Features and history of the museum
The Nezu Museum was founded in 1940 in Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo, and started with 4,643 works of art. By the end of March 2016, the collection had grown to 7,420 items, including seven national treasures, 87 important cultural properties and 94 important artworks.
The Nezu Museum was built by entrepreneur Kaichiro Nezu to preserve and exhibit his hobby collection of Japanese and Oriental antiques. Considering that there are over 4,000 pieces of art collected as a hobby, it is clear that he had a great love for antiques. After Kaichiro’s death, the collection has grown with purchased and donated works of art, adding to its appeal.
While working as an entrepreneur, Kaichiro was also a hobbyist who enjoyed the tea ceremony and collecting art objects. It is said that he was inspired to establish the Nezu Museum because he was interested in antiquities from a young age and wanted to share his art collection with others, rather than simply looking at them by himself.
The Nezu Museum itself has a modern, calm atmosphere. Once you step into the museum, you will naturally feel taller and more dignified.
In fact, the museum has a history of destruction, reconstruction, and expansion, and in 2006, it took three and a half years to add a new exhibition hall to the museum. The museum exhibits nine categories of art: calligraphy, painting, sculpture, armor, ceramics, lacquerware, wood and bamboo, textiles, and archaeology. The exhibits change from season to season, so be sure to check the annual schedule and exhibition information to see if there is a piece of art you are looking for.
Garden and Tea Room
The Nezu Museum has more to offer than just its numerous works of art. There is a garden where you can experience the changing scenery of the four seasons and the unique Japanese style. Exit from the garden entrance on the first floor or the teahouse entrance on the basement floor, and follow the stone-paved pathway into the trees. You won’t find yourself in the heart of Tokyo, but rather in a quiet, serene space. It’s a great place to take a break from admiring art and enjoy a walk in nature.
The best time to walk around is in early summer and autumn. In early summer, the bright blue-purple rabbit ear iris flowers bloom along the water’s edge, creating a cool and refreshing feeling. In autumn, the leaves turn red with a passionate coloration that makes you take a camera to shoot them.
In the garden, you can see a Japanese garden decoration called the “Suikinkutsu” (Water harp cave). You can hear the echoing sound of water drops falling from the Suikinkutsu and feel the coolness of the Japanese atmosphere. This is a unique Japanese experience where you can hear and feel the unique sound that you’ve never heard before.
There are four teahouses scattered throughout the garden, where you can admire the historical and elegant atmosphere. They stand alone in the midst of lush greenery and are a great place to feel the atmosphere. The Nezu Museum gives you a sense of peace and tranquility as it makes you want to take a leisurely stroll around and forget about time.