How to get to National Museum of Western Art

About National Museum of Western Art

The National Museum of Western Art, located in Ueno Park, Taito-ku, Tokyo, and officially opened to the public in June 1959, is an art museum specializing in the display of Western works of art in Japan, and is the only national institution for the development of Western art in Japan. It is dedicated to providing a place for the Japanese people to appreciate and learn about Western art, and through continuous efforts and endeavors, has reached a number of 4,500 pieces of Western art of various types in the museum.

The main building of the National Museum of Western Art was designed by the famous French architect Le Corbusier and supervised and constructed by his disciples Kunio Maekawa, Junzo Sakakura, and Takamasa Yoshisaka, and was selected as one of the “100 Best Public Buildings” in Japan in 1998. At the time of its establishment, the museum’s main focus was on Western Impressionist paintings and sculptures from the early 19th century to the first half of the 20th century, which were collected by Matsukata Kojiro, but now, in the permanent exhibition halls, visitors have the opportunity to view Western works from the Renaissance to the early 20th century, and many of them are masterpieces of the West, such as Rubens’s painting “Abundance”, Renoir’s Parisian Dancers in Algerian Style, and paintings by the Impressionists, led by Monet and Gauguin.

How to get there

Open Hours: 9:30 – 17:30 Friday and Saturday, both permanent and temporary exhibitions are open until 20:00
Closed: Mondays and New Year’s holidays (December 28 – January 1) *If Monday is a national holiday or a substitute holiday, the museum will be open on Monday and closed the following day.
Location: 7-7 Ueno Koen, Taito-ku, Tokyo 110-0007, Japan
Access:1 min. walk from JR Ueno Station (Park Exit)
7 minutes walk from Keisei Ueno Station (Keisei Electric Railway)
8 minutes walk from Ueno Station (Tokyo Metro Ginza Line, Hibiya Line)


We visited the museum because I was interested in the special exhibition “Dialogue between Nature and Man”. I made a reservation in advance, but it was a weekday, and same-day tickets were also available. However, I think this will change with the upcoming Corona Disaster, so please refer to the website.
If you show your ticket and reservation e-mail, there is an audio guide (600 yen) on the first floor. About 90% of both the special and permanent exhibitions are Western paintings. What surprised me a little was that about one-third of the paintings in the special exhibition can be photographed, but only for personal use and no flash. I did not take pictures because I do not like to take pictures in museums and I was afraid to take pictures.
Monet, Manet, Gauguin, Renoir…even I, who am not familiar with art, know the names of these masters. Special exhibitions tend to be small in number or small in size for the price, but this special exhibition has exhibits from I to IV, and by the time you get to II, you will have had enough to eat. After the special exhibition, we went to see the permanent exhibition, which is also good enough to be worth the price. However, the special exhibition is better than the permanent exhibition. Monet’s “Waterlilies” is also in the special exhibition.
There are sculptures of Rodin’s “The Thinker” and “Gates of Hell” in the museum grounds, and it is a very nice museum. It took us a little over an hour to visit the special exhibition and less than an hour to visit the permanent exhibition.


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