With over 110,000 items in its collection, nearly a hundred of which are priceless National Treasures, the Tokyo National Museum is Japan’s largest and oldest museum. Any of the museum’s buildings could be a museum of its own, so get to Ueno Park early and save a full day for looking at as many of the 3,000 items on display as you can.
The iconic main Honkan building provides an extensive overview of Japanese art and history, with 24 exhibitions featuring Buddhist art, samurai swords, kabuki masks, intricate metalwork, and much more, all with great English information. The Toyokan expands this view to the rest of Asia, with art and archaeology from China, India, and beyond. The Heiseikan hosts special exhibitions as well as a permanent collection on Japanese archaeological finds (including the earliest polished stone tools in the world). Lastly, there’s the Gallery of Horyu-ji Treasures, a collection of over 300 Buddhist treasures from the Nara temple.
The surrounding grounds are dotted with shops and cafes, and during the spring and autumn, you can visit the museum’s traditional garden and teahouses.
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Discounts available for students, senior citizens