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Tokyo National Museum

The Tokyo National Museum, Japan’s oldest and largest museum, houses the largest collection of Japanese art and artifacts anywhere on earth. The collection encompasses more than 100,000 objects with exhibit space for only a fraction of that number, so visitors will almost certainly see new things on each visit.

The museum’s five buildings each contain a separate themed gallery. If you only have time to visit one, make it the Japanese Gallery (Honkan) where you’ll find a collection representing Japanese art history from the Jomon period through the Edo period with pieces dating back to 450 BC.

The Asian Gallery (Toyokan) covers art and artifacts from the rest of Asia, while the Horyuji Treasures (Horyuji Homotsukan) collection features Buddhist artifacts from the Horyuji Temple in Nara Prefecture. The Heiseikan Gallery covers Japanese archeological history and houses many of the museums special exhibits, and the Hyokeikan Gallery highlights works from Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

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