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Tokyo National Museum

The largest museum in Japan preserves artworks and antiquities revealing Japan’s unique culture and way of life.

Tokyo National Museum houses more than 110,000 objects in areas of architecture, fine art, sculpture, calligraphy, classical books, ancient manuscripts and archaeological materials.

Many artifacts are very old, including earthenware vessels from more than 12,000 years ago. The exhibits provide insight to practices and products that are uniquely Japanese, including tea ceremonies, Noh and Kabuki costumes, samurai warrior swords and armor, calligraphy, Japanese coins and mirrors, masks, lacquerware, and folding screen paintings.

Stroll through the Asian gallery to see items from China, Korea and Southeast Asia as well as India and Egypt. Stone Khmer sculptures, Indonesian textiles, Chinese bronzes and jade, Indian miniatures, and Korean Buddhist statues show the richness and diversity of the art created in Asia. There is also an activities area for fortune-telling that will entertain families with children.

See some of the outdoor exhibits, including large stone statues from Korea and China and gates and tiles. There is even a statue of physician Edward Jenner who developed vaccination providing immunization against smallpox.

The museum was created in 1872 and moved to its current location in 1882. Much of its structure was damaged in the devastating Kanto earthquake of 1923. It was gradually rebuilt only to have further damage in World War II air raids. With the Japanese commitment to appreciation of art and history, the museum has recovered, grown and thrived.

A museum visit will take several hours to several days to view the regular and special exhibits. Many of the objects included are identified as national treasures and important cultural properties.

Foreign visitors will appreciate that many exhibit items have English, Chinese and Korean labels. English-speaking volunteers provide frequent gallery talks and brochures are in seven languages.

The museum is open during the day from Tuesdays through Sundays, with extended opening hours on Friday evenings for special exhibitions. The museum is closed Mondays and December 24 to January 1. There is a modest entrance fee with additional charges for special exhibitions.

Located in northern Tokyo’s Ueno Park, the museum is a short walk from Ueno station with subway and rail service.


Guide to Exploring Tokyo National Museum


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APA Hotel Ueno-Ekimae £54
APA Hotel Ueno-Ekimae

APA Hotel Ueno-Ekimae

Ueno 7-chome 12-11, Taito-ku, Tokyo
     
    3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Ueno, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Tokyo National Science Museum, Tokyo National Museum and Tokyo Bunka Kaikan. National Museum of Western Art and Shitaya Shrine are also within 10 minutes. Iriya Station is 7 minutes by foot and Tokyo Uguisudani Station is 8 minutes.

    APA Hotel Keisei Ueno-Ekimae £62
    APA Hotel Keisei Ueno-Ekimae

    APA Hotel Keisei Ueno-Ekimae

    2 Chrome-14-26, Ueno, Taito-ku, Tokyo, Tokyo-to
       
      3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Ueno, this hotel is steps away from Ueno Park and Benten-Do Temple. Ameya-Yokochō and National Museum of Western Art are also within 10 minutes. Keisei-Ueno Station is only a 2-minute walk and Ueno-hirokoji Station is 5 minutes.

      Ueno Hotel £43
      Ueno Hotel

      Ueno Hotel

      7-12-9 Ueno, Taito-ku, Tokyo, Tokyo-to
         
        3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Ueno, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Ueno Park, Tokyo National Science Museum and Tokyo National Museum. Ameya-Yokochō and Ueno Zoo are also within 15 minutes. Iriya Station is 7 minutes by foot and Inaricho Station is 10 minutes.

        APA Hotel Ueno Inaricho Ekikita £46
        APA Hotel Ueno Inaricho Ekikita

        APA Hotel Ueno Inaricho Ekikita

        5-10-8 Higashi Ueno, Taito-ku, Tokyo, Tokyo
           
          3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Taito, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Ueno Park and Kappabashi Street. Ameya-Yokochō and Tokyo National Science Museum are also within 15 minutes. Inaricho Station is only a 4-minute walk and Shin-okachimachi Station is 10 minutes.

          MIMARU TOKYO UENO NORTH £173
          MIMARU TOKYO UENO NORTH

          MIMARU TOKYO UENO NORTH

          7-14-4 Ueno, Taito-ku, Tokyo, Tokyo
             
            3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Ueno, this aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of Ueno Park, Tokyo National Science Museum and Tokyo National Museum. Ameya-Yokochō and Ueno Zoo are also within 15 minutes. Iriya Station is 7 minutes by foot and Inaricho Station is 10 minutes.

            MIMARU TOKYO UENO EAST £209
            MIMARU TOKYO UENO EAST

            MIMARU TOKYO UENO EAST

            4-26-3, Higashiueno, Taito-ku, Tokyo, Tokyo
               
              3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Taito, this aparthotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Tokyo National Museum and Sensō-ji Temple. Tokyo Sky Tree and Tokyo Dome are also within 3 mi (5 km). Tokyo Ueno Station is only a 5-minute walk and Inaricho Station is 7 minutes.

              Grids Tokyo Ueno Hotel & Hostel
              Grids Tokyo Ueno Hotel & Hostel

              Grids Tokyo Ueno Hotel & Hostel

              7-10-4 Ueno, Tokyo, Tokyo
                 
                2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Ueno, this hostel is within a 10-minute walk of Ueno Park, Tokyo National Science Museum and Tokyo National Museum. Ameya-Yokochō and Ueno Zoo are also within 15 minutes. Iriya Station is 9 minutes by foot and Keisei-Ueno Station is 9 minutes.

                Candeo Hotels Uenokoen £74
                Candeo Hotels Uenokoen

                Candeo Hotels Uenokoen

                1-2-13 Negishi, Taito-ku, Tokyo, Tokyo-to
                   
                  3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Taito, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Ueno Park and Tokyo National Science Museum. Tokyo National Museum and Ueno Zoo are also within 15 minutes. Tokyo Uguisudani Station is only a 3-minute walk and Iriya Station is 5 minutes.