Tokyo National Museum 東京国立博物館

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  • Located inside Ueno Park, Tokyo National Museum is one of the largest art museums in the world with an extensive collection of Asian arts with the focus on Japan.

    antique samurai gear - Tokyo National Museum Guide | www.justonecookbook.com

    Tokyo National Museum 東京国立博物館

    Japan has four national museums and Tokyo National Museum is the oldest and houses the largest collection of art (the rest of the national museums are in Nara, Kyoto, and Daizafu).  It’s ranked 6th in the world based gallery space and holds an impressive collection of Japanese National Treasures and items of significant cultural importance.

    Google Map Tokyo National Museum
    Click to enlarge map.

    Tokyo National Museum - the Museum Shop - Tokyo National Museum Guide | www.justonecookbook.com

    There are more than six buildings that makeup Tokyo National Museum, including Toyokan (東洋館), Honkan (本館), and Hyokeikan (表慶館).  As the museum is quite large we only had time to go through Honkan during our visit.  If you plan on visiting all the buildings then give yourself at least a day to enjoy the amazing collections of art and history.

    map of Tokyo National Museum - Tokyo National Museum Guide | www.justonecookbook.com
    Buildings that makeup Tokyo National Museum

    Just One Cookbook child in front of Tokyo National Museum - Tokyo National Museum Guide | www.justonecookbook.com

    The Gallery of Horyuji Treasures - Tokyo National Museum Guide | www.justonecookbook.com
    Hyokeikan表慶館
    Tokyo National Museum Toyokan - Tokyo National Museum Guide | www.justonecookbook.com
    Toyokan東洋館 (Asian Gallery)
    Tokyo National Museum Guide | www.justonecookbook.com
    Honkan本館

    Tokyo National Museum Honkan 

    The Honkan (main gallery) is also known as the Japanese Gallery.  It is spread over 2 floors with 10 large rooms on each floor.  On the second floor, the art and historic pieces span 16,000 years from Jomon period 縄文時代 (14,000 BC) to Edo period 江戸時代 (~1860).  On the first floor, the rooms are organized based on themes such as sculptures, metalwork, swords, etc.

    entrance staircase and wall clock - Tokyo National Museum Guide | www.justonecookbook.com
    Staircase leading to the second-floor galleries.

    stained glass and staircase - Tokyo National Museum Guide | www.justonecookbook.com

    Honkan Second Floor Galleries

    If you visit the second-floor galleries in order (1-10), you can enjoy Japanese art in the chronological order through its history.  From the Jomon, Yayoi, and Kofun periods through the rise of Buddhism, Heian, Edo, and other periods of Japan.  You can view the Tokyo National Museum floor maps here.

    antique ceramic on display - Tokyo National Museum Guide | www.justonecookbook.com

    the rise of Buddhism sign - Tokyo National Museum Guide | www.justonecookbook.com

    All the rooms in the gallery are grand and very spacious.  The display items have English descriptions next to them so don’t worry if you can’t read Japanese, you can still fully enjoy the Tokyo National Museum’s collection.

    display gallery - Tokyo National Museum Guide | www.justonecookbook.com

    buddha statue - Tokyo National Museum Guide | www.justonecookbook.com

    antique mirror - Tokyo National Museum Guide | www.justonecookbook.com
    Eight foiled mirror.

    gallery inside Tokyo National Museum - Tokyo National Museum Guide | www.justonecookbook.com

    antique vase - Tokyo National Museum Guide | www.justonecookbook.com
    Chinese flower vase
    horse saddle and stirrups - Tokyo National Museum Guide | www.justonecookbook.com
    Horse saddle and stirrups

    display gallery - Tokyo National Museum Guide | www.justonecookbook.com

    kimono on display - Tokyo National Museum Guide | www.justonecookbook.com

    Honkan First Floor Galleries

    On the first floor are rooms 11 through 20, the art and historic pieces are arranged by themes including sculpture, lacquerware, metalwork, as well as items from Ainu and Ryukyu people.

    buddha statue - Tokyo National Museum Guide | www.justonecookbook.com

    Metalwork sign - Tokyo National Museum Guide | www.justonecookbook.com

    sword guard - Tokyo National Museum Guide | www.justonecookbook.com
    Sword guards
    Japanese sword on display - Tokyo National Museum Guide | www.justonecookbook.com
    Japanese sword
    large antique plate on display - Tokyo National Museum Guide | www.justonecookbook.com
    Ceramics

    antique plates on display - Tokyo National Museum Guide | www.justonecookbook.com

    antique painting on display - Tokyo National Museum Guide | www.justonecookbook.com

    images of Nikko - Tokyo National Museum Guide | www.justonecookbook.com
    Photographs of Nikko

    history of Tokyo National Museum - Tokyo National Museum Guide | www.justonecookbook.com

    antique traditional clothing - Tokyo National Museum Guide | www.justonecookbook.com

    gallery inside Tokyo National Museum - Tokyo National Museum Guide | www.justonecookbook.com

    If you are in a time crunch during your visit to Japan but still want to visit the Tokyo National Museum, they had created a 30 min itinerary for visitors called “Highlights of Japanese Art” that you can browse through.  The entrance fee (in Oct 2018) is 620 yen ($6.20) for those over the age of 18.  It’s free for everyone under 18 and over 70.

    Our family had limited time to explore and really enjoy the art pieces on our first trip but we’ll sure head back in the future to spend more time.  If you are interested in our travel around Tokyo, here is the rest of our series:

    1. Shinjuku 新宿
    2. Meiji Jingu 明治神宮
    3. Harajuku and Omotesando 原宿・表参道
    4. Shibuya 渋谷
    5. Roppongi 六本木ヒルズ
    6. Tokyo Tower (update) 東京タワー
    7. Ginza 銀座
    8. Imperial East Garden 皇居東御苑
    9. Akihabara 秋葉原
    10. Ueno 上野
    11. Kappabshi かっぱ橋道具街
    12. Tokyo Dome City 東京ドームシティー
    13. Asakusa (update) 浅草
    14. Tokyo Sky Tree (update) 東京スカイツリー
    15. Odaiba お台場

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