A repository of National Treasure Buddhist art.
The Nara Park area has plenty to see such as Todai-ji, Kofuku-ji and Kasuga Grand Shrine. Nearby is the Nara National Museum. Boasting the best in quality and quantity within Japan for Buddhist art, many Buddhist statues representing every era are exhibited. It is worth seeing these displays which cannot easily be seen at other museums of art. The museum consists of 4 galleries. There is the Nara Buddhist Statue Hall with its many exquisite Buddhist sculptures on display, the Ritual Bronzes Gallery which shows bronze artifacts from ancient China, and the East and West Wings for special exhibitions.
The Nara Buddhist Statue Hall filled with exhibits to see
At the Nara Buddhist Statue Hall, many precious Buddhist statues ranging from the Asuka to Kamakura Eras are displayed. It has the reputation of having the most complete exhibit of Buddhist statues among the country’s museums. Also, it is notable for the fact the building itself has been designated as an Important Cultural Property. It is the very first genuine Western-style building to be constructed in Nara, completed in 1894. The design was by Toukuma Katayama who was also responsible for the Akasaka Detached Palace, and the building is in the style of the French Renaissance. The decorative ornamentation around the entrance is supremely elaborate and is representative of the European style from the middle of the Meiji Era.
The museum shop is notable for its collection of original products
The underground passageway that connects the Nara Buddhist Statue Hall and the East and West Wings is a zone that is also freely accessible for non-visitors. There are a museum shop and a restaurant where you can take a break. At the museum shop, there are plenty of original products starting from the exhibition catalog. The Uplifting Buddhist Statue series has charmingly designed statues placed on handkerchiefs, mirrors, and other items that cannot be obtained elsewhere. They are great as souvenirs.