Kanazawa Nakamura Memorial Museum

A museum dedicated to tea ceremony utensils

- 2 min read

On a visit to Kanazawa one time, I availed myself of the Cultural Facilities Pass, which allows holders free or reduced entry to a wide range of museums around the city. This allowed me to take a look at some smaller museums which I wouldn't have otherwise visited, and one of the most pleasant surprises was the Nakamura Memorial Museum.

Some history. The museum was founded by businessman Nakamura Eishun in 1965, to display the works of art he'd collected during his career. In his words: "Art is a treasure of the people; it does not belong to one person". The collection consists of more than a thousand items, primarily related to tea ceremony, only a small number of which are displayed at any one time.

The detail is wonderful
The detail is wonderful

The museum is nicely laid out, peaceful and spacious, with a small area made to look like a traditional garden that we can see from the lounge near the entrance. Throughout the museum there's helpful information provided in English, including the story of Nakamura's family and his interest in tea ceremony, and some enjoyably detailed explanations of the exhibits' design and history.

When I visited the exhibition theme was "Vessels for delicious food", and there was a whole wide range of objects on display, in a variety of different styles. There were lacquered boxes and trays for serving cakes and sweets, sake bottles with a playful crow motif, and painted plates, cups and bowls. The craftsmanship and attention to detail were exquisite, and I really enjoyed walking around slowly admiring these beautiful items.

A lacquered box for sweets
A lacquered box for sweets

Getting there

The museum lies to the south of Kenrokuen garden, a good walk from Kanazawa station, but not far from the 21st Century Museum of Art and the neighbouring Noh Museum. The nearest bus stop is Honda-machi, which is on the Kanazawa loop bus route.

The museum is open daily from 9:30am to 5:00pm, closing for the New Year holidays and exhibition changes. Admission is JPY310 for adults, with discounts for senior citizens and groups of 20 or more; entrance is free for high school students or younger, and of course for holders of the Cultural Facilities Pass.

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