Japan Osaka Kita

Osaka National Museum of Art

An underground showcase of contemporary art in Osaka

Photo of Osaka National Museum of Art, Japan (国立国際美術館, 大阪府大阪市 The National Museum of Art, Osaka, Osaka, Osaka prefecture, Japan by Mc681)

The National Museum of Art, Osaka, is a unique underground museum featuring contemporary art located on Nakanoshima Island. Established in its present form in 2004, the museum is recognized for its collection focusing on post-1945 artworks, making it an important cultural venue in Osaka. The museum’s architecture, inspired by the growth of bamboo, offers visitors a distinctive fusion of modern design and artistic creativity.

About Osaka National Museum of Art

The museum has its roots in the Expo Museum of Fine Arts, created for the 1970 Osaka Expo. Evolving from this beginning, the museum was established in 1977 and later moved to its current location in Nakanoshima, reopening in 2004 after being redesigned by architect César Pelli. The building’s exterior, suggesting waving reeds, symbolizes the vitality of contemporary art.

The museum has a notable collection, including works by international artists such as Paul Cézanne, Max Ernst, Tsuguharu Foujita, and Pablo Picasso. Through its participation in the Union Catalog of the Collections of the National Art Museums, Japan, the museum is instrumental in the preservation and exhibition of Japan’s art heritage.

The subterranean design of the museum, with one floor above ground and additional floors below, offers a distinctive setting that includes a variety of facilities such as a kids room, restaurant, and lecture hall.

The museum’s permanent collection is categorized into various sections that are periodically updated, providing fresh perspectives on contemporary art. The museum also organizes special events and temporary exhibitions that celebrate significant artistic contributions.

Visitors are encouraged to experience both the art and the unique architectural design of the museum. The museum also allows photography under certain conditions, allowing guests to document their visit.

In contrast to the museum’s underground setting, Osaka’s bustling city life offers additional cultural experiences, including the nearby Osaka Science Museum and the historical Osaka Castle.

Getting There the easiest way to reach Osaka National Museum of Art

KH 53

 Keihan Nakanoshima Line

 5-10 minute walk (500m)
H 45

 JR Tozai Line

 10-20 minute walk (1.0km)
M 17

 Midosuji Line + 1 more

 10-20 minute walk (1.0km)
O 12

JR Fukushima
 JR Osaka Loop Line

 10-20 minute walk (1.1km)

Around Osaka National Museum of Art

Osaka National Museum of Art

Art Museum in Osaka

open 10am - 4:30pm (varies)
closed Monday, unless a holiday (and other days)


国立国際美術館, 大阪

Google MapsApple Maps

Updated 14 Mar 2024 • Report an error

People say about us...

It's an awesome guide and has been so helpful in that it covers much more than just the destinations itself. - Jeff

Brilliant job. Your insight will let us plan our days so much more effectively. Very much appreciated. -  Gordon & Claire