徳川美術館 Tokugawa Art Museum
- Culture / Art / History (Art museums / Galleries)
- Around Nagoya
- Travelko Rating
Maps are rarely carried out with accessing from mainland China.
- Around Nagoya
- 1017 Tokugawa-cho, Higashi-ku Nagoya-shi, Aichi 461-0023, Japan
- Culture / Art / History (Art museums / Galleries)
- Opening Hours
Treasure of the Edo period, Japanese garden and restaurant
Ukiyoe, kabuki or sumo are all arts that were created during the Edo period (1603-1868). However, during the Edo period, they were not considered high-quality arts but ordinary disciplines.
The Ukiyoe collection you can see in MoMA, New York is close to the collection of The Tokugawa Art Museum even if the Tokugawa Art Museum exhibits more high-quality are rare woodblock prints.
A lot of different art pieces are also available to see in the Tokugawa Art Museum. Most of them belonged to Tokugawa Ieyasu (the founder of the Tokugawa shogunate which ruled Japan during the Edo period) or his immediate family.
Most of the Tokugawa family treasures disappeared during the wars that led to the end of the shogunate and the recent 20th century wars. But, fortunately, the collection of this museum has remained. Although everything is not always exhibited, this museum has more than 10,000 pieces of Tokugawa treasures.
Edo is the old name of Tokyo. And, the government was in Tokyo during the Edo period. However, the first shogun, Tokugawa Ieyasu was born in Okazaki city in the Aichi prefecture. Okazaki castle is also a very beautiful castle and an important sightseeing spot in Aichi.
There is also Okehazama castle. Before the battle of Okehazama, Oda Nobunaga (an important figure of the end of the 16th century) was not a very strong feudal lord. However, only one tenth of Oda Nobunaga's samurais defeated the big enemy that was Imagawa Yoshimoto at Okehazama. This battle marked a turning point in history as Tokugawa Ieyasu started the Edo period right after this battle and it remained relatively peaceful for 300 years.
Next to The Tokugawa Art Museum, there is a Japanese garden called Tokugawa-en. It was restored in 2004. There is an entrance fee to enter Tokugawa-en. In the garden, there is a French restaurant, the Garden Restaurant Tokugawa-en and a Japanese restaurant called Houzen-tei. You can go to the Japanese restaurant without entering the garden and paying the entrance fee.
Must-see Museum for Samurai Lovers
Do you know about Tokugawa Ieyasu? He’s the most famous leader of the Japanese warriors, who founded the Edo period that lasted about 300 years (1603-1868).
This museum houses more than 10,000 items inherited from Tokugawa Ieyasu and the treasures of the Owari Tokugawa branch family. The wide and high-quality collection includes 9 national treasures and 59 registered Important Cultural Properties. It’s the only museum that gathers those treasures in a structured way, and is very valuable because most of the items of Japanese feudal lords were lost due to the Meiji restoration (the end of the Edo period) and the world wars. I’m sure you’ll gaze in wonder at the beautiful armor, tea ceremony goods, Noh stage and authentic furnishings. Furthermore, each pattern and piece have some specific meanings. For example, a helmet with a fern crest, one of the armor of the 14th generation lord of the Owari Tokugawa family. This helmet has a fern crest on it, because fern is a symbol of prosperity and posterity (as you might know, a fern reproduces by spreading spores).
In the exhibition rooms, you can see the Sarumen Tea house, reception chambers and the Noh stage, which are partially reconstructed from the Nagoya Castle. The wonderful thing is that you can see the treasures in the space where those were originally used. Since many of the items alternate once in about 3 months, and there are always some interesting special exhibitions, it provides the visitors with different perspectives on this historic period.
If you are interested in Samurai, this is the must-see museum. Feel their pride and the craftsmen’s delicate art. And also, you will be surprised that they didn’t just prefer battles, but also loved to develop cultural literacy.
*Brochures in English/ Simplified Chinese/Korean are available.
Treasures of the Tokugawa Art Museum
Tourist center address ： 1017, Tokugawa-cho, Higashi-ku, Nagoya-city, AICHI
Category ： Art Museum
Opening hours ： 10:00-17:00 (Closed every Monday)
Website ： http://www.tokugawa-art-museum.jp
Tel. ： +81-52-935-6262
I am very proud of the Tokugawa Art Museum, there are so many important National Treasures. If you have time to stay in Nagoya, do not miss the Genji Monogatari Emaki in Tokugawa Art Museum. They are three illustrated hand scrolls of The Tale of Genji, written by Murasaki-Shikibu in the 1010s, and the hand scrolls were painted in the 1130s, surely they are the most important National Treasure in the Museum.
Tokugawa Art Museum opened in 1935, the main building was constructed in a classic Japanese style with some western influence. There are the hereditary collections of the Tokugawa clan, Owari branch. You can find permanent exhibition including a historical reproduction of the everyday life essentials, Samurai armors, helmets and swards, also beautiful Kimono for women. Also there are actual tea-house where you can enjoy tea ceremony, and Noh-Stage where you can see Noh, traditional Japanese theater..
You can enjoy lunch and dinner with Japanese food in Hozentei restaurant, and also French cuisine in the garden restaurant Tokugawa-en.
2. Entrance fee
Adults: 1,200 yen
University and senior high school students: 700 yen
Junior high school and elementary school students: 500 yen
200 yen discount per adult groups, 100 yen discount per student groups of 20 or more.
Tokugawa museum is located near the city center of Nagoya, you can access from;
Via JR. (Japan Rail): ten minutes’ walk from Ozone station South exit
Via Meitetsu railway: 15 minutes walk from Ozone station
Via Subway: 15 minutes walk from Ozone station
4. My recommendations
There are several special exhibitions in this museum so check the website before you go!
5. Best visit time
The museum is air-conditioned, anytime is fine to visit.
Spring is beautiful with cherry blossoms, Autumn is also beautiful with colorful leaves in Tokugawa-en garden located right next to the museum.
TOKUGAWA Ieyasu (1542-1616) is a unique hero in the Japanese history and I have a great respect for him. He was born in Okazaki, not far away from Nagoya, he finally established his shogunal government at Edo (now Tokyo) in 1603. So began the Edo period when Japan witnessed 265 years of peace. The Owari Tokugawa, based here in Nagoya, were among the most powerful and wealthy clan. Therefore this museum presents their wonderful family collection.
- * The information above is from the date of the review. Please be aware that some of the content may vary from the most recent information.
Other Sightseeing Spots of Nagoya, Takayama(Aichi, Gifu)
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