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徳川美術館 Tokugawa Art Museum

  • Art museums / Galleries
  • Around Nagoya
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Around Nagoya
1017 Tokugawa-cho, Higashi-ku Nagoya-shi, Aichi 461-0023, Japan
  • Art museums / Galleries
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Date of post:2015/07/24

Treasure of the Edo period, Japanese garden and restaurant

  • Arts

As for art and culture of the Edo Period, Ukiyoe, Kabuki and Sumou are famous for people in foreign countries. But, they are relatively popular culture among ordinary people in the Edo period. Most people seem not to be familiar with high culture of the Edo period, even if it is people in Japan.

For example, If Ukiyoe is close to MoMA in New York, the collection of The Tokugawa Art Museum is similar to the collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. This is just an example. Actually, there are not good Japanese art collection in the Met and any other museums.

But, if we visit The Tokugawa Art Museum, we can see works of art in the Edo period. Most of them are articles of Tokugawa Ieyasu and his immediate family, Owari Tokugawa. Through Meiji Restoration and World Wars, most treasure of Tokugawa family was disappeared. But, fortunately, the collection in Aichi prefecture has remained. Although everything is not always exhibited, this museum has more than 10,000 pieces of Tokugawa treasure.

Edo is the old name of Tokyo. And, the government was in Tokyo during the Edo period. But, the first shogun, Tokugawa Ieyssu was born in Okazaki City in Aichi prefecture. Okazaki castle is also a very good castle and one of sightseeing spots in Aichi. And also, there is Okehazama. Before Battle of Okehazama, Oda Nobunaga was not so strong feudal lord. But, one tenth of samurais of Oda Nobunaga defeated a big enemy of Imagawa Yoshimoto at Okehazama with using geographical features. It was a turning point. After all, Tokugawa Ieyasu started the Edo period. It was relatively peaceful for 300 years. Anyway, there are some historic places in Aichi prefecture.

Next to The Tokugawa Art Museum, there is a Japanese garden called Tokugawaen. It was restored in 2004. We need an entrance fee to enter Tokugawaen. In the garden, there is a French restaurant, Garden Restaurant Tokugawaen. And, in the site of Tokugawaen, there is a Japanese restaurant called Houzentei. We can go there without an entrance fee of Tokugawaen and enjoy Japanese cuisine.

Date of post:2015/07/23

Must-see Museum for Samurai Lovers

  • Arts
  • Special Recommendations

Do you know about Ieyasu TOKUGAWA? He’s the most famous leader of the Japanese warriors, who founded the Edo period that lasted for about 300 years (1603-1868).

This museum houses have more than 10,000 items inherited from Ieyasu TOKUGAWA 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 (classical Japanese musical drama stage) and authentic furnishings. Furthermore, each pattern and piece has some specific meanings. For example, a helmet with a fern crest belongs to 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. Visitors may have different perspectives on this historic period since the items on display are alternated with other ones once in about 3 months and with interesting special exhibitions.

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, and Korean are available.

Date of post:2015/07/22

Treasures of the Tokugawa Art Museum

  • Arts
  • Special Recommendations

Tourist center address : 1017, Tokugawa-cho, Higashi-ku, Nagoya-city, AICHI
Category : Art Museum
Opening hours : 10:00-17:00 (Closed every Monday)
Website :
Tel. : +81-52-935-6262

1. Outline
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 1130's, 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.

3. Access
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.

6. Other
Ieyasu TOKUGAWA (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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