The Nezu Museum will surprise you even before entering the building. The architecture of the museum is beautiful!
Kengo Kuma, one of the most famous Japanese architects of our days, designed the museum with its sharp lines and mixture of natural materials. The result is the perfect harmony of Japanese architectural elements and modern design. The museum itself is a bright and open complex – something you wouldn’t imagine from its outside appearance.
The Nezu Museum is a private art museum with a collection of around 7,420 art pieces mainly from East Asia. Among them are Japanese national treasures and important cultural assets. Out of its marvelous collection, the art museum selects different pieces from this collection to show them at their special exhibitions for a limited time.
When I visited the museum, I was able to see a special exhibition about pottery: “Momoyama Tea Utensils: Ａ New View”. The pottery made around the beginning of the 17th century was completely different from the Chinese mainstream pottery (Tang period) which had been the standard in Japan up to that point. The new bowls and plates had a unique, uneven shape. This pottery is what we think of when we think of Japanese “wa” culture.
The number of exhibits was just right. Not too little, not too much. You could feel how much time and love went into creating the exhibition – every room had its own theme and you could learn more about the Japanese culture with every room. A big plus are the English explanations throughout the whole exhibition.
A stroll in the garden
The museum has 6 exhibition rooms. However, the museum staff told me: “There are seven exhibition rooms.” So where is the seventh exhibition room? That’s the wonderful Japanese garden spreading behind the building.
In the garden, you will find ponds and several tea rooms (Note: the areas you may enter vary according to the season). Since the garden has a lot of maple trees, the most recommended season to visit is fall.
From the large window of NEZUCAFÉ, you can oversee the forest-like garden which is a true urban oasis. The cafe offers snacks, cakes and a Matcha with Japanese sweets set. If you visit the cafe right after the museum opens, you may have the cafe for your own.
Don’t forget the museum shop! The shop has a variety of items based on some of the museum’s most famous art pieces which are actually very cute!
The Nezu Museum has it all: art, architecture, nature, cute goods and a beautiful cafe. I’m sure, all of you will love it as I did! Plan some time, because you will need half a day to see everything!
6-5-1 Minami Aoyama Minato-ku, Tokyo
Opening hours: 10 am to 5 pm (entrance closes at 4:30 pm)
(Closed on Mondays, open when a National Holiday falls on a Monday)