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The National Museum of Western Art

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Attractions Details

📌 Address

7-7 Uenokōen, Taito City, Tokyo 110-0007, Japan

Opening Hours

9:30 AM - 5:30 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

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expert
Nick
Local tour guide
"For a serene visit to The National Museum of Western Art in Tokyo, aim to arrive just as the museum opens; the galleries are quieter in the morning, providing a more intimate experience with the art. Also, don't miss the chance to relax in the museum's garden after you've taken in the masterpieces — it's a hidden gem that many rush past on their way out."

What is The National Museum of Western Art?

The National Museum of Western Art, located in the cultural and cosmopolitan city of Tokyo, is a beacon of art and history amidst the modern whirlwind that characterizes this metropolis. Nestled in Ueno Park, it's a treasure trove dedicated exclusively to Western art. From Renaissance paintings to modern sculptures, the museum houses a wide-ranging collection that spans centuries of Western artistic achievement. Its imposing façade, designed by the illustrious French architect Le Corbusier, is a masterpiece in itself, integrating modernist architecture with the timeless display of art collections within.

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History of The National Museum of Western Art

The museum's origins are tied to Kojiro Matsukata, a preeminent Japanese businessman of the early 20th century, who amassed a formidable collection of Western art. Following World War II, the collection, partly salvaged in France, became the kernel of the museum's holdings, a gesture of cultural reparation and friendship from the French government to Japan. The National Museum of Western Art opened its doors in 1959, designed by Le Corbusier, who saw the building as an embodiment of his architectural philosophy. It stands as a symbol of post-war recovery and rebirth, and it was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2016, underscoring its global significance.

Why is The National Museum of Western Art Important?

This institution is not just a museum; it's a cultural bridge connecting the East and the West. It showcases works by eminent artists such as Rodin, Monet, and Picasso, allowing visitors a unique opportunity to engage with Western art without leaving Japan. The dedication to preserving and exhibiting Western masterpieces speaks to the deep respect and curiosity that Japan holds for global art traditions. Moreover, as a work of Le Corbusier, the building itself contributes significantly to the architectural narrative of Tokyo, representing a harmonious dialogue between modern architecture and classical art.

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Things to Do & See at The National Museum of Western Art

Within the museum, visitors are greeted by an array of things to do and see. You can marvel at the extensive 'Matsukata Collection,' which includes pieces by great painters such as Cézanne and Maillol. The sculpture garden, featuring works by Rodin, is a serene environment where art and nature blend seamlessly. As for the interiors, there are thematic exhibitions, educational programs, and special events that keep the experience fresh with each visit. And don't miss the opportunity to delve into the world of Le Corbusier by analyzing the building itself with its open plan, pilotis, and rooftop garden, each an exemplar of his Five Points of Architecture. Lastly, the museum's shop and café offer unique souvenirs and a chance to reflect on the inspiring art you've just witnessed.

Frequently asked questions

What is The National Museum of Western Art?

The National Museum of Western Art is a premier public art museum located in Tokyo, Japan, specializing in Western art. The museum's collection includes paintings, sculptures, prints, and drawings from the Renaissance to the early 20th century.

How do I get to The National Museum of Western Art in Tokyo?

The National Museum of Western Art is located in the Ueno Park area of Tokyo and is accessible by public transportation. The closest train stations are Ueno Station and Ueno Hirokoji Station on the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line, and Ueno-okachimachi Station on the Oedo Line.

What are the opening hours of The National Museum of Western Art?

The opening hours of The National Museum of Western Art typically are from 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM, with extended hours until 8:00 PM on Fridays. However, hours may vary, so it's best to check the museum's official website or contact them directly for up-to-date information before your visit.

Are there any entrance fees for The National Museum of Western Art?

Yes, there is an entrance fee for The National Museum of Western Art, though specific exhibitions may have different pricing. Fees are waived for high school students and younger, and there are discounts for seniors and college students. Admission is free on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month and on special open days.

Does The National Museum of Western Art offer guided tours?

The National Museum of Western Art offers guided tours in both Japanese and English. The schedule for English tours can be found on the museum's website, and it is recommended to join these tours to enhance your understanding of the art and exhibits on display.

Attractions Details

📌 Address

7-7 Uenokōen, Taito City, Tokyo 110-0007, Japan

Opening Hours

9:30 AM - 5:30 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

Find it on google maps