Ueno Park is a place that is famous for the collection of national museums. It is undoubtedly the very best place in Japan to explore any kinds of arts. Tokyo Direct Guide has the visitor information about Tokyo National Museum, National Western Art Museum and National Science Museum – if you got a travel guidebook without them, throw it away now.
But this time, I’d like to talk about another big museum; Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum.
You can learn what it is from its name – Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum (I call it just Metropolitan Museum below) is owned by Tokyo City Government, not the Japanese government. As a result, this museum is often used for exhibitions of locals, etc.
However, Metropolitan Museum cannot be missed because it sometimes holds VERY big exhibitions.
Can you see it? An exhibition of Van Gogh and Gauguin is held at Metropolitan Museum! National Western Art Museum is NOT the only place in Japan where world-famous paintings stop at during their world tour!
…I want to show you the interesting things in the museum, but I can’t because of the no photo policy. Instead, I’d like to write 2 tips at Metropolitan Museum.
Tip 1: Museum Shop
When you enter the door, a shop is just in front of you. They are selling very cool items that are related to arts. For example, I saw typical magnets, Tokyo’s crafts, art materials, Monet iPhone cases, etc. I have no photos, but you can explore the atmosphere in the official site. Find cool souvenirs yourself!
Tip 2: Restaurants & Cafes
There are 3 restaurants/cafes in Metropolitan Museum; Museum Terrace, IVORY and M Cafe.
From my experience, Museum Terrace and M Cafe are popular because we can have a meal from 1,000 yen (around $10) there, beside IVORY looks luxury. But I suggest you to have a look at IVORY. The branch course is available from 2500 yen (depending on the menu). Chef’s roast beef is really good. People give up many things too early – we CAN have a great lunch in a calm restaurant. If you are given a bill of many things you ordered at the cheaper restaurant, you possibly regret your choice. Think yourself and choose the best restaurant for you.
In Conclusion, I’d like to advise you to check out what exhibitions are on at Metropolitan Museum when you are staying in Tokyo. Ueno has many arts to see. It is quite understandable that you want to meet Japanese arts at Tokyo National Museum during your stay – Everyone thinks this way when we are staying in a foreign country. Considering it, you won’t put priority on Metropolitan Museum when visiting Ueno. However, it is possible that something that interests you so much is staying at Metropolitan Museum at the same time to you!
At least, you should check out the on-going exhibitions in the official website. Or just entering the restaurant is cool, too!
Visitor Information & Helpful Links
How to Get to Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum
Go out of Park Exit of Ueno Station, and Ueno Park is just in front of you. Metropolitan Museum is next to Ueno Zoo.
9:30 – 17:30 (Last admission 17:00), Closed on every 1st and 3rd Monday (When Monday is a national holiday, open on the day and closed on the following Tuesday.)
Cherry Blossoms in Ueno Park – One of the best, or the very best place to view sakura in Tokyo!
Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum Official Website (English, Chinese, Korean and Japanese)