The Nara National Museum is located in the Nara Park area of central Nara close to many of the city's main tourist attractions. It is an art museum which primarily displays and collects Japanese Buddhist art and archaeological relics. Nara's ancient arts and crafts and other historical exhibits from Asuka, Nara, Heian and Kamakura periods of Japanese history can also be found there. Nara National Museum is said to have the most complete collection of Buddhist sculptures in Japan.
This museum is divided into two sections; the Nara Buddhist Sculpture Hall & Ritual Bronzes Gallery that contains a fine collection of butsu or the statues of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, paintings, scrolls and ceremonial objects mainly in Japan. Then, the newer East and West Wing that is connected to the original building by an underground passsage, it contains the permanent collections of sculpture, paintings, and calligraphy. It also houses temporary exhibitions, including an annual exhibition every autumn of treasures from Todai Temple.
The Nara National Museum is located in Nara Park, a 15 minute walk from Kintetsu Nara Station or a 30 minute walk from JR Nara Station. Alternatively, it can be reached by bus from either station. The most convenient Nara bus for the Nara National Museum is the #2 Loop bus from either JR Nara Station or Kintetsu Nara Station. Get off at the Himuro Shrine/National Museum bus stop next to the museum. Buses #70, #72, #97, and #160 also stop at this stop.
It is open from 9:30 to 17:00 and until 19:00 on Fridays from April through October. Admission ends 30 minutes before closing. It is closed during Mondays or Tuesday if Monday is a national holiday. The general entrance fee is 520 yen, college student fee is 260 yen and High school and below has no entrance fee. If you will visit the museum with a group, you can also avail discounts.
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