Tea rooms, traditional gardens, and an extensive collection of Asian art
The Nezu Museum, located in Aoyama near Harajuku and Omotesando, is a renowned institution that attracts art lovers from around the world. With over 7,600 Japanese and East Asian pre-modern works of art, the museum’s collection is diverse and extensive, including National Treasures and a wide range of pieces from Japanese ink paintings to ancient Chinese bronzes. One of the highlights of the museum is its first-class tea ceremony collection, which has a special gallery devoted to it. Visitors will also appreciate the helpful English explanations accompanying many of the exhibits.
Don’t Miss: Tranquil tearooms in the hidden gardens
One of the unique features of the Nezu Museum is its serene tearooms located in the hidden gardens. These tearooms provide a peaceful retreat where visitors can enjoy a moment of tranquility while surrounded by the lush greenery. One of the most exquisite pieces in the museum’s collection is the “Double-Ram zun” vessel from ancient China, which is one of only two in the world. For a truly immersive experience, visitors can indulge in a green tea latte at the NEZUCAFE while taking in the picturesque views of the surrounding greenery.
How to Get There
The Nezu Museum is conveniently located in Aoyama, making it easily accessible for visitors. One can take either the Ginza, Hanzomon, or Chiyoda Metro lines to Omotesando Station, and from there, it’s just a short 10-minute walk to the museum.
The Nezu Museum is home to a wide range of art forms, including calligraphy, paintings, sculptures, lacquerware, metalwork, and more. During World War II, the museum’s collection was hidden for protection. The founder of the museum, Nezu Kaichiro, was a famous tea ceremony practitioner.
A longstanding history
The Nezu Museum was officially opened in 1941, fulfilling the dying wish of Nezu Kaichiro, an influential Japanese industrialist, tea practitioner, and former president of Tobu Railway. The majority of the museum’s pieces come from Nezu’s private collections. During the war bombings in 1945, the museum’s collections were evacuated and survived the devastating fires that destroyed the original museum buildings. Thanks to this, the museum was able to reopen in 1946. Situated on the site of the former Nezu family residence, the museum underwent a renewal in 2009 by the famous Japanese architect Kengo Kuma.
Truly diverse collections
When the Nezu Museum first opened its doors in 1941, it had a collection of 4,642 works of art sourced from Nezu’s personal collection. Over the years, the collection has expanded through acquisitions and donations, now housing a total of 7,600 works of art. Nezu’s approach to art appreciation was all-encompassing, resulting in a museum that showcases pre-modern paintings, ceramics, armor, textiles, woodwork, and more from japan, China, and East asia. Some of the pieces in the collection date back over 3,000 years, providing visitors with a glimpse into the rich artistic heritage of Asia.
New experiences with ever-changing exhibits
At the Nezu Museum, visitors can enjoy both a permanent collection and a rotating cast of exhibits. This means that no matter when you visit or whether you’ve been before, there will always be something new to explore within the museum’s walls. To plan your visit and get a preview of upcoming and past exhibits, you can visit the museum’s well-maintained English website.
Secret gardens and traditional tea
Beyond the gallery walls lies the almost-hidden Nezu Garden, a true oasis in the middle of fast-paced Tokyo. Covering an area of 17,000 square meters, the garden features rolling hills, trees, and carefully landscaped designs that embody the natural beauty of the Japanese mountains. One of the highlights of the garden is its four distinctive tearooms, which offer a glimpse into the traditional tea culture of Japan. While the tearooms are not open to the public, visitors can still enjoy a relaxing drink in picturesque surroundings at the beautifully designed Nezucafe. With its modern Japanese architecture and full-length picture windows framing the gardens outside, the Nezucafe provides the perfect setting for a traditional tea time.
In conclusion, the Nezu Museum is a must-visit destination for art lovers and those seeking a moment of tranquility amidst the bustling city of Tokyo. With its diverse and extensive collection of Japanese and East Asian pre-modern art, including National Treasures and a first-class tea ceremony collection, the museum offers a rich cultural experience. The hidden gardens and tearooms provide a serene retreat, while the ever-changing exhibits ensure that there is always something new to discover. Whether you’re a seasoned art enthusiast or simply appreciate the beauty of Asian art and culture, a visit to the Nezu Museum is sure to be a memorable experience.
Address And Maps Location:
6-5-1 Minamiaoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo-to