Nara Craft Museum


Nara city is famous as one of terminal stations of Silk Road where Eastern and Western cultures meet and interact with the other, leading to the flourishing boom flourish of Nara culture as a cradle of Japanese culture, especially traditional arts. Naramachi, as the old town in the heart of Nara cultural circle has been preserved to save totally the excitement of the culture from the past. It is quite easy to catch a work of some Nara craftman, however, the situation will be not the same if you want to meet a real craftman. Visiting Nara Craft Museum and you will have your answer and even witnessing how they create these artworks.


Source: Naramachi Info

Born to hand down the tradition of craft, create craft artworks and moreover, to open for public to widen and enhance the knowledge as well as the artistic sense, Nara Craft Museum has chosen from various collections of Nara artists to bring impressive exhibitions of ancient artworks and craft dating back to Nara period when Nara served as Japanese capital as well as the hub of Japanese cultural flows. The museum is where you can find out a kind of high quality brushes along with inkstones and ink used inside the offices of Nara Heijo Palace by the scribes and even important peoples such as the Prince Charles and his wife Camilla.


Source: Naramachi Info

In the familiar architecture of traditional Japanese house like other museu structures around Naramachi, exhibits are arranged in two stories. The first story houses Buddhist statues and masks, traditional calligraphy brushes and inks, ceramics and glassware, while the remaining is stage for regular public workshops on how to create Nara crafts. Inside the museum, there is also a little shop selling works of Nara craftmen that you can buy some as souvenirs for your friends and families. Workshops are designed to focus on Akishino, a kind of hand knitting techniques, ceramic creating, carving a single piece of wood called Ittobori and lacquer ware.


Source: Naramachi Info

Ittobori, also called Nara Ningyo doll, will be created by carving a single piece of wood. Based on the close connection between Nara city and Buddhism, Ittobori was born then becoming a traditional craft of Nara with the birth of Buddhist sculptures as well as wooden toys later. Initially, sculptors made Buddhist images then turning to toys. They have handed down the craft to produce such young following generations of just approximate 30 years old. The beauty of Ittobori emits from its simplicity as it is simply carved out from a single piece of wood then covered by some gold foil and mineral pigments. An other outstanding exhibit of Nara Craft Museum is making mother of pearl for decoration. It must be a long and hard process to take the shells from ocean and completely wrapped up in polishing and carving with great care.

Open time: 

From 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. Last entry at 5:30 pm.

Closed day: Monday or the next day if Monday is a public holiday, the day after national holiday except for Saturday and Sunday, from December 26th to January 5th.


Freely access

How to access: 

-Take a 10 minute walk south from Kintetsu Nara Station or 15 minute walk east from JR Nara Station.

-Take Gurutto Bus or inner loop bus No.6 and get off at B10 stop.