The Nezu Museum is widely known for a private collection of Japanese and East Asian art  by Koichiro Nezu, businessman and the president of the Tobu Railway Co., Ltd.  The museum attracts people for its fine art collection as well as beautiful Japanese garden with tea ceremony houses. This is just like an oasis in the city.

The museum houses a collection of approximately 7,400 works, including calligraphy, painting, sculpture, metalwork and arms, ceramics, lacquer and textiles.  It is worth noting that 7 National Treasures, 87 Important Cultural properties,and 94 Important Art Objects belong in the collection.


IRISES, National Treasure, is the pair of six-panel screens that presents a splendid field of irises.  The painting by Ogata Korin, is one of the icons of Japanese painting history.  

Irises refers to an episode in  "The Tale of Ise" by Ariwara no Narihira, who was exiled from Kyoto. The sight of irises prompted him to compose a nostalgic love poem thinking of his wife left in Kyoto.

"I have come so far away on this trip and think of my wife whom I left in Kyoto. "

The flowers, which are simplified and yet exquisitely varied, are grouped in a large, overall design. The soft-green leaves and the dark-and-light blue flowers are set against a gold ground symbolizing water, and the effect of the richly massed blossos and the intricate design of the long narrow, sharply pointed blades is very striking. 

The exhibition of the painting is scheduled from mid-April to mid-May, the time of the blooming season of irises in the garden.  Don't miss it!

 The museum building itself is a glass building and looks contemporary,  and you can look out the beautiful Japanese garden through the glass.  It is located in Minami-Aoyama, a fashionable city center, but this is a retreat away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

 When you scroll around the hilly garden (17,000m2), you will see several tea ceremony houses, statues and small river and NEZU Café.  Each season, it shows a different scenery.

The Nezu Museum

Address:  6-5-1 Minami Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo


Telephone: 03-3400-2536

Open:  10:00 a.m. ~ 5:00 p.m. Closed on Monday

Omotesando Station of Tokyo Metro Ginza Line, Hanzomon Line and Chiyoda Line,

A5 Exit, 8 minutes walking.