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Japanese American Museum of San Jose

Indoor $
History Museums, Cultural Museums, School Trip, Educational, Cultural, Historical
535 N 5th St, San Jose, CA
URL: Japanese American Museum of...  Phone: 408-294-3138

Activity Overview

The Japanese American Museum of San Jose is a fascinating museum in the heart of San Jose's Japantown neighborhood that is dedicated to educating the public about Japanese American history, art, and culture. It contains a wide array of exhibits that focus on topics such as immigration, the incarceration of Japanese Americans during WWII, and culture using historic photos, artifacts, and documents. It's an especially interesting attraction for families with older children who aren't very familiar with Japanese American history.

Things to Do

  • Explore the exhibit on the internment camps where over 100,000 people of Japanese descent, primarily Japanese American citizens, were detained during World War II. It features artifacts such as photographs and artwork from the camps.
  • View the exhibit on sports that have been popular in Japanese American communities over the decades, such as sumo, judo, kendo, and baseball.
  • Visit the barracks room, an accurate recreation of living quarters in an internment camp which is filled with artifacts from the camps such as handmade furniture and a wood-burning stove.

Japanese American Museum of San Jose Insider Tips

  • Parking is limited, so it may be easier to take public transportation to the museum. VTA bus lines 61 and 62 stop nearby, as well as the VTA light rail, which you can take to the Japantown/Ayer station.
  • If you have a student in the family, make sure they bring along an ID in order to enjoy discounted admission.
  • Consider taking a tour of Japantown, which is one of only three Japantowns in the United States, with a museum docent.

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