The National Museum of Western Art Tokyo

A permanent exhibition is just one of the attractions. This is a national museum of art singularly devoted to the exhibition of Western art

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This is a museum that was constructed to answer Japan’s ability to introduce Western art. It is filled with works from a personal collection centering on Impressionist paintings and the sculptures of Rodin.
Business Hours
Tuesday ( 9:30 AM ~ 5:30 PM )
Wednesday ( 9:30 AM ~ 5:30 PM )
business_hours.thursday ( 9:30 AM ~ 5:30 PM )
Friday ( 9:30 AM ~ 8:0 AM )
Saturday ( 9:30 AM ~ 8:0 AM )
Sunday ( 9:30 AM ~ 5:30 PM )

National holiday 09:30AM - 05:30PM
Adult: 500 YEN
Children: 0 YEN

( College Students 250 JPY )
7-7 Ueno-koen Taito-ku Tokyo
(03) 5777-8600

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A museum of art based on the Matsukata collection

The president of a private company, Kojiro Matsukata, while suffering through the tough times along with other people, traveled to Paris and ultimately understood the current conditions for being exposed to Western art. The inspiration to start a museum came from his decision to bring back many works of art to Japan. Despite the postwar complications, he made a promise with France “to keep them in safekeeping and exhibit them at a special museum of art”. The first national museum to handle Western art was born.

Among his collection are works of Western Europe centering on France

The main works of art are from Western Europe centering on France. Works from Russia and North America are also included depending on the era. Of particular note are the many works of Rodin due to Matsukata’s later requests for advice from Leonce Benedite who was the curator of the Musée Rodin in France. Every year for 2 days in September, there is a Fan Day which is free for visitors. Various events are planned for enjoyment at the museum. At the December “Christmas at the Museum”, concerts and works related to Christianity are explained.

The design of the main building, incorporated into “Le Corbusier on Architecture and Urban Planning”

The main building of the museum is a part of Le Corbusier’s architectural works included in “Le Corbusier on Architecture and Urban Planning” that the French government took to heart and proceeded with. Examples of his architecture around the world are being registered as World Heritage sites. The main building is a structure of reinforced concrete, something that was unique at the time. Also of note is the roof garden along with the windows and exhibition rooms, etc. that were designed to envisage “a museum of unlimited growth”. The architectural map is freely available in the permanent exhibition room.

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From Ueno Station take the Park Exit which leads directly into Ueno Park. Once inside the park, the The National Museum of Western Art is directly to the right.

From Shinjuku Station to Ueno Station:
Take the Yamanote Line direct to Ueno Station (26 minutes, ¥200)

From Tokyo Station to Ueno Station:
Take the Yamanote Line direct to Ueno Station (9 minutes, ¥160)

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8 years ago
Nice museum. Great value for Monet!
The Museum of Western Art is the main museum of this kind in Japan, and has an emphasis on paintings; with a few sculptures thrown in for good measure. The museum is littered with macabre Baroque works; death and torture seem to be a popular theme here. Amongst the horror sits ‘The Last Supper’ painted by Marten de Vos, Vincent van Goth’s ‘Roses’, and a rather disappointing collection of Claude Monet paintings. Not one to truly appreciate art, I think that Monet’s work looks terrible up close. Especially ‘Water Lilies’, which I think looks plain awful. My favourite piece on display is Pablo Picasso’s ‘Couple’. Abstract expressionism has always been a preference of mine. I’ll take this over a bowl of fruit or a basket of flowers any day. Picasso painted this incredible piece at eighty-eight years old. Simply amazing. Despite my dislike toward Claude Monet, the museum is rather nice, clean, and has a nice mix of Western Art that can be enjoyed by all. I was also lucky enough to visit on a public holiday, where entry to the museum was free. So, as far as value for money goes, you can't get much better than free.
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