Tokyo National Museum

Tokyo National Museum information

Tokyo , Japan
13-9 Ueno-kōen
+81 3 3822 1111
Getting there
Train: JR Yamanote line to Ueno, Ueno-kōen exit
More information
adult/student/child & senior ¥620/¥410/free
Opening hours
9.30am-5pm Tue-Thu year round, to 8pm Fri, to 6pm Sat & Sun (Mar-Dec)
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If you visit only one museum in Tokyo, make it this one. The Tokyo National Museum holds the world's largest collection of Japanese art, including ancient pottery, Buddhist sculptures, samurai swords, colourful ukiyo-e (woodblock prints), gorgeous kimonos and much, much more. Visitors with only a couple of hours to spare should hone in on the Honkan (Main Gallery) and the enchanting Gallery of Hōryū-ji Treasures, which displays masks, scrolls and gilt Buddhas from Hōryū-ji (in Nara Prefecture, dating from 607).

With more time, you can explore the recently renovated, three-storied Tōyōkan (Gallery of Eastern Antiquities), with its collection of Buddhist sculpture from around Asia and delicate Chinese ceramics. The Heiseikan, accessed via a passage on the 1st floor of the Honkan, houses the Japanese Archaeological Gallery, full of pottery, talismans and articles of daily life from Japan's prehistoric periods. For a few weeks in spring and autumn, the garden, which includes several vintage teahouses, opens to the public.

The museum regularly hosts temporary exhibitions (which cost extra); these can be fantastic, but often lack the English signage found throughout the rest of the museum.