As a cultural facility in central Tokyo, the Hanzomon Museum offers public access to a rich reservoir of Buddhist artwork and cultural properties from Shinnyo-en’s collection.

In the exhibition space on the first floor of the basement, Seated Mahāvairocana attributed to master sculptor Unkei and Gandharan reliefs of the Buddha’s life are on permanent display. Buddhist statues, paintings and scriptures are exhibited on regular rotations.

On the second floor, a lounge area provides visitors opportunities to browse through books or take a break, and a multipurpose room is available for different functions. On the third floor, visitors can enjoy watching films on Buddhist cultures in a theater, and a hall for lectures is also on the same floor.

Encountering buddhas through images and paintings can be an inspiring experience. We hope to offer a tranquil setting for our visitors to explore the history of Buddhism and its cultural diversity and to find calm and relaxation.

Architectural Concept

The internal architectural design of the Hanzomon Museum was commissioned to Mr. Akira Kuryu of A. Kuryu Architect Associates Co., Ltd.

Including the main exhibition area, there are diverse spaces spanning from the first floor of the basement to the third floor above ground. The entrance hall on the first floor maintains an openness that is full of light, which is the result of the stairwell and transmittance glass that is adjacent to the gallery. The second floor is equipped with a versatile multipurpose room which can hold exhibitions and the lounge area can be utilized to browse books or as a space to take a break. The third-floor theater regularly shows films and there is hall that can hold lectures.

As the lead architect, Mr. Kuryu designed the first floor of the basement by picturing a spatial representation of a temple hall that can enshrine various buddhas. He states: “The travertine floors of layered marble and walls reminiscent of a rock chamber help to create a space for nurturing spirituality, calling upon our inherent sense of faith.” The intention behind the museum’s glass walls that resemble Japanese paper was to “allow soft, natural light to be diffused in the room during the day, while having the same light emanate as if from paper-framed lamps, inspiring a sophisticated urban scenery at night.”

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