What started out as the collection of the avid art collector Nezu Kaichiro, an industrialist and the president of the Tobu railway company, has become the Nezu Museum, which was founded on the site of his former residence and garden by his son in 1940. The museum’s private collection contains more than 7,400 pieces of Japanese and Asian art, from calligraphy to painting, ceramics, textiles and much more. Found in the museum’s outstanding, world-renowned collection are seven National Treasures, 87 Important Cultural Properties, and 94 works registered as Important Art Objects. The main building re-opened in 2009, and its extensive use of glass in the entry and central hall brings the magnificent garden into interior spaces.
Another standout feature of the museum is its vast, traditional Japanese garden, which pays testament to Nezu Kaichiro’s love of the tea ceremony. In addition to several authentic tea houses (which are available for use), the hilly garden allows visitors to enjoy the passage of the four seasons with two ponds that are connected by small streams, and numerous winding paths adorned with garden lanterns, memorial stones and Buddha or Kan'non statues. There is also a modern cafe near the main building offering light meals, desserts and beverages to round off a pleasant experience.
By public transportation
The closest metro station is Omotesando (which is on the Chiyoda Line, Ginza Line and Hanzomon Line). Use exit 4 or 5 and walk down the small end of Omotesando towards south east. After 400m you should reach the museum.
Hours: 10:00 17:00 (last entry is 16:30)
Admission: 1,000 yen for the general exhibition, 1,200 yen for special exhibitions
Airport: Haneda Airport
Mondays, during exhibition installations, and during the New Year's holiday period. When Monday is a national holiday, the museum is closed on Tuesday.