Special Exhibitions & Feature Exhibitions

Special Exhibition

The 73rd Annual Exhibition of Shōsō-in Treasures

The Shōsō-in was established as the repository of Tōdaiji Temple during the Nara period (710–794). At the heart of this collection of over 9,000 treasures preserved and passed down from ancient times to the present day are the most beloved possessions of Emperor Shōmu (701–756; r. 724–749). This year marks the 73rd annual Shōsō-in Exhibition, when around sixty of these treasures are selected and put on display. As ever, a wide variety of objects appears in the selection, including musical instruments, furnishings, textiles, Buddhist ritual implements, documents, and sutra scrolls. Among these, two of the most outstanding of all the treasures are the Genkan Lute of Shitan with Mother-of-Pearl Inlay, which is exhibited in Nara for the first time in twenty-five years, and the Lacquered Pedestal for an Incense Burner with Gold Leaf and Painting, its vivid colors truly magnificent and arresting. The many treasures in the repository associated with writing are another focus of this year’s show. There are brushes, ink sticks and an inkstone, and even paper. All of these objects have been the subject of important research in recent years, and they offer a perspective on the practices and material culture of Nara-period writing.

Genkan Lute of Shitan with Mother-of-Pearl Inlay


Saturday, October 30th – Monday, November 15th, 2021 (Reiwa 3)

The museum is open every day for the entire run of the exhibition.

Museum Hours

9:00 a.m. –6:00 p.m.

  • Hours are extended to 8:00 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and November 3rd (Culture Day).
  • Last entry is one hour prior to closing.


The East Wing and West Wing, Nara National Museum


General Admission 2,000 JPY
University and High School Students 1,500 JPY
Junior High and Elementary School Students 500  JPY
Campus Members  400  JPY
Persons with disabilities are admitted free of charge along with one attendant. Please show official ID or other documentation.  Free Admission
Please note that those qualifying for free admission still must reserve their tickets in advance.
Those with an NNM Premium Card are admitted free of charge. 
  • Advance tickets can be purchased at Lawson Ticket [L code: 57700] (Lawson and Ministop stores, telephone (TEL: 0570-000-028), or the official website <https://l-tike.com>). There are no ticket sales at the museum.
  • Ticket sales will end as soon as tickets sell out. The final date to purchase tickets will vary depending on the method of purchase.
  • One can purchase up to four tickets at a time. However, when reserving free-admission tickets, only a single ticket can be reserved at a time. The number of tickets for each timed-entry window is limited, so please make your reservation for a time and date that you will be able to visit the museum.
  • There is no special rate for groups or tours.
  • For Those Who Have Reserved Tickets for University, High School, Junior High School, and Elementary School Students: On the day of your visit, students must show their student ID. (Elementary school students are exempt from this requirement). If you do not present your student ID, you will be asked to pay the difference between the regular price (2,000 yen) and the cost of a student ticket.
  • Visitors Qualifying for Free and Discounted Admission: For those who have reserved a Campus Members student ticket or a free reserved ticket, you will need to present your certificate or membership card on the day of your visit. If you do not present your certificate or membership card, you will be asked to pay for your ticket (2,000 yen for general admission and 1,500 yen for high school and university students). Persons with a disability certificate (and their accompanying caregiver) or holders of an NNM Premium Card on their first and second visit are admitted free of charge, but they must reserve their ticket in advance. Finally, it is not necessary to make a reservation in advance for children in preschool.
  • Advance tickets cannot be used to view exhibitions from the permanent collection—the Nara Buddhist Sculpture Hall and the Chinese Ancient Ritual Bronzes Gallery, but visitors with advance tickets can enjoy a discounted admission. For adults, admission is 200 yen instead of 700 yen, and for university students, admission is 100 yen instead of 350 yen. Admission to the permanent collection galleries is free for anyone under 18 years of age in addition to high school students. It is also free for those 70 years of age and above or visitors with a disability certificate and their caregiver.

Timed-Entry Admission

Admission is timed-entry for this exhibition, with hour-long windows for entry from the time that the museum opens. You must arrive at the museum during the window designated on your ticket. The last entrance is at 5:00 p.m., and at 7:00 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and on November 3rd (Culture Day).

Visiting the Exhibition

  • Admission will not be granted during an entry window other than the one for which you have reserved a ticket.
  • There is likely to be a big crowd at the beginning of each entry window; please keep this in mind as you determine the time of your arrival. You may enter the exhibition at any time during the window indicated on your ticket.
  • The line to enter the exhibition begins ten minutes before the start of each entry window. You will only be permitted to join the line for the window designated on your ticket.
  • If the galleries are crowded, there is a possibility that you will be asked to wait to enter the exhibition even if you arrive at the time designated on your ticket.
  • We will take your temperature at the museum entrance. Please be so kind as to wear a mask.
  • To avoid congestion in the galleries, we request that visitors limit their time viewing the exhibition to around one hour.


Nara National Museum

With the Support of:

Iwatani Corporation, Nippon Telegraph and Telephone West Corporation, Kansai Electrical Safety Inspection Association, Kintetsu Railway Co., Ltd., Central Japan Railway Company, West Japan Railway Company, Shionogi Healthcare Co., Ltd., Daikin Industries, Ltd., Daicel Corporation, Daiwa House Industry Co., LTD., Nakanishi Metal Works Co., Ltd., MARUICHI STEEL TUBE LTD., and YAMATO NOEN Co., Ltd.

With Special Support from:

The Yomiuri Shimbun

With the Cooperation of:

Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK) Nara Station, Osaka Metro, Nara Kotsu Bus Lines Co., Ltd., Nara Television Co., Ltd., Nippon Kodo Co., Ltd., Bukkyō Bijutsu Kyōkai (Buddhist Art Foundation), and Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation.

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