Cool Japan exhibit at Museum Volkenkunde (part 1)

Two weeks ago, I visited the Cool Japan exhibit at the Museum Volkenkunde in Leiden. I grew up reading manga and watching anime, so it was a great opportunity for me to get nostalgic about my childhood heroes and feel like a kid again.

Cool Japan exhibit museum volkenkunde entrance Uki-Uki painting by Matsuura Hiroyuki

Before you can enter the exhibit areas, you need to put your coat and bags in the lockers in the basement first. You have to insert a €1 coin for the locker, but you get it back, when you return to open the locker. You are allowed to take pictures in the museum, so don't forget to take your mobile phone or camera with you, while you walk around.    

The Cool Japan exhibit is located in the temporary exhibit halls on the ground floor. Right at the entrance, there is a large red spinning wheel with in the center a black kimono with manga print, surrounded with a variety of figurines. In the background, there is a large screen on which animations is projected on. There was so much going on (sounds, flashing images on the screen, changing, colored spotlights, and spinning objects) and there were so many figurines for me to gawk at that I forgot to take a picture of the large (4m high!) Uki-Uki painting by Matsuura Hiroyuki. It is located on the farther left and a glimpse of it could already be seen on the arrow plate next to the door (see first picture).   
 Cool Japan exhibit museum volkenkunde kimono spinning wheel figurines

If you are going with friends who know as much as you about Japanese animation characters, you can play a game finding out who can name the most characters. I was surprised by how many I recognized. 

Cool Japan exhibit museum volkenkunde figurines robots
 Astro boy, 8 kamen rider? figurines, pirate boat from One piece, and in the very back of the picture: Goku and Piccolo from Dragon ball, and Godzilla. 

Cool Japan exhibit museum volkenkunde hello kitty zelda naruto pikachu
 Zelda, Pikachu from Pokemon, robot from Transformers?, Naruto, and Hello Kitty. On the right of Hello Kitty, there were also some figurines that looked like from The rose of Versailles.

Cool Japan exhibit museum volkenkunde mario figurine
 Mario from Nintendo

Cool Japan exhibit museum volkenkunde My neighbor Totoro from studio Ghibli
 My neighbor Totoro from studio Ghibli

You can just walk around and admire everything in your own pace (there is no clear walking route), but you can also play the quiz. Ten interactive video screens are scattered throughout the exhibit halls and when you insert and scan the bar code of your museum ticket, you can keep score of how many questions you answered already and how many points you earned by answering correctly. Right at the start, you can choose the beginners route or the difficult route, and as a total veteran, I had to take the difficult route. When you are done, you can go pick up a small present at the counter, where you bought the museum tickets. It is nothing special, but still a fun souvenir that reminds you of a cool day at the museum. 

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Part 1 - Cool Japan exhibit

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