Tokyo National Museum

Tokyo National Museum 400
Profile of Tokyo National Museum
Photo by: ctsnow, Creative Commons

If you want to know more about the culture and history of Japan, you should go to Tokyo National Museum or TNM. You will be awed at the number of artworks and artifacts that are preserved and displayed in this museum. To date, it has about 110,000 different objects and 87 of these are considered as Japan’s National Treasures.

This is very accessible because it is just located in Tokyo, specifically in Ueno Park in Taito. Although the museum mostly collects Japanese-related objects, they also have some collections of Asian arts and artefacts.

The museum has five exhibition buildings—the Honkan, Toyokan, Hyokeikan, Heiseikan, and Horyu-ji Homotsukan.

Honkan, or the Japanese Gallery, houses Japan’s artworks from 10,000 B.C. up to the latter years of the 1800s. You will see here different arts related to traditional Japanese culture and customs such as Samurai, the art of tea ceremony, Buddhism, and Kabuki and Noh.

The second gallery, Toyokan, is an Asian gallery. It has different art works from different Asian countries, which includes China, Southeast Asia, Korea, Middle East, and India, and Egypt.

The third gallery, Hyokeikan, this is open for temporary exhibitions and other kinds of events. It is dedicated to the late Emperor Taisho, and it showcases the Western influence in architecture in Meiji era.

Heiseikan, the fourth gallery, traces Japan’s archaeological history using artefacts. It is also open for special exhibitions. It includes a collection of pottery, stone tools, helmets and armours, and so on that date back as early as 10,000 B.C.

And last but not the least, the Horyu-ji Homostukan, the fifth gallery houses the Horyu-ji treasures given to the Imperial family. In total, there are 319 treasures inside this gallery. You can also view all these collections of treasures on the second floor using a computer. You can also eat if at the restaurant located on the ground floor of this building.

For more information, you can visit the official Tokyo National Museum website.

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