The Nezu Museum first opened in the Minami Aoyama district of Tokyo in 1941 from a bequest from Nezu Kaichiro, the industrialist and president of Tobu Railway.
On October 2009, the museum re-opened based on the new modern design by architect Kuma Kengo (A recent article in Metropolis featured Kengo titled Can a new generation of architects remake Tokyo?)
The museum is home to a diverse collection of Japanese and East Asian arts of 7,000 objects including calligraphy, painting, sculpture, ceramics, lacquer, metalwork, bamboo crafts and textiles. There are seven items designated as National Treasures, 87 Important Cultural Properties, and 97 works registered as Important Art Objects.
Mr. Kaichiro was an enthusiastic practitioner of the way of tea so the museum is considered especially strong in arts related to tea, as well as several tea houses on the grounds. No pictures were allowed inside the exhibits, these pictures were taken in the lobby area.
Set on a massive site covering more than 20,000 square meters, the Museum is surrounded by a Japanese garden of rich and mature trees, around an extensive pond.
It was raining (actually, pouring) that day we visited the museum – I took these pictures outside while trying to hold an umbrella (sometimes my wife held the umbrella), and keep my camera dry – that certainly was a challenge.