited. High school students and younger, as well as seniors over 70, get free admission to the main exhibition. To get a free or discounted entry, you need ID.

The museum is closed on Mondays except on days when a national holiday falls on Monday. In that case, the museum will be closed on Tuesday.

Getting to the museum

As mentioned previously, the museum can be accessed on foot from the grounds of Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine, which itself is a 10-minute walk from Dazaifu Station on the Nishitetsu Dazaifu Line. To get there from Fukuoka, take the Nishitetsu Tenjin Ōmuta Line from Nishitetsu Fukuoka (Tenjin) and change to the Daizaifu Line at Futsukaichi Station. The trip takes about 30 minutes and the fare is ¥400.

Other Fukuoka Attractions