May I take photos in the museum compound?

Photography is not allowed in the exhibition halls except for the following.
– The Two Standing Kongo Rikishi in the gallery 6 of the Nara Buddhist Sculpture Hall.
– The exhibits in the Ritual Bronzes Gallery.

Flashlights, selfie sticks, tripods, videography are, however, prohibited due to the protection of cultural properties and a better museum environment for all visitors. While shooting, please keep the camera/smartphone lens away from glass cases to prevent damage. Besides, please refrain from any behavior that may inconvenience others such as taking group photos or blocking the exhibits for prolonged periods of time. Our staff could directly call your attention if needed.

May I post the photos taken in the museum on the internet?

It is prohibited photography and using them for commercial use such as:
・Printed matters distributed to the public or posting them on the business web media
・Sales of the photos
・Exhibition to photography displays required admission fee.
・Development and production of relative products using the photos
・Providing the photos to the third parties for profit.

Please note that an infringement of portrait rights may occur, in case that other visitors or our staff unexpectedly appear in your photo posted on the website. Please understand in advance that we will not take any responsibility in case of the trouble concerning photos taken by visitors in our museum.

Where is the museum located?

The museum is located in Nara Park, close to Tōdai-ji Temple, Kōfuku-ji Temple, and Kasuga Taisha Shrine. The nearest stations are Kintetsu Nara and JR Nara.

What are the hours of operation?

The museum is open from 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM. (Last admission at 4:30 PM)
On extended hours days, the museum remains open until 7:00 PM (Last admission at 6:30 PM)

When is the museum closed?

The museum is closed on January 1 and Mondays. When Monday falls on a national holiday, the museum stays open and is closed on the following day. For consecutive holidays, the museum is closed on the day after the holidays.
However, the museum may temporarily open in accordance with the local events.
The museum will be open throughout the period of the Exhibition of Shōsōin Treasures.

How much is the admission fee?

The admission fees to the Exhibition from the Permanent Collection (including Featured Exhibitions) are 700 Yen for adults and 350 Yen for college students.

Where can we park our cars?

There is no public parking space for visitors. Please use the nearby parking lots.
  Noboriōji tourist parking lot: 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM
  Daibutsumae tourist parking lot: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
  Takabatake tourist parking lot: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Visitors with mobility limitations who come by car, please inform the reception desk.

Are eating, drinking, and smoking allowed?

Food and drinks are allowed in the lounge located along the lower level passageway connecting the new Wings and the Nara Buddhist Sculpture Hall.
A restaurant and vending machines for drinks are available along the lower level passageway. Smoking is not allowed throughout the museum grounds due to the partial revision of Health Promotion Law in July 1st 2019. We ask for your understanding and cooperation.

What should I do if I lose my belongings at the museum?

Lost and found items will be turned over to the police or disposed of after a certain period of time. If you lose your personal belongings during or immediately after your visit, please contact the security station (0742-22-4469).

Is the museum accessible by wheelchair?

The museum is wheelchair-accessible. Elevators and accessible toilets are located in the buildings. Wheelchairs are available free of charge. Please contact the museum staff when you arrive.

Are baby strollers allowed?

Baby strollers are generally allowed. However, for the safety of the child and other visitors, the museum may restrict the use of baby strollers. In such cases, visitors will have to carry their children.

Is admission with assistance dogs allowed?

Although pets are not permitted into the museum, assistance dogs are allowed.

Can I use a mobile phone?

Please put your mobile phone on silent mode inside the building.
Using mobile phones inside the exhibition halls is not allowed.
Public phones can be found along the lower level passageway.

What can we see at the museum?

In the Exhibition from the Permanent Collection, you can see fine arts, written materials, and archeological artifacts related primarily to Buddhism. Among these, Buddhist sculptures, such as Buddha statues, are on display at all times in the Nara Buddhist Sculpture Hall. Paintings, written materials, decorative arts, and archeological artifacts are exhibited in the West Wing, but they may not be displayed when the West Wing is used for the Special Exhibitions.

Ancient China Bronzes are always exhibited at the Ritual Bronzes Gallery.

At the Special Exhibitons, you can find various cultural properties collected on the basis of specific themes, ranging from Buddhism to other genres.

What is the upcoming exhibition schedule like?

For the Exhibition from the Permanent Collection, the display schedule is planned every three months. All exhibits are listed on this website.
The Special Exhibition schedule will be posted as soon as the details are finalized.
For related information, please refer to the “Nara National Museum Newsletter” and the exhibition pamphlets.

When will the Exhibition of Shōsōin Treasures be held?

The Museum will receive the finalized details of the schedule of the Exhibition of Shōsōin Treasures from the Imperial Household Agency in July or August.
Please visit our website or check the newspapers for the latest information.

Is it possible to extend the duration of the Exhibition of Shōsōin Treasures?

The duration of the Exhibition of Shōsōin Treasures may be short compared to other Special Exhibitions because this exhibition must be held within two months after the opening of the Shōsōin Storehouse.
Before the Exhibition of Shōsōin Treasures begins, a week is required for checking and packing at the storehouse, in addition to another week for installation.
The same number of days is required after the exhibition ends, so the duration of the exhibition is necessarily limited to 17 days.

Can the museum exhibit more famous treasures at the Exhibition of Shōsōin Treasures?

The treasures to be exhibited at the Exhibition of Shōsōin Treasures are chosen by the Shōsōin Office of the Imperial Household Agency.
Traditionally, the same items will not be chosen again for 10 years after they have been exhibited.
Further, as the recent trend has been to present a full picture of Shōsōin and focus on exhibiting treasures that have not previously been displayed to the public, it has become more difficult to exhibit a large number of famous treasures.

What kind of collections are available for viewing at the museum?

The collections are largely cultural properties related to Buddhism, ranging from sculptures to paintings, written materials, decorative arts, and archeological artifacts.
Other groups of collections include the Ancient China Bronzes collection. 

Are the famous works exhibited at all times?

Ancient cultural properties require extreme care for preservation purposes. To avoid exposure to light as well as temperature and humidity changes, we must limit the duration of the exhibits outside the repository. Therefore, only selected famous works are exhibited at any given time.
As the exhibition schedule is planned as per the most appropriate duration for each piece of work, please check the exhibition schedule for the works you wish to view.

Isn’t it too dark in the exhibition hall/ display cases?

Many cultural properties are vulnerable to light damage, including color fading and material deterioration. Therefore, to preserve these objects, we restrict their exposure to light.
Accordingly, each exhibition hall has dimmer lighting than the display cases to create a contrast that allows objects to be seen in the dim light.
We apologize for the inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding.

Isn’t it too cold/ hot in the exhibition hall?

To preserve cultural properties and prevent them from color-fading and material deterioration, we must maintain temperature and humidity at a favorable level.
The most favorable condition for preserving these objects is 20°C with humidity of 60%, with temperature and humidity differences limited to ± 5°C and ± 5%, respectively.
In the summer and winter seasons, you may feel too cold or hot in the exhibition hall due to the temperature difference between the exterior and the interior of the museum, so please dress accordingly.

How much time is needed for viewing all exhibits?

The amount of time needed depends on each visitor, but it takes at least 30 minutes to view only the Exhibition from the Permanent Collection at the Nara Buddhist Sculpture Hall. It may take roughly two hours in total to see all exhibitions, including those in the new Wings.

Are there museum docents to provide explanations?

There are volunteer guides in each gallery and will explain the works exhibited by request.

Teachers looking for information on school visits and tour guide arrangements, see here.

Is sketching allowed in the museum?

Please check with the reception desk at the Nara Buddhist Sculpture Hall. Pencil sketching is permitted only in the Permanent Collection at the Nara Buddhist Sculpture Hall and the Ritual Bronzes Gallery. Easels and chairs are not allowed. Sketching may not be allowed on some occasions, such as during peak hours.