Japanese Sword Museum, Shinjuki, Japan
We returned to Shinjuku today and with good reason. We wanted to find the iconic Love Sculpture by Robert Indiana and also visit the Japanese sword museum. Locating the Love sculpture, as featured in the J-Drama 'Densha Otaku' was fun, not least because I hadn't really prepared our trip and had only a rough idea of its location, close to the Mitsui Building. However there are two Mitsui Buildings and we did a lot of walking before we found it. Still, we got some great pictures of the skyscrapers and various works of corporate art on the way. We then proceeded to the Japanese Sword Museum.
Located in a rather unassuming building in a residential area the sword museum can be hard to locate. My recommendation is to use a map and follow the raised express way. This was also our folly on a previous day out as a new branch of the express way was not on our map and we arrived past closing time (4:30pm). Beware that Tokyo is changing all the time.
The Sword Museum costs ¥525 to enter and taking photographs is strictly prohibited. The receptionist gave us some English information about the history of Japanese swords, although there is little English information about the exhibits themselves, bar a date and name of the Sword maker.
Consisting of a large room of swords in display cabinets and a few information panels the Japanese Sword Museum will not be for everyone. However just to see these wonderful pieces of art that are up to 800 hundred years old will be more than enough for many. The security guard, and I guess part-time guide was great, ushering us to look at the exhibits from the side to see how sharp the blades were while enthusiastically gesturing (and telling us in Japanese) that they could easily slice off an ear or cut your hair.
We returned to our hotel via Yoyogi park, Harajuku, then Takashita Street then taking the subway Harajuku Station. Quite a trek but worth it.