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Years ago, after the birth of my first child, I went to Tokyo to get some paperwork done at the Embassy of Canada. After finishing up at the embassy, I decided I would visit the Nezu Institute of Fine Arts. The museum houses the private collection of pre-modern Japanese and East-Asian art of Nezu Kaichirō (1860-1940), a railway tycoon and philanthropist. Included in the collection are a pair of Edo period (1603-1868) folding screens, Irises, by Ogata Kōrin. It also includes other paintings of renown, calligraphy, sculptures, ceramics, textiles and archaeological artifacts, as well as objects in lacquer, metal, and wood. The collection also consists of Chinese bronzes of the Shang and Zhou dynasties. The Nezu Museum, as it is now called, is also known for its very attractive, Japanese garden. The memory of visiting this museum is indelibly linked to the joy I felt at becoming a father.
Imagine my surprise when I recently stumbled upon the Nezu Memorial Museum in Yamanashi! As it turns out, Nezu Kaichirō was born in Yamanashi and had a mansion built in Yamanashi City in the early 20th century.
Facing the Oume Kaido (Oume Road) the front gate is more than 95 feet wide and 18 feet deep.
The main house was completed in 1933 and was the residence from which Nezu Kaichirō managed his substantial rail empire.
The Kura (store house) is 34 feet high and is made entirely of wood. It contains display cases with items from the Nezu family.
The Oiso Pine, featured as the main image to this blog post, was transplanted from Nezu’s villa in Oiso, Kanagawa. The gardens at Nezu Memorial Museum are absolutely peaceful. You can view gardens from virtually anywhere on the Nezu estate.
The museum is open from 9:30 to 16:30, but it is closed on Mondays (also closed on Tuesdays if the previous day was a national holiday).
Adults ¥300, High School Students ¥200, Junior High and Elementary Students ¥100
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