Intermediatheque – Tokyo, Japan - Atlas Obscura


An unexpected curiosity cabinet hidden within a department store in the Japan Post tower. 


In front of Tokyo Station stands a white, old-fashioned building. Right behind it is a tall glass-walled skyscraper. The two contrasting buildings are actually two parts of Japan Post (JP) Tower. First designed in 1931, the former post office building has been a landmark of the area since then. It was so popular that the developers decided to keep many parts of the building when they set out to build the more space-efficient high rise.

Intermediatheque spreads across the second and third floor of JP Tower. The entrance is hidden inside a the KITTE department store, just about the last place you’d expect to find a cabinet of curiosities full of natural history, science, and artistic treasures. The unexpected location of this wunderkammer is intentional, meant to kick off the sense of surprise and discovery you’ll feel once you step inside.

Intermediatheque is a small museum jointly run by the University of Tokyo and Japan Post, opened to showcase many curious specimens and antiquities accumulated by the university through the 19th century. It is an eclectic, almost random collection of curiosities. This permanent exhibition features various animal skeletons, from frogs to a giraffe, tons of taxidermy, a mummified Egyptian priest in a sarcophagus, mechanical and mathematical models, African musical instruments, globes, phonographs, and antique photography and camera equipment. 

There’s a smaller room for special exhibitions, called “Grey Cube,” which has a more modern, futuristic geometric design. In this room you’ll find random items related to Einstein, such as photos taken during his visit to Tokyo and an elevator that is thought to have been used by the scientist. 

Know Before You Go

1 minutes from Marunouchi Exit of Tokyo Station. Free entry.
Free lockers are available near the entrance on the second floor.
Photographs and videos are prohibited except in the designated area.

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