Northeast of Tokyo, not far from Ikebukuro and Yanaka, is the Ueno district, famous for its large park but also for its cultural sites. Between the National Museum of Japan, the National museum of Nature and Science and the National Museum of Western Art, my favorite by far is the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum (東京 都 美術館). If it does not have a permanent collection – with the exception of 12 Artworks – it offers numerous exhibitions, from traditional Japanese art to Art Nouveau, inside the hall of this brick-faced building, designed by Kunio Maekawa. He was a great Japanese architect of the twentieth and, passionate about the work of Le Corbusier – incidentally, architect of the National Museum of Western Art, he considered himself a his student. The museum is constructed partly underground to remain unobtrusive. Despite its limited success, it is a nice place to visit.
The Park of Ueno, quite big, is a place for walks, picnics and hanami during the cherry blossom season. The museum is a bit hidden, since its entrance is discreetly situated next to the imposing National Museum of Japan, and the entrance to the popular Ueno Zoo.
The Museum has, in addition, calligraphic works – 36 precisely, viewable during exhibition whose theme is related. Last January, at the occasion of the exhibition “viewing Fuji,”2 calligraphic works – of Seiku Ando – were presented. The website is very informative and full of resources – all past programs can be downloaded, and it is unfortunate that due to lack of success, little or nothing is translated into English. For learners of Japanese, it is instead a gold mine to try to read small text about art !
When we went there, we did not fail to make idiots out before the permanent No. 3 : My sky hole de Bukichi Inoue (井上武吉).
Closed : Every 1st and 3rd Monday
※Public Entry Exhibitions : Every 1st and 3rd Monday
※New Year’s Holidays December 29 – January 3
Please refer to the calendar on the home page for the latest information.