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Nara Prefectural Museum of Art|Access, information on use, attractions, cafés and lunches

About the Nara Prefectural Museum of Art

The Nara Prefectural Museum of Art established in 1973 following a donation of artworks by the genre historian and Japanese painter YOSHIKAWA Kanpo (1894-1979). It is located beside Nara Park and within walking distance of Kofukuji Temple and the Nara National Museum. With the aim of promoting art and enhancing the culture of the people living in Nara, the museum holds a wide variety of exhibitions based on art collection activities and research.

The museum has organized exhibitions with a connection to Nara, centered on works from Yoshikawa's collection and those donated by historical philosopher and art historian YURA Tetsuji and post-war contemporary art collector OHASHI Kaichi. Special exhibitions on various themes have also been held.

In exhibitions, the museum aims to be open and accessible to visitors through events such as lectures and gallery talks by curators who provide commentary on art courses related to the exhibitions.

Nara Prefectural Museum of Art Access and Visitor Information


10-6, Noborioji-cho, Nara, Nara 630-8213, Japan



Access from nearest station

  • 5-minute walk from Exit 1 of Kintetsu Nara Station.

  • Take Nara Kotsu Bus from the East Exit bus stop of JR Nara Station and get off at Kencho-mae bus stop.

Opening hours

9:00-17:00 (admission by 16:30)


Mondays (or the following weekday if Monday is a public holiday), year-end and New Year holidays, during exhibition change periods.

Entrance fees

  • Special exhibitions: ¥400 (¥300) for adults, ¥250 (¥200) for university and high school students, ¥150 (¥100) for junior and primary school students.

  • Special exhibitions: Varies from exhibition to exhibition. Please check the official website.

*Prices in parentheses are for groups of 20 or more.

*Free admission for holders of a disabled person's ID (including Milairo ID) and one carer.

*Free for international visitors (including foreign students and long-term residents) and accompanying volunteer tourist guides.

*Persons aged 65 and over are only admitted free of charge to the 'Special Exhibition'.

*Free admission for students from elementary, junior high and senior high schools and equivalent schools in Nara Prefecture who are accompanied by a teacher or staff member.

*On Saturdays, the exhibition is free of charge for children and students from elementary, junior high and high schools and equivalent schools in Nara Prefecture and beyond.


wheelchair rental, stroller rental, nursing room support, rest area, museum shop.


As there is no dedicated parking space, please use the Todaiji Car Parking Lot or other nearby pay parking lots.

Official website

Highlights of the Nara Prefectural Museum of Art


The museum's collection currently comprises more than 4,600 items (as of July 2023), including paintings, crafts, sculptures, calligraphy (handwriting), genre materials and works by artists associated with Nara from the Kamakura era to the present day.

After the donation of the Yoshikawa Collection, on which the museum was based, the collections of YURA Tetsuji, a historical philosopher and art historian, and OHASHI Kaichi, a collector of post-war contemporary art, were added. In addition, works by artists with close ties to Nara, including those by Nara-born TOMIMOTO Kenkichi, a master of modern ceramics, have been collected from time to time.

Representative works include The Landscapes of Autumn and Winter by Sesshu, a Zen monk painter of the Muromachi period (1336-1573); Beauty by SOGA Shohaku, a painter of the Edo era who is related to the lineage of the Chi-Sen; Hozugawa by TAKEUCHI Seiho, a representative of the Kyoto art world; and Haruyoi by UEMURA Shoen. The museum also actively collects works by Nara-born artists, including graphic works by Ikko Tanaka and contemporary ceramics by TOMIMOTO Kenkichi.


The Nara Prefectural Museum of Art was designed by KATAYAMA Teruo, an architect who worked in both the government and private sector. The adjacent Nara Prefectural Government Office and the Nara Prefectural Cultural Centre were also designed by Katayama, and both incorporate the axial structure found in shrine and temple architecture in a modern concrete structure.

The museum is characterized by a particularly Japanese design. The deep eaves, fair-faced concrete columns and beams, and cantilevered beams circling the exterior walls like a corridor, give the building an appearance reminiscent of a temple.

Representative past exhibitions

The Nara Prefectural Museum of Art exhibits a wide range of works from Japan and abroad, and places great importance on organizing exhibitions that are closely linked to the local area, such as those featuring artists from Nara on an ongoing basis. The museum also strives to make art accessible to visitors by providing easy-to-understand explanations that help them understand the artworks.

Main exhibitions.

William Morris: Tracing the Trail of Design through the Original Landscape (2021)

Masterpieces from the Collection of the Nara Prefectural Museum of Art: An Exhibition Tour Starting with the Beauty of Nara (2022).

NODA Hiroshi: The Realism of Truth (2022)

TANAKA IKKO: The Happiness of Design (2023)

TOMIMOTO Kenkichi: The Past and Future of the Exhibition (2023)

Museum shop

The museum shop is located next to the rest area. It sells exhibition catalogues and original goods with deer motifs. Some exhibition catalogues sell out, so this is a must-stop place when viewing the exhibitions.

Opening hours



Mondays (or the following weekday if Monday is a public holiday), year-end and New Year holidays, during exhibition change periods.

*Scheduled to be renewed in January 2024.

Cafés and restaurants

*There is no café/restaurant inside the Nara Prefectural Museum of Art.

There are a number of cafés and restaurants within a 5-minute walk of the nearest station, Kintetsu Nara Station. There is also a tourist information center and a building with commercial facilities near the station, so it is relatively easy to find restaurants. There is also a cafeteria in the Nara Prefectural Government Building adjacent to the museum. During weekday lunchtimes, visitors can enjoy views of Kofukuji and other temples while having a meal.

Places to visit around the Nara Prefectural Museum of Art

Nara National Museum

The Nara National Museum is located in a corner of the nature-rich Nara Park. The area is surrounded by Todaiji Temple, Kofukuji Temple and Kasuga Taisha Shrine, where visitors can feel a sense of history.

Known as the second oldest national museum in Japan, it houses a wide variety of cultural assets, including sculptures, paintings, calligraphy, crafts, archaeological artifacts and bronze objects, with a focus on Buddhist art from temples and shrines. The museum has the largest collection of Buddhist art in Japan, with a total of 1,947 items, including 13 national treasures and 114 important cultural properties, and a total of 1,937 items on deposit, including 54 national treasures and 311 important cultural properties (as of 31 March 2023).

The Nara National Museum consists of four exhibition spaces: the Nara Buddhist Sculpture Hall, the Bronze Sculpture Hall, the East New Gallery and the West New Gallery. One of the must-sees is the Nara Buddhist Sculpture Hall, where you can admire up to 100 Buddhist statues at any one time. The Shosoin Exhibition held in autumn and a variety of other exhibitions are also very popular and attract many visitors from Japan and abroad.

The underground corridor connecting the East New Hall, West New Hall and Nara Buddhist Sculpture Hall has a museum shop and restaurant, where visitors can stop by before or after viewing the art.

Isuien and Neirak Museum of Art

The Japanese garden at Isuien is a nationally designated place of scenic beauty and one of Nara's most popular tourist attractions. The garden is divided into two parts, the "front garden" created in the Edo period and the "back garden" built in the Meiji era, allowing visitors to enjoy two different garden landscapes at the same time. The garden is beautifully decorated with flowers of the four seasons and is set against the backdrop of Todaiji's South Gate and the mountains of Wakakusa and Kasuga.

Irie Taikichi Memorial Museum of Photography Nara City

Irie Taikichi Memorial Nara City Museum of Photography is the only museum of photography in the Kansai region, located in Takahata-cho, Nara City. Focusing on the work of Nara-born IRIE Taikichi (1905-1992), one of Japan's leading photographers, the museum exhibits the works of photographers who have cultivated Japan's unique photographic culture, as well as those of the next generation of artists.


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