The Tokyo National Museum in Ueno Park is housed in an impressive building from the early 1930’s featuring elements of what is called the “emperor’s crown style” – a mix of Western Art Deco and Eastern sweeping forms. Two stories of well displayed and lit materials, with plenty of opportunities for resting, this museum was a pleasure to visit. Although the collection is made up of more than 87,000 items, thus making it the largest museum of Japan, only a selected number of items is always on display, never overwhelming visitors.
A few steps away is the Gallery of Horyuji Treasures, which consist of over 300 valuable objects, mainly bronze Buddhist statuettes from Nara from the 7th – 8th century, donated to the Imperial Household by Horyuji Temple in 1878. The Gallery, designed by Yoshio Taniguchi, is a beautiful example of understated, clean-lined architecture, perfect for displaying often very ornate artwork.