Wednesday, February 14, 2007

22. Museum Review: Asakura Choso Museum (Yanaka)

Fumio Asakura (1883 - 1964) was a pioneer of Japanese modern sculpture. The building which houses the Asakura Choso Museum was his own studio and residence. It took almost seven years to complete in 1935.

Yanaka is my favorite Tokyo neighborhood. If you come to explore the area, make a stop at the museum. Asakura-san's sculptures are excellent, I especially liked his collection of cats. But again, I was more interested in the building itself. Half traditional Japanese and half modern, I just really enjoyed being able to wander around as if it were my own.
If you do visit, make sure to go up to the rooftop garden. There are good views of Yanaka from here, and also a nice overhead view of the Japanese garden the residence is built around.
This is a small museum, but if you are in Yanaka for sightseeing, I do recommend stopping here.

Address: 7-18-10 Yanaka, Taito-ku, Tokyo 110-0001
Tel: 03-3821-4549

Hours of Operation: 9:30 - 16:30, closed on Mondays and Fridays (open if a national holiday and closed the next day). Also closed from December 29 - January 3, and occasionally for administrative purposes.

Admission: Adults: 400 yen, Jr. High and Elementary School Students: 150 yen
*Group discounts available.
*Free with Grutt Pass.

Access: 5 minute walk from the North Exit of Nippori Station. There is not a lot of parking in this residential area.

For more information: http://www.taitocity.net/taito/asakura

**Free entry with Grutt Pass 2007 (#10)

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I visited Yanaka and this museum on a chilly day in December in 2005 and was amazed at the tranquility of the whole area. It was hard to believe I was right by an enormous metropolitan area.

I found this blog entry while trying to find some photos of the entire -- especially the view from the roof -- of this museum. Thanks for sharing the photos and for rec.

Matt Emrich said...

I stumbled across this museum quite by accident one late fall afternoon in November of 1997. They were just closing up for the day but I was intrigued by the large black facade and made the trip again the next day, taking the train from my apartment in Urayasu. I was spellbound from the moment I stepped inside; this was my first glimpse into how a 'typical' Japanese home might've looked 100 years ago. (I learned later on, of course, that most Tokyoites' homes weren't quite so spacious). From all the yellowing wood and rice-papered walls inside, to the koi pond that serves as a central focal point in the open-air courtyard the house is built around, this museum was a haven for me. I took many visitors there over the next 10 years and none were disappointed. The Yanaka neighborhood that surrounds the museum is quite laid back and I enjoy nothing more than visiting the museum, strolling through the cemetery, and sitting down to a nice bowl of tempura udon on a chilly afternoon.

anpan said...

Unfortunately, this museum is closed for restoration from 2010 until 2013! Very disappointed to discover this fact after making my way all the way there...