Charles M. Schulz’s Peanuts is a comic strip loved the world over. The stories of good ol’ Charlie Brown and his friends bridge the entertainment gap between children and adults through timeless art, heartfelt narratives, and deep philosophical and sociological overtones—not to mention a really cool dog named Snoopy. In Japan, the Peanuts gang is just as popular, but Chuck’s mischievous beagle is king.
In 2016, the world’s very first Snoopy Museum opened in Roppongi. As a satellite museum of the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center in Santa Rosa, California, it featured all kinds of rare memorabilia and art showcasing the history and cultural impact of Snoopy and Peanuts. Although popular, it was never planned as a permanent installation in Roppongi, and thus closed in 2018. Fortunately, Snoopy wasn’t ready to roll over just yet.
In December 2019, the Snoopy Museum reopened at the edge of Tokyo in Machida. Although considered a bedroom community, the relatively suburban location allows the new museum to be twice as big as its predecessor. That’s a good thing too because you need all the room you can get to contain a personality such as Joe Cool. The new building is located inside of the recently renovated Grandberry Park—a large shopping center stacked with shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues such as arcades and an IMAX 4DX cinema. It’s really easy to get distracted while on your way to the museum, but just follow the Snoopy statues, and you won’t miss it.
What’s inside? A Snoopy Museum overview
The Snoopy Museum is a contemporary three-floor building surrounded by the beautiful greenery of Tsuruma Park. Once ushered inside, you are greeted with a short but delightful projected animation that features Snoopy, Charlie Brown, and all of the Peanuts gang welcoming you to the gallery. Although adorable whether you grew up with these characters or not, it is a wonderful blast of nostalgia if you did and puts you right into the shoes of a kid again.
From there, guests move to the “Charles Schultz Room” and hear from the man himself through rare recordings and interviews as he details the creation process, his inspirations, and his connection with the characters. Although passable as just a story for children about a boy and his dog, Schultz engrained themes such as faith, race existentialism, and feminism into Peanuts. It’s a real treat to see the amount of love and care that went into something many of us grew up with and learned from.
The “Peanuts Room” features vintage goods, incredible 3D art, and character trivia. Cameras are allowed in this room. The main attraction in terms of most “instable,” however, belongs to the “Snoopy Room.” This newly added gallery features several large Snoopy statues in various poses that you can imitate. And I do mean large. The main attraction is an eight-meter-long Snoopy sleeping on Linus’ blanket. It would send Falkor, the Luck Dragon from The Never Ending Story, crying back to Fantastica.
The museum also showcases priceless original drawings that are on loan from the Schultz Museum. This special exhibition is planned to rotate every six months. Until June 28, 2020, the first exhibition is “Here Comes The Beagle Scouts.” It features “Captain Snoopy” and his faithful companion Woodstock hiking, camping, and surviving in the wilderness. Speaking of Woodstock, the little yellow bird has an entire room dedicated to her where children can rest, read Peanuts, and watch Snoopy movies projected on the wall.
Another change from the Snoopy Museum is that it now features a permanent workshop room. There are several programs throughout the year that children and parents can sign up for, such as designing toys and tote bags and baking Snoopy-themed cookies and sweets.
We cannot stress enough how quickly these workshops sell out. If you want to sign up for a workshop, you must do so through a link on the museum’s official website that takes you to Pass Market, so you will need a Yahoo Japan ID to apply. You will have to sign up far in advance, but workshop tickets also include admission into the museum.
Also, keep in mind the workshops will more than likely be entirely in Japanese.
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Of course, you can’t leave any museum without strolling through its gift shop first. “Brown’s Store” is packed full of original Snoopy and Peanuts goods—many of which can only be found in the museum. However, as to be expected, there isn’t anything you could consider “cheapo” here. If you are on a budget though and are craving a piece of merch, there are postcards, pens, stationery, wash towels, sweets, and other miscellaneous goods for under ¥1,000. Expect to pay up to ¥3,800 for a t-shirt and ¥15,000 for Schroeder’s tiny piano.
Lastly, if you are looking to top off your day at the Snoopy Museum, then you’ll want to stop by the official Peanuts Cafe next door. Normally, themed cafes and restaurants serve average dishes at best, just with jacked up priced and shaped like Mickey Mouse, but the Peanuts Cafe is surprisingly really good. For example, “Woodstock’s nest” for around ¥1,000 is just a pile of fries and mini corn dogs, but we’d be lying if we said it wasn’t the best pile of fries and corn dogs we have ever eaten. Suffice to say, it’s expensive, but you could do a lot worse.
The atmosphere is cute but modern, and the food is stellar. Also, shout out to the best root beer you can find in Japan.
Admission and access to the Snoopy Museum
The Snoopy Museum is just a short four-minute walk from the Den-en-toshi Line’s Minami-Machida Grandberry Park Station (follow the Snoopys). You can also access Minami-Machida Grandberry Park Station from Narita and Haneda airports via an airport shuttle bus.
Snoopy Museum admission prices – same day or on-site tickets:
- ¥2,000 for adults and university students
- ¥1,000 for junior and senior high school students
- ¥600 for children aged four or older and elementary school students
- Free for children under four
Advance tickets are also available up to a day before your visit via the official site for ¥200 less, but only if you book through the Japanese site. If you book through the English site, a transaction fee will be added, so you’ll only be saving a grand total of ¥20. Still, we highly recommend you opt for advanced tickets. Not only will you save a bit of money, but people go absolutely gaga for Snoopy, so tickets for the entire day can sell out quickly—especially on weekends and holidays. Moreover, on-site ticket sales start 30 minutes to an hour before each time slot. Save yourself some heartache and plan ahead. After you purchase advance tickets, you can pick them up at any FamilyMart or 7-Eleven.
Admission into the Snoopy Museum is from 10 am to 8 pm, with the last admission at 7:30 pm. Although insanely popular for the time being, it’s open every day (except February 18 and August 18, 2020), so you have a lot of time to plan a visit.