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Photo By: Maureen Del Rosario
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Niigata Manga Animation Museum

Learn the secrets of manga creation.

The colorful world of manga (comic books) and anime has enticed millions of people to flock to Japan. However, many of them don’t know that Niigata Prefecture is home to so much of this creative energy.

In fact, numerous creators were born there. That most notably includes Yoshifumi Kondo, an animator at Studio Ghibli, Rumiko Takahashi, creator of Inuyasha and the Ranma ½ series, Nobuhiro Watsuki, who is known for Rurouni Kenshin, and Takeshi Obata, the creator of Death Note and Bakuman.

Luckily for anime lovers who are in the Tokyo area, Niigata is a cool side step to visit the Niigata Manga Animation Museum. Located in Bandai City (a shopping district in Niigata City), it was bulit in 2013 as a tribute and to share anime-and-manga culture to the world.

Niigata Manga Animation Museum

Photo by: Maureen Del Rosario The self-portrait of Hiromi Arakawa (Fullmetal Alchemist’s creator). She uses a cow as her symbol since she grew up on a dairy farm in Hokkaido.

It actually features tutorials and simulations that are just plain fun but should be especially interesting for those who want to pursue a career in animation or comics. Check out various illustrations and videos about the procedure of creating manga and anime, a booth where you can try voice acting, a mini theater for screening anime related to Niigata or the feature exhibition, and of course, a souvenir shop.

Plus, there are also fun games involving different manga and anime characters. Visitors can run with Lum, from the comic Urusei Yatsura (1978), in an interactive room or play with a touch-screen table that allows you to make the characters from Tensai Bakabon (1967) and Osomatsu-kun (1962) do different actions.

Niigata Manga Animation Museum

Photo by: Maureen Del Rosario Niigata Manga Museum’s Floor Map.

All of the attractions are in Japanese but there are English, French, Chinese, Korean, and Russian signage. The Niigata Manga Animation Museum doesn’t only celebrate renowned animators and comic book artists, but it’s also a place that supports and inspires the future generation of this industry.

In the area

Niigata is famous for its lush nihonshu (rice wine), often just called sake, made from its high-quality rice. If you head out to this location, be sure to check out the sake vending machine theme park called Ponshukan! It is a really unique feature and lets you taste test tons of sake and even buy some to take home.

Things To Know

Hours and fees

General admission fee is ¥200. During weekdays, it’s ¥100 for middle and high school students and ¥50 for elementary students. During the weekend and holidays, elementary and middle school students can enter for free. Special exhibitions have a different price. The museum open from 11 a.m to 7 p.m. On weekends and holidays, it opens from 10 a.m. The museum is closed in January 1 and when the exhibition is changing, so please check their site for an updated schedule. http://museum.nmam.jp/  (Japanese only)


For more info: http://museum.nmam.jp/ticket (Japanese only) or call 025-240-4311.

How To Get There


Japan, 〒950-0909 Niigata-ken, Niigata-shi, Chūō-ku, Yachiyo, 2 Chome−5−7 万代シテイBP2

By train

From Niigata station, take the Bandai exit and walk for 15 minutes. (Niigata station can be reached by bullet train from Tokyo, taking about 2 hours, 45 minutes.)

By bus

Take the Niigata Loop Bus, and get off at Bandai City Bus Center stop and then walk for 3 minutes.  

By car

Take the Hokuriku Expressway- Niigata Central IC (18 minutes) or use the Nihonkai Tohoku Expressway- Niigata Kameda IC (15 minutes). There is no free parking space, but there are several paid ones around the vicinity.

Where To Stay

Bandai Silver Hotel
  • 1-3-30 Kabushikigaishiya Shiruba-Hoteru, Niigata-shi Chuo-ku, Niigata, 950-8533 Japan
  • ¥7,100 - ¥27,900
  • 3.67/5 (2,891 reviews)
  • 0.3 km
Hotel Okura Niigata
  • 6-53 Kawabatacho, Niigata-shi Chuo-ku, Niigata, 951-8053 Japan
  • ¥7,830 - ¥52,200
  • 4.22/5 (3,181 reviews)
  • 0.5 km
Niigata Toei Hotel
  • 2-1-6 Benten, Niigata-shi Chuo-ku, Niigata, 950-0901 Japan
  • ¥4,700 - ¥6,000
  • 4.02/5 (2,965 reviews)
  • 0.5 km
APA Hotel & Resort Niigata Ekimae Odori
  • 5-1-1 Bandai, Niigata-shi Chuo-ku, Niigata, 950-0088 Japan
  • ¥6,600 - ¥38,700
  • 4.21/5 (977 reviews)
  • 0.5 km
Niigata Keihin Hotel
  • 1-3-15 Benten, Niigata-shi Chuo-ku, Niigata, 950-0901 Japan
  • ¥5,300 - ¥21,000
  • 3.94/5 (774 reviews)
  • 0.6 km

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