Japanese Museums Part 1 – Tokyo National Museum

Posted: November 14, 2011 in English, Wanderlust
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Tokyo is an amazing city, that has not only a lot of night life and party to offer but also a lot of culture and history. In order to learn more about Japan and its people I decided to go every other week to at least one museum.

The first museum I want to introduce is: Tokyo National Museum

When I went to the National Museum I actually took advantage of a special open day for foreignstudents. So getting in for free is already a big plus point for the museum but even on regular days the museum costs only around 400 (students) to 600 yen.

The National Museum has a bit of everything: Art, Ceramic, Weapons, Artefacts; basically bits and bites throughout Japan’s history. During my visit there were also volunteer guides, who were leading me through different rooms and who gave me quite interesting stories about certain artefacts. Beside of mainly Japanese (and some Chinese) history in the main building, there is also a smaller one, that is showing art and artefacts from other Asian nations (including Egypt for what ever reason). 

The whole museum’s area and also its buildings look quite big, but unfortunately I have to say, that I was a little bit disappointed. Each room is so spacious that I felt sometimes that they tried to leave as much space as possible untouched, what gave me the feeling of being a bit lost. Furthermore did I miss a certain coherent story. Many artefacts seemed to be randomly put together and it was hard to understand their connection or importance.

A very nice surprise, however, was the traditional tea ceremony, that was held in a beautiful tea house in the back garden of the museum. I was told to get a ticket (it is for free) half an hour in advance, but when I arrived all the 35 spaces were already gone. So after bagging the younger tea ladies for 10 minutes to take us as well, who then tried to persuade their Sempai tea lady boss for another 10 minutes, we were finally allowed to join the group. I still can remember the look of the old Japanese lady who probably broke the rules the first time in her life…quite a special day for her.

A tea ceremony is something everyone should do or see at least once in their life. I think it is not really about the tea itself, which taste in my opinion awful (yes I know, this German guy has no idea what he is talking about) but rather it is about, the atmosphere, the relaxation and the feeling of being the guest of the world’s best host: An old Japanese lady, that puts 100% dedication in every single movement of tea making….only for you.

All in all, I really enjoyed my time at the museum, even though I believe that there are still areas, that can be improved, in order to grab the full attention and interest of the visitors.

  1. Maggie Leon Garcia says:

    OMG!!! I really have to go there. And I want to meet that lovely old Japanese lady!!!!! = ) I’m sure is a very interesting person to talk with. =D Hope to read more about this museum =)… and many others =D… Keep having fun in the oriental part of the world my dear German friend!!!!

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