National Art Center - PR shot
Photo: National Art Center, Tokyo

Japan’s national art museums will begin reopening from today

Your next visit to one of Tokyo’s art museums may need a reservation

Tabea Greuner
Written by
Tabea Greuner

Japan’s national art museums have been temporarily closed since the end of February to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus. However, now that the state of emergency has been lifted, it seems museums will be some of the first venues to reopen. 

Following the National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto’s announcement of reopening today (May 26), the National Museum of Art, Osaka is scheduled to reopen on Tuesday June 2.

Tokyo’s national art museums will then follow suit, reopening sequentially from mid-June. The national art museums in Tokyo include the National Museum of Western Art, the National Art Center Tokyo, the National Museum of Modern Art Tokyo, and the National Film Archive of Japan.

Both the Kyoto and Osaka museums have also announced some new rules to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Visitors will be encouraged to use hand sanitiser (with dispensers placed at museum entrances), temperature checks will be conducted on entry, face masks will be mandatory, and visitors will be required to keep at least 1m apart at all times. For further information on the new entry rules for the National Museum of Modern Art in Kyoto, click here (Japanese only). For the new safety rules at the National Museum of Art in Osaka, see here and here.

It’s unclear whether similar rules will apply to the Tokyo museums, but they are considering extending exhibition periods and implementing a reservation system – selling tickets for designated days and time slots to avoid large crowds of visitors flocking to the galleries. 

This article will be updated as soon as reopening dates for the Tokyo museums have been announced.

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