The Tokugawa Art Museum houses many masterpieces of the Owari Tokugawa family, including the belongings of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Edo shogunate. The museum houses many national treasures and important cultural assets, including the world-famous national treasure picture scroll "The Tale of Genji Illustrated Scrolls," and more than 10,000 other items in its collection. Visitors can experience the Daimyo Culture (culture of the feudal lords) that reigned during the Edo Period by viewing these masterpieces, which have been carefully preserved by the Owari-Tokugawa family.
The Tokugawa Art Museum opened in 1935. The museum consists of two buildings: the main building (a registered tangible cultural property), which has remained unchanged since its opening, and a new building completed in 1987; combined, these two buildings house exhibition galleries one through nine.
The new building was built to pay homage to Nagoya Castle, and the inside is a partial reproduction of the Ninomaru Palace of Nagoya Castle. Accordingly, visitors can appreciate the artifacts and the way they were used in a similar environment to people of the time.
The new building comprises exhibition rooms one to six, with the first exhibition hall devoted to symbolic relics of the samurai such as arms and swords. The second hall shows the “Chanoyu” world of tea ceremony, important for official samurai events, and the third room reproduces the hall where the feudal lords conducted government affairs and the "Kusarinoma (tea room)” which was used for entertaining guests.
The fourth exhibition room is a reproduction of the Noh stage in the Ninomaru Palace of Nagoya Castle, and features costumes and tools used in Noh, the ceremonial performance of the samurai class.
In the fifth room, there are "Oku tools," which were used in the Oku (private living quarters) of the feudal lords.
In the sixth gallery, the national treasure "The Tale of Genji Illustrated Scroll" (replica), a painting of the Tale of Genji written by Murasaki Shikibu, is on display. Because the display of the original Tale of Genji scroll is limited to a very short period, the Tale of Genji is often presented in reproductions and on film.
Visitors can be immersed in the atmosphere of the era by viewing the exhibits, the works of art, in the space where they were actually used. The exhibited items are changed approximately every month.
The main building, which houses galleries seven to nine, was introduced to the European architectural community as an innovative museum with modern facilities when it opened. Today, the building is registered as a tangible cultural property of Japan as a representative example of Japanese museum architecture from the early Showa Era. The exterior and entrance remain almost exactly as created in those days, and the interior of the main building exudes a unique and dignified atmosphere.
In collaboration with the neighboring Nagoya Hosa Library Exhibition Hall, special exhibitions on various themes are held throughout the year. The exhibits are designed to facilitate a deeper understanding of the culture and life of the feudal lords, while incorporating the latest research findings, so that visitors can discover something new each time they visit.
Getting there and around
Nagoya City Bus
From Nagoya Station Bus Terminal, platform 10, take bus No. 2 bound for Idaka Shako, get off at Tokugawaen Shindeki bus stop (approx. 30 min.), then it’s a 3-minute walk.
At Meitetsu Bus Center on the 3rd floor, platform 4, take the bus bound for Sangenya, get off at Tokugawaen Shindeki bus stop (approx. 30 min.), then it’s a 3-minute walk from the bus stop.
Take the JR Chuo Line bound for Tadashimi and get off at Osone Station (about a 20-minute ride).
Route Bus Me-guru
At Nagoya Station Bus Terminal, platform 11: one bus departs every 30 minutes to one hour on weekdays to/from Nagoya Station, and one every 20 to 30 minutes on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays. (approx. 30 min.)
Tokugawaen is located on the site of the Ozone Residence, which was built in 1695 as a retirement residence for Mitsutomo, the second lord of the Owari Tokugawa family. It is a Japanese garden featuring a pond surrounded by a circular path, like the main gardens of feudal lords in the Edo Period, and covers a total area of about 2.3 hectares. The park boasts several famous landmarks, such as a vast pond that resembles the ocean and a waterfall that has been recreated using stones from a waterfall at the site of the former residence of the Owari family in Edo (present-day Tokyo). Tokugawaen can be enjoyed all year round; showing a different face with every season, including lush greenery, autumn leaves, peonies, and irises.
This black lacquered “Yakuimon” style gate, completed in 1900, is the remains of the residence of the Owari Tokugawa family, located to the west of Tokugawaen. Dignified in appearance, it is the front gate of the Owari Tokugawa family's Ozone residence. It is one of the few structures that survived the air raids of 1945 and, combined with the row of continuing tenement houses and fences, is registered as a tangible cultural property of Japan. It is an important structure that conveys the atmosphere of a samurai residence.
“Hatsuneno Chodo” is the name for the numerous wedding furnishings brought by Princess Chiyo, daughter of Tokugawa Iemitsu, the third shogun of the Edo Period, when she married into the Owari-Tokugawa family. A total of 70 pieces of furniture are still in existence and are collectively designated a national treasure. It took three years to complete the furniture, which is based on the "Hatsune (The First Warbler)" and "Butterfly" chapters from the Tale of Genji, and with their advanced lacquer techniques they are the most luxurious and gorgeous wedding accessories in Japan. It is a premier collection of art at the Tokugawa Art Museum.
The area from Nagoya Castle to Tokugawaen is known as the "Cultural Path" because of the many historical buildings that tell the story of Nagoya's modernization. In particular, the townscape preservation district has buildings from the Meiji and Taisho Periods; making for a quaint and picturesque area. You can find the “Cultural Path” on the route of the Nagoya sightseeing route bus "Me-guru" from Tokugawaen, so we recommend complementing your sightseeing tour of the park with a visit.
When visiting the Tokugawa Art Museum, the Nagoya sightseeing route bus "Me-guru" is most convenient. The Me-guru bus stop is located very close to the Tokugawa Art Museum, so you can find the museum easily. The Me~guru also stops at many other tourist attractions, making it a highly recommended means of transportation for sightseeing in Nagoya.
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ANA Crowne Plaza Hotel Grand Court NAGOYA is situated just a short stroll from Kanayama Station, Aichi Prefecture's second busiest hub after Nagoya Station. The hotel is conveniently located just 5 minutes from Nagoya Station by train and 8 minutes f....