Close up of the glass exterior (Photo: Christie Petrakopoulou)

National Museum of Modern Art Osaka

Osaka's underground art treasure

Close up of the glass exterior (Photo: Christie Petrakopoulou)
Christie Petrakopoulou   - 3 min read

Originally built in 1977, this museum became Japan’s fourth national museum along with the National Museums of Modern Art in Tokyo and Kyoto and the National Museum of Western Art in Tokyo. The main objective was to collect and display artworks from both Japanese as well as foreign artists. However, the museum at the beginning faced storage and aging facilities problems. Thus, it was relocated from its original setting to a new completely underground facility in the Nakanoshima district of Osaka in 2004.

Due to donations over the years, the National Museum of Art, Osaka managed to secure a wide collection of 6,109 artworks as of March, 2011. The museum’s collection consists of: paintings, posters, prints, watercolors, sketches, photographs, sculptures, works made from paper, crafts, and a small amount of design works such as furniture.

With one floor and three basement floors the museum is an underground art paradise. The exterior glass design that decorates the museum is inspired by the form of bamboo and by the development and fostering of contemporary art.

The museum’s facilities also include a kids room, a restaurant, a media corner, rest rooms and a lecture hall apart from the basic facilities that every museum has. The permanent collection is divided into four parts and changes every four or five months. Until the 7th of December, visitors can see Jean Fautrier’s artworks. He was a French post-war artist and this is the first time ever his work has been exhibited in Japan, marking the 50th anniversary of his death. The artist is famous for creating beautiful textures by using thick layers of paint and thick lines.


If visitors follow the museum's rules (explained to you at the information desk), taking photographs is permitted.

Opening Hours and Admission:

The National museum of Modern Art in Osaka is closed on Mondays (Tuesdays when Monday is a national holiday) and while the exhibitions are changing. Tuesdays to Thursdays is open from 10.00 to 17.00 and on Fridays until 19.00.

The admission fee for the permanent collection is ¥430 for adults and ¥130 for 
University students. Visitors under 18 years old, seniors (65 and over) and disabled people with one attendant can enter for free.

For special exhibitions, the admission fee varies.

Admission Free day

  • Collection 1: 7 Jun., 5 Jul., 2 Aug., 6 Sep., 2014.

  • Collection 2: 4 Oct., 1 Nov., 3 Nov., 15 Nov., 16 Nov., 6 Dec., 2014.

  • Collection 3: 10 Jan., 7 Feb., 7 Mar., 2015


The easiest ways to reach the museum by train are:

  • A 5-minute walk southwest from Watanabebashi Station (Exit 2) on the Keihan Nakanoshima Line.
  • A 10-minute walk west from Higobashi Station (Exit 3) on the Yotsubashi Subway Line.
  • A 10-minute walk south from Fukushima Station on the JR Loop Line, and Shin-Fukushima Station (exit 2) on the JR Tozai Line on a 10 minutes walk.
  • A 10-minute walk south from Hanshin Fukushima Station.
  • A 15-minute walk west from Yodoyabashi Station on the Mido-Suji Subway Line, and Keihan Yodoyabashi Station.
Christie Petrakopoulou

Christie Petrakopoulou @christie.petrakopoulou

Hi! My name is Christie and I’m a journalist/blogger. Originally from Athens, Greece but living in Stockholm, Sweden I’m doing my Masters in Media and Communication Studies at Stockholm University. For one year I’ll be living and traveling around Japan in search of new challenges and experienc...