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Ad Museum Tokyo Reopens Following Renovations

President and CEO of Dentsu Inc. Toshihiro Yamamoto attends ribbon-cutting ceremony alongside museum director Toyoko Mori

Ad Museum Tokyo Reopens Following Renovations

After undergoing renovations, the Ad Museum Tokyo was reopened on December 1, 2017, to celebrate the 15th anniversary of its establishment. Situated in Tokyo’s Shiodome district, the museum houses a collection of about 300,000 advertising items and works. 

Before the reopening, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was conducted by the museum’s director, Toyoko Mori along with Toshihiro Yamamoto, president and CEO of Dentsu Inc. 

From left: Toyoko Mori, Toshihiro Yamamoto.  

The Ad Museum Tokyo is organised into three sections: a permanent exhibition space, a temporary exhibition space and a library. As part of the renovations, touchscreen monitors and other digital devices were installed in various spots of the museum to allow visitors to interactively search through the works and items in the collection. 

Permanent Exhibition

Based on the concept that 'advertising is a window into society and people', the permanent exhibition is composed of six periods spanning the Edo period (1603 to 1868) to the present. The exhibition space features hands-on displays of a wide range of advertising materials and works arranged in three areas: wall displays of Japan’s history of advertising, audio-visual booths 'Four Feelings' for watching commercials and various interactive display tables for exploring the collection. 

Learning: Japanese Advertising History: A window into society and people

The wall displays of Japan’s advertising history feature a huge archive of ads and related items that are representative of a wide range of places and times covered in country’s advertising. Beginning with illustrated flyers of Edo-era shops, which are now regarded as the origin of the modern leaflet in Japan, the items on display extend up to the latest ads created with technologies like virtual reality, augmented reality and artificial intelligence. 

Feeling: Audio Visual Booth “Four Feelings"

Presented here are commercials that have emotionally moved viewers across generations. Suspended from the ceiling, the audio visual booths are designed to stimulate universal human sensitivity and curiosity through commercials chosen to trigger four different kinds of reactions from users by being exciting, moving, thought-provoking, or surprising. The booths are also artistically designed to represent each of these four emotional states. 

Enjoying: Collection Table

The collection tables showcase digital and analogue images of advertising works from the museum’s collection. Using the digital touchscreen collection tables, visitors can browse through about 2,000 items currently in the collection. After choosing an advertisement, the user can access a wealth of information including the title, product, advertiser, media type, and year it was created. These categories are accompanied by links that can allow the user to access the entire campaign series, for example, as well as a series of other related works. Specific types of ads can also be searched using up to four keywords. For instance, the user can see all of the commercials and ads about cars on the display table just by entering 'car' as a keyword. 


Also on display are booklets of commercial storyboards that cannot ordinarily be viewed by people other than those in the advertising industry. 


The Ad Museum Tokyo Library is Japan’s only library dedicated to advertising communications. The library contains about 28,000 items, particularly books and magazines about advertising and marketing as well as advertising research articles published over the past 50 years. Here, one can also find books on subjects related to the various exhibits. 

Special Exhibition

The Ad Museum Tokyo conducts its own original special exhibitions designed to bring out communicative possibilities from unique perspectives. It launched the reopening with a special exhibition called “Where Ideas Come From,” which displays popular ads and convenient products along with explanations of the thinking processes behind the innovative ideas that led to those works. Specifically, it presents nine techniques for coming up with fresh ideas that involve attempts to stick to, stop, symbolise, scatter, compare, hide, replace, break, or increase elements. These exhibitions also present works that have received domestic and international awards and works that show creativity in a wide range of fields.

At the official reopening, the museum’s director, Toyoko Mori, welcomed guests with a speech, in which she noted that about two million people have visited the museum over the past 15 years, and expressed hope that many more would stop by this “playground of intellectual curiosity” in the future.

The Ad Museum Tokyo


Tuesday – Saturday 11:00 – 18:00

Closed on Sundays & Mondays

(In addition, temporary closure may take place)


Caretta Shiodome, 1-8-2 Higashi-shimbashi,

Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-7090

Tel: +81-3-6218-2500


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