May 17, 2013
Our first day in Tokyo ended with a visit to the Tokyo National Museum, located in Ueno park. The museum is huge (5 or 6 buildings) and we were exhausted by the time we got there so we only went into 2 buildings; the Asian gallery and the Japanese gallery.
The Toyokan, or Asian Gallery, was recently renovated (just finished in January 2013) and it was stunning. The building itself is a masterpiece of modern design and the lighting inside perfectly highlighted each piece. The Asian Gallery is dedicated to the art and archaeology of China, Korea, Southeast Asia, India, the Middle east and Egypt. We saw so many pieces at the museum so I’ll include some of the highlights here.
The Japanese Gallery, or Honkan, has 24 exhibition rooms on two floors and has pieces dating from 10,000 BC up to the late 19th century. It was a whirlwind of Japanese art and culture.
And last, but not least, a wooden monkey carving.
That’s it. Our first day in Tokyo spread through 4 separate blog posts. Talk about overextending ourselves! Tomorrow should prove just as exhausting with plans to hit a temple, museum, Akihabara and an evening of sumo.