The final museum we visited was the Tokyo National Museum. We came wanting to view some Japanese artefacts and learn a bit of Japanese history.
However we were quite excited when we reached the front gate to see this poster.
Yes, the Chinese terracotta warriors were being exhibited! We had seen a small exhibition at the Art Gallery of NSW a few years ago, but this exhibition was something else – three very large rooms filled with artefacts, not to mention the warriors themselves. This is just about as good as it gets, apart from visiting Xi’an itself. Unfortunately we weren’t allowed to photograph much of the exhibition, only this display.
We did learn a few new things about the warriors – that aside from being each of them being unique and life-sized, they also armed as were their function. So the standing warriors above, infantry, would have held lances; and the archers, like the kneeling warrior above, would have held bows. One wonders at the power of the man that instigated this entire scheme, the first Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang, all the way back in 246 BCE (2,362 years ago).
Next to the natural history museum is the Museum of Western Art.
Outside there were signs that there might be some significant artists represented.
I didn’t take any photos inside, but this gives you an idea of what is in the permanent collection. As I like Impressionism a lot, I certainly enjoyed the museum, particularly its dedicated room to Monet. I guess the Japanese like his work too.
Aside from plenty of parkland, Ueno is also the site of a dozen or so of Tokyo’s museums. We visited just three of them during our stay.
The first was the natural history museum.
It’s entrance, with its blue whale, is quite impressive. Much of the building was built around the turn of the century.
But inside it was much more modern, and has what we thought was one of the best collections of dinosaurs in a public museum anywhere.
Let’s continue our stroll through Ueno Park.
There’s a temple.
Markets to browse.
A game of baseball play or watch (although the pitcher here was terrible).
The park was used by everyone, including these tiny preschoolers here.
And although it was the beginning of winter, we even found a tree in blossom.
Oh, and there were lots of museums, which I’ll cover in the next post.
At the end of the day, everyone went home contented.