"Culture Day" is celebrating on November 3rd in Japan. During this day, many art galleries and museums across Japan open their doors for free, and it is also well known as a day that is typically sunny, meaning a lot of people go out. But, why is the 3rd of November culture day? When was this decision made and why? In this article, we are going to go into all of these details as well as introduce some places you can visit if you're ever in Japan during this public holiday!

What is Culture Day?

"Culture Day" was born in the year 1948 as a day where people would "Appreciate freedom and peace, and offer culture". This day was originally celebrated in 1852 as the emperor's birthday, however, today is it known as "Culture Day".

A Ceremony for People who have made Considerable Contributions to Culture is Held

"Culture Day" is a public holiday where one of Japan's medals is awarded, the "Order of Cultural Merit". This award is given to persons who have made considerable contributions to science and technology or arts among many more culture-related things, the medal is given by His Majesty the Emperor. There are many famous people that have received this medal in the world such as Yayoi Kusama or Issey Miyake.

Also, people who have made considerable contributions to the development or improvement of culture, they receive the honor which precedes the Order of Cultural Merit. The person who receives the Order of Cultural Merit is picked from people who have made outstanding cultural contributions.

An Unbelievable Phenomenon of "Culture Day always being Sunny"

Did you also know that the 3rd of November is known as a day that is "usually sunny"? It has been known to be one of the sunniest days in the entire year and is often known as the "Strangely Sunny" day in the media. You will usually see people going out or having events on this day across japan. But, will this year be sunny as well?

Enjoy Art Galleries & Museums for FREE on Culture Day

Lots of art galleries and museums open their doors for free on culture day because it is a day to "Appreciate freedom and peace, and offer culture". Let's introduce some places you can visit during culture day completely free of charge!


  • National Museum of Western Art(Ueno)
  • National Museum of Nature and Science, Tokyo(Ueno)
  • Tokyo National Museum(Ueno)
  • National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo(Takebashi)


  • The Museum of Modern Art, Kamakura & Hayama(Zushi)
  • Yokohama Museum of Art(Yokohama)


  • Musashi Kyuryo National Government Park

In the Kansai Region, there are even more establishments during "Kansai's Culture Day"

In Kansai, they have their own individual "Kansai's Culture Day". Events take place every year in November over the 8 prefectures Osaka, Kyoto, Hyogo, Nara, Wakayama, Shiga, Mie, Fukui, Tottori, and Tokushima. They offer a quick and easy way to learn about the culture and hope to increase the number of people who are fans of culture.

Places to Enjoy for FREE during Kansai's Culture Day

Many of the art galleries, museums, and archives become free to enter, however, depending on the facility, the date on which it becomes free may change, so we would recommend checking beforehand. Here are some that are popular with foreigners! 


  • Kyoto Railway Museum
  • Kyoto International Manga Museum


  • Expo '70 Commemorative Park
  • Cup Noodles Museum Osaka Ikeda


  • Himeji Castle


  • Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum


As well as many facilities becoming free to enter during Culture Day, there are also many art festivals that take place. If you plan to visit Japan during this period, don't miss the chance to visit some of the amazing places listed above!