The Nezu Museum is a cultural and scenic highlight of Tokyo's fashionable Aoyama district, combining sweeping modern architecture with elegant traditional landscaping. The Museum is at the end of the upmarket Omotesando boulevard.
The Nezu Museum collection is of pre-modern Japanese and East Asian art, acquired mainly by Kaichiro Nezu (1860-1940), president of the Tobu Railway, throughout his career, and housed in its current location by his son in 1940. Numerous private donations of works have since added to the collection's size.
The two-story museum building was rebuilt in 2006, and is a large airy, atmospheric space where selections of the Museum's approximately 7,400 pieces can be enjoyed in periodically changing general exhibitions, and where special exhibitions are also held. The Museum collection covers many genres of art and craft created by ancient calligraphers, ceramicists, armor makers, metalworkers, textile makers, painters, lacquerware craftspersons, sculptors and others, and includes many archaeological artifacts.
Nezu was an aficienado of the tea ceremony, which uses arts and crafts as focal points, accounting for the breadth of his tastes.
All exhibits have explanations in English.
The Nezu Museum has a pleasant cafe and a shop selling good quality souvenirs, books, and catalogs of past exhibitions.
The garden behind the Museum is every bit as memorable as the museum building. Occupying a small, beautifully landscaped valley, the garden's undulating paths are lined with ancient statues and monuments, mainly of stone, and take visitors around a pond, natural-like features such as a waterfall, and a picturesque tea house where tea ceremony-related exhibits can sometimes be seen. The garden - carefully restored after its wartime destruction - is a serene world, with its water features and wildlife, far removed from the contemporary consumerism of Omotesando, just minutes' walk away.
Hours & Admission
The Nezu Museum is open from 10am to 5pm (last entry 4:30pm). Closed Mondays, the year-end/New Year period, and at certain periods between exhibitions.
General collection: 1,100 yen for adults, 800 yen for senior high school age, free for under senior high school age.
Special exhibitions: 1,300 yen for adults, 1,000 yen for senior high school age, free for under senior high school age.
AccessAccess to the Nezu Museum is from Omotesando Station, on the Hanzomon and Chiyoda subway lines.
- from Exit A5 (stairs only): an 8-minute walk
- from Exit B4 (stairs and escalator): a 10-minute walk
- from Exit B3 (escalator and elevator): a 10-minute walk
6-5-1 Minami-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-0062
Chokokuji Temple is a Soto Zen Buddhist temple just behind the Nezu Museum. This imposing temple has a 10 meter (approx. 33 foot) high wooden Buddha, and a beautiful little Japanese garden of its own.
The Taro Okamoto Memorial Museum is a 2-minute walk from the Nezu Museum. Taro Okamoto was a New Age artist whose distinctive surrealist creations can be enjoyed here.
Omotesando boulevard stretches 1.6 km all the way from the Nezu Museum up to Yoyogi Park.
See the Aoyama guide for more attractions in the area surrounding the Nezu Museum.
Roppongi, with its iconic commercial complexes of Roppongi Hills and Tokyo Midtown, and its vibrant nightlife, is a 20-minute walk from the Nezu Museum.