Japan Tokyo Marunouchi

Sannomaru Shozokan

Showcasing royal art and artifacts from Japan’s Imperial heritage.

Photo of Sannomaru Shozokan, Japan (三の丸尚蔵館 by 江戸村のとくぞう)

The Sannomaru Shozokan, or Museum of the Imperial Collections, is a museum located within Tokyo’s Imperial Palace. Housing a vast array of imperial artifacts, from regalia and costumes to artworks by renowned artists, it offers visitors a unique glimpse into the traditions and customs of the Japanese Imperial Family. The museum is a cultural link from the past to the present, featuring a prized collection.

About Sannomaru Shozokan

The Sannomaru Shozokan, situated in the Imperial Palace East Gardens in Chiyoda, Tokyo, is a significant cultural institution. Managed by the Imperial Household Agency, it preserves and exhibits “Gyobutsu,” the art pieces that were once possessions of the Imperial family. After the death of Emperor Shōwa in 1989, a substantial donation of art to the national treasury led to the museum’s creation. Officially inaugurated on November 3, 1993, the museum was planned as a research and storage facility but now includes exhibition rooms at the behest of the Imperial family.

The initial donation of 6,000 art pieces by the Imperial family has grown to around 9,800 items, thanks to contributions from other Imperial family members. The collection features works by artists such as Kanō Eitoku, Itō Jakuchū, and Hokusai, and includes calligraphy by past emperors and donations from aristocrats and business magnates.

As of September 2021, a selection of the museum’s artifacts has been designated as National Treasures. This includes narrative scrolls depicting the Mongol invasions and screens by Kanō Eitoku.

To accommodate the growing collection and increasing visitor numbers, the museum began reconstruction in 2019. The new “Phase I” building was unveiled on November 3, 2023, and the full reopening is expected in 2026. The new facilities will include more exhibition space and a cafe, seeking to enhance the visitor experience.

During reconstruction, the museum continues to share its treasures through loans to other museums across Japan. The Sannomaru Shozokan’s collection provides insights into the artistic heritage and historical narrative of the Japanese Imperial family, featuring historically significant documents, calligraphy, lacquer work, and pieces by Imperial Household Artists.

The Sannomaru Shozokan offers an essential experience for those interested in Japan’s royal history. With its expansion and addition of new facilities, future visitors will have even more opportunities to immerse themselves in the artistic and cultural legacy of the Japanese Imperial Family.

Getting There the easiest way to reach Sannomaru Shozokan

T 09

 Tozai Line + 4 more

 5-10 minute walk (600m)
JY 01

 JR Yamanote Line + 3 more

 10-20 minute walk (1.1km)
A 13

 Asakusa Line + 2 more

 10-20 minute walk (1.5km)
G 13

 Ginza Line + 1 more

 10-20 minute walk (1.5km)

Around Sannomaru Shozokan

Sannomaru Shozokan

History Museum in Tokyo

open 9am - 3:30pm (varies)
closed Monday, unless a holiday,Friday (and other days)


三の丸尚蔵館, 東京

Google MapsApple Maps

Updated 13 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