Time Machine: Shousou-in Exhibition, Nara
What is “Shousou-in”?
“Shousou” was a term for a repository owned and controlled by government offices or major temples during the Nara (710 – 784) and Heian periods (794 – 1185).
“Shousou-in” meant the area where a group of “shousou” were built.
Now, only one storehouse of “shousou-in” is existent, located at the temple Toudai-ji, Nara.
The word usually refers to this particular repository today.
For more information, see here.
You can see photos of treasures in this website, too.
Some of treasures in “shousou-in” are open to public once a year as a special exhibition at Nara National Museum.
About three weeks in Autumn.
There are variety of collection, originating from foreign countries as well as Japan, and including clothes, musical instruments, accessories, documents, etc.
Sometimes the original and its copy are displayed, so you can see what the original looked like in its time.
My favourite items are documents.
I’m looking forward to seeing them whenever I go to the Exhibition, because it is very interesting to know how people lived in that time.
For example, reports about a person who was punished because he burnt something beside a house and of absence, household registration, records on necessities and workers for constructions or something, and so on.
Also, it is amazing to see how “washi”, a traditional Japanese paper, can be maintained in a good condition under proper control.
I once heard that “washi” and “sumi” (Japanese ink) were the best combination for keeping records, as they would last quite long.
Although documents displayed have changed in colour to brown, they generally can be read clearly.
All the information are based on the last Exhibition.
– Ticket –
- You can buy in advance at several places including convenience stores before the Exhibition is open to public.
It will cost you a little cheaper.
Even after the Exhibition is open, you may still be able to purchase advance ticket at places like small shops or railway stations in Nara.
- “Autumn Late Ticket” is the cheapest.
It’s sold solely at ticket booths of the museum and can be purchased two hours and a half before the closing time.
The ticket allows you to enter the museum only from one hour and a half before the closing time of the date of issue.
- Just for reference, admission fees for adult last time:
After the Exhibition is open : 1100 yen
Advance (“Mae-uri” in Japanese) or a group with more than 20 people : 1000 yen
Autumn Late : 800 yen
On the final day of the last Exhibition, admission was free in cerebration for “san-jyu” (the age of eighty years) of the emperor and the empress.
– Others –
Quite many people come to Nara during the Exhibition throughout Japan.
- Longer opening hours than usual during the Exhibition.
From 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., open everyday.
On Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and National holidays, closed at 7 p.m.
- Around four in the afternoon is probably the best time to visit the Exhibition.
I used to go there before the opening time, waited in a long, long queue outside, then had a great difficulty to see exhibits properly in a crowd inside.
There are less people in the afternoon, and the time right before people with Autumn Late Ticket enter seems the least crowded.
As for the permanent exhibition, there will be much less people at any time.
- If you visit Nara in Autumn, you’d better book your accommodation in advance.
It would be almost impossible to find a room for reasonable price on the date of arrival in Nara city, especially on weekends during the Exhibition or in the foliage season.
- There are many special exhibitions other than the museum during this period.
You probably can enter some buildings which are usually closed in the temples nearby, although you need to pay some money.
- Better not buy “shika senbei” (biscuits for deer) in this particular period.
Too many people seem to buy and give them to deer, and deer are just fed up with the same old biscuits!
However, if you see somebody with biscuits being attacked by greedy and aggressive deer (as usual), that means they aren’t tired of “senbei” yet, so you can enjoy feeding (or being ripped off by) them.
- Beside a pond(s?) near “Toudai-ji”, you may find a self-service stand with food for carp.
If I remembered right, it cost 100 yen for a long-stick-like food and there was a note on the stand saying “You can give this to deer too”.
Latest posts by kara (see all)
- Basic Japanese : “Sumimasen” – “Thank you” in Japanese - June 24, 2015
- Basic Japanese : “Arigatou” – “Thank you” in Japanese - May 29, 2015
- Basic Japanese : “Go-chisou sama” – Phrase after meal - May 27, 2015
At this years company excursion, we traveled down south to Seto Inland Sea. Located in between Imabari, Ehime and Onomichi, Hiroshima. It took us about three hours to reach the port of Shitadami where we boarded a small cruise vessel to experience the Rapid Tides of the Kurushima Strait. Before the cruise started, the cruise […]
What to see in the village centre There are several shops, cafes and even museums in the quite short high street. [The former Katayama residence] The house for the head family of Katayama, built in the late Edo era. The Katayama family was a very powerful merchant who made a fortune by producing “Bengara”. The […]
Planning to visit Japan for commercial purposes? I want to share with you about how to apply or the process of getting a Japanese Visa for any commercial purposes in the Philippines. This may sound a boring post, but this is important to me and might be important with some of you too. Application Requirements […]
People make art almost everywhere: canvasses, walls, streets, and rice fields. Wait, rice fields? Yes, you read it right. Rice paddy art or known as Tanbo art (田んぼアート) in Japan is the best thing to happen to rice fields before the rice are harvested and served on our plates. Inakadate, Aomori Inakadate is a village […]
When a colleague invited me to go cosmos viewing, I was hesitant at first. I’ve seen cosmos around the neighborhood where I lived in Japan. Sure, they are nice, beautiful flowers but they don’t draw me as much as roses, sunflowers, or my personal favourite, lilies. But rather than being stuck in the dormitory with nothing else […]
Dazaifu Tenman-guu : The “ema-dou” area and around the pond The “ema-dou” (ema house) area There is a small square where “ema-dou” is located. “Ema” is a wooden plaques with people’s wishes and/or appreciation to God. The “ema-dou” was built in 1813, and it’s the biggest and oldest existent “ema-dou” in Kyushu island. A “sake” […]
If someone will ask me what to check out in Okayama, the first thing I would suggest would be to visit Okayama Korakuen. Aside from its easy access, its scenic spots will bring you relaxation and peace of mind away from a hectic life. The garden is surrounded by tall trees that being there would […]
One weekend in June, my friend and I went to Nagasaki City for a weekend trip. Nagasaki City is the capital of Nagasaki Prefecture on the island of Kyushu. When we arrived at the Nagasaki station, we immediately went to their tourist help desk. Good thing there was an English speaking attendant who helped us […]
The Koraku-en Garden is known to be one of the three great gardens of Japan. I must admit I have visited this place several times in the past in different seasons and spring by far for me is the best season to visit and enjoy strolls in this beautifully landscaped garden with the sakura in […]
Talking about Tokyo, I could think of tall buildings, high bridges, and a well-developed City. That is what comes out of my mind before I went to Japan. When I was in Japan, we had our trip to Tokyo and we visited some of the famous places there and I could say, Tokyo is not […]