Gardens of the Nezu Museum

Hidden among the busy streets of Tokyo, Japan, lies the Nezu Museum. Previously known as the Nezu Institute of Fine Arts, this museum features the private collection of Japanese artist Nezu Kaichirō and was first opened in 1941, one year after Nezu’s death. In addition to the prized collection found inside the museum’s newly-renovated building, visitors can also enjoy the grounds’ breathtaking Japanese-style garden, which showcases some amazing landscape design.

The History of the Nezu Museum Gardens

The land on which the Nezu Museum sits was purchased by Nezu Kaichirō in 1906. Nezu fell in love with the area’s terrain, particularly its hills and dales. During World War II, the garden and the museum grounds were burned during bombings in May of 1945; however, the collection itself remained safe in storage, and was put back on display in 1946. Since then, the garden and grounds have been restored one small area at a time, with modern renovation efforts focusing on improving the garden’s accessibility for visitors.

The Goal of the Nezu Museum Gardens

The Nezu Museum gardens are meant to provide visitors with a natural urban oasis in the middle of Japan’s busiest modern city. Inside the garden, the traditional Japanese landscaping design aims to create small scenes that depict the beauty and serenity of nature as it changes through the seasons. As visitors wander the stone-paved paths, they can enjoy not only the verdant plants, but the grounds’ beautiful teahouses, stone lanterns, and two ponds as well.

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