Thursday, February 1, 2007

10. Museum Review: Idemitsu Museum of Arts (Marunouchi)


The Idemitsu Museum of Arts displays works of art collected over 70 years by Sazo Idemitsu, the founder of Idemitsu Kosan Co., Ltd. The main collection focuses on different types of Asian art, shown periodically, theme by theme.

Currently the exhibition is called, "Elements of Design in Calligraphy". As I stated in an earlier blog, I do not have a special interest in calligraphy, but it was close to the Mitsuo Aida Museum and there was a discount ticket in the Grutt Pass. Items on display included screens, scrolls, fans, pottery, books,...

I was not overly impressed with the museum itself. There was nothing to distinguish it from any other museum except for its excellent view of the Imperial Palace. To visit this museum, you must have a real interest in the subject matter of the exhibit.

For those truly interested in calligraphy, this was probably an excellent exhibit. But, for me, it all just started running together. Each item had a basic English description, but there was no translations of what was actually written (as there was in Japanese). I would have been in and out of this museum in record time if the view of the Imperial Palace had not been so good. With all the free Japanese tea (3 types) you can drink available, I sat for a while in a comfy chair, relaxing, staring out the window.

The museum is located on the 9th floor of the Teigeki Building, 3-1-1, Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-0005.

The phone number is 03-3213-9402.

Hours of operation: 10:00-17:00 (last entry at 16:30). Fridays 10:00-19:00 (last entry 18:30). The museum is closed on Mondays (except national holidays), during the New Year's break, and for changes of exhibits. Always check before visiting, there are some lengthy closures.

Access: The museum is a short walk from JR Yurakucho Station, or from Subway Yurakucho and Hibiya Stations.

Admission: Adults: 1000 yen (800 with Grutt pass, or if in a group of 20 or more)
College and high school students: 700 yen
Free for Jr. High students and younger, but they must be accompanied by their parents.

For more information, check their website: http://www.idemitsu.co.jp/museum Scroll to the bottom of the page for a link in English.

The current exhibit runs until February 12th. The next exhibit, 'Shino and Oribe - The Elegance of Vessels', runs from February 20th to April 22nd.

A permanent exhibit of pot sherds (broken pieces) excavated from Egypt and sites around Japan is also on display.
**Free entry with Grutt Pass 2007 (#19)