- Yoshiaki Hirota
Your Museum Tour Starts with a Discount Pass in Ueno!
About several museums in and around Ueno Park, including Tokyo National Museum and Ueno Royal Museum. Also includes information on the Grutto Pass.
For art museums and other museums, try the “Grutto Pass”
For those visitors wishing to see many Tokyo art museums as well as other museums around the city, we recommend the “Tokyo Museum Grutto Pass 2015.”
For the price of 2,000 JPY, you can visit and get discounts for 78 different museums within Tokyo.
This goes too for national institutions including the Ueno Royal Museum, the National Museum of Nature and Science and the Tokyo National Museum. However, which of the permanent and special exhibits you can see with your pass and for how much depends on the museum, so be sure to check the websites below for more details.
You can use your “Tokyo Museum Grutto Pass” until March 31,, 2016. The “Grutto Pass” introduced in the above website can be purchased at any of the 78 participating institutions, or at the Tokyo Tourism Information Center.
Visitors traveling by train can take advantage of the “Metro & Grutto Pass” set. Normally the combination of two Tokyo Metro one-day passes (2 x 600 JPY) and “Grutto Pass” (2,000 JPY) would come to 3,200 JPY, but with the set discount this becomes 2,700 JPY.
Since 45 of the 78 participating institutions are accessible by Tokyo Metro, having a free pass to use any of the lines is sure to make your tour a lot easier!
These are available at any station's commuter pass sales point, available until January 31, 2016 (and can be used anytime until March 31, 2016).
Ueno, Rich with Museum Culture
Home to an array on institutions including the Tokyo National Museum, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum and Ueno Royal Museum, Ueno is known as a town rich in culture.
Here we will divide the institutions into regular museums and art museums, and introduce each one.
Tokyo National Museum
Within 10 minutes walk of Ueno Station and Uguisudani Station, this museum is a “Grutto Pass” eligible institution.
As a comprehensive museum, it collects, preserves and exhibits cultural assets of the orient.
The official website is available in 8 languages: English, Chinese (traditional and simplified), Korean, German, French, Spanish and Japanese.
■Location: Uenokouen13-9, Uenokoen, Taito-ku, Tokyo, 110-0007, Japan, Tokyo National Museum
■Operating Hours: 9:30am through 5:00pm (last admission 4:30pm) Research and Information Center: Monday-Friday, 9:30am through 5:00pm
■Closed: Mondays, year-end holidays
The official website has an easy-to-read calendar highlighting exhibition times and scheduled closures, so be sure to check before your visit.
Right now there are special exhibits such as “The Great Terracotta Army of China's First Emperor” (until February 21, 2016) and “Maps of Japan Created by Ino Tadataka” (until December 23, 2015).
The Highlights of Ueno's Art Museums
For those visitors into art over history we recommend Ueno's art museums, all within a 10 minute walk of Ueno Station. Let's look at each in turn.
Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum
Japan's first public art museum, it was developed with the intention of being a welcoming gateway into the world of art. There are a wide variety of exhibitions on show in collaboration with the mass media, tourism board and other public organizations. Recent exhibits include “Botticelli and His Time” (until April 3, 2016), which is eligible for a discount with the “Grutto Pass.”
The official website is available in English, Chinese (traditional and simplified), and Korean.
■Location: 8-36, Uenokoen, Taito-ku, Tokyo, 110-0007, Japan, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum
■Operating Hours: 9:30am through 5:30pm (last admission 5:00pm) *Special exhibition hours on Friday from 9:30am through 8:00pm
■Closed: every 1st and 3rd Monday of the month (Open on holidays but closed the following day) *Closed on some special occasions
Ueno Royal Museum
Established in April 1972, this museum was built on the grounds of Ueno Park to display important cultural properties and other various genres of artwork.
The museum holds frequent exhibitions including the VOCA Exhibition, the Ueno Royal Museum Grand Prize Exhibition, and the Japanese Nature Painting Exhibition.
A recent original exhibition entitled “Seductive Smiles: Masterpieces of Ukiyo-e Paintings from the Weson Collection” will run until January 17, 2016. This is also eligible for a discount with the “Grutto Pass.”
■Location: Uenokouen1-2, Uenokoen, Taito-ku, Tokyo, 110-0007, Japan
■Operating Hours: 10:00am through 5:00pm (last entry by 4:30pm) * Subject to change depending on the contents of exhibitions
The National Museum of Western Art
Starting with the donation of the Matsukata Collection (a collection of French impressionist art centered around the work of Rodin) by the French government, the museum was constructed in April 1959 to showcase western art for a wider audience.
As the only institution with such a spectrum of western art, the curators are focused on creating new exhibitions.
Currently on display is “The Golden Legend: Treasures from the Ancient Mediterranean” (until January 11, 2016). This is also eligible for a discount with the “Grutto Pass” of course.
■Location: Uenokouen7-7, Uenokoen, Taito-ku, Tokyo, 110-0007, Japan National Museum of Western Art
■Operating hours: 9:30am through 5:30pm (Fridays until 8:00pm)
The Tokyo National Museum and three art museums are all located in close proximity of each other, so it would be a wasted opportunity to only see one during your visit! Check the official websites for exhibition information, grab your “Grutto Pass” and go explore!
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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