Nezu Museum 根津美術館
The 7,000 works from the collection of Kaichiro Nezu are exhibited within an oasis of peace and greenery, a few minutes from Omotesando.
Nezu Museum Tokyo
The Nezu Museum is a cultural and scenic highlight of Tokyo's fashionable Aoyama district, combining sweeping modern architecture with elegant traditional landscaping. The Museum is at the end of the upmarket Omotesando boulevard.
The Nezu Museum collection is of pre-modern Japanese and East Asian art, acquired mainly by Kaichiro Nezu (1860-1940), president of the Tobu Railway, throughout his career, and housed in its current location by his son in 1940. Numerous private donations of works have since added to the collection's size.
The museum was completed in 2009 and designed by the renowned Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, famous for the Victoria & Albert Museum in Dundee, Scotland. The architect has created a natural wonder with large glass walls and a tiled ceiling. Like the Japanese master gardeners, he incorporates elements in distance, a technique called "Borrowed Scenery", based on the principle of not opposing the outside with the inside.
The two-story museum building has been rebuilt, and is a large, airy, atmospheric space where selections of the Museum's approximately 7,400 pieces can be enjoyed in periodically changing general exhibitions, and where special exhibitions are also held. The Museum collection covers many genres of art and craft created by ancient calligraphers, ceramicists, armor makers, metalworkers, textile makers, painters, lacquerware craftspersons, sculptors and others, and includes many archaeological artifacts.
Nezu was an aficionado of the tea ceremony, which uses arts and crafts as focal points, accounting for the breadth of his tastes.
All exhibits have descriptions and explanations in English.
The Nezu Museum has a pleasant cafe and a shop selling good quality souvenirs, books, and catalogs of past exhibitions.
The garden behind the Museum is every bit as memorable as the museum building. Occupying a small, beautifully landscaped valley, the garden's undulating paths are lined with ancient statues and monuments, mainly of stone, and take visitors around a pond, natural-like features such as a waterfall, and a picturesque tea house where tea ceremony-related exhibits can sometimes be seen. The garden - carefully restored after its wartime destruction - is a serene world, with its water features and wildlife, far removed from the contemporary consumerism of Omotesando, just minutes' walk away.
Address, timetable & access
6 Chome-5-1 Minamiaoyama, Minato City
Phone+81 (0)3 3400 2536
TimetableThe Nezu Museum is open from 10am to 5pm (last entry 4:30pm). Closed Mondays, the year-end/New Year period, and at certain periods between exhibitions.
Price1,100 yen for adults, 800 yen for senior high school age, free for under senior high school age.
Special exhibitions: 1,300 yen for adults, 1,000 yen for senior high school age, free for under senior high school age.