Learning at the Museum Learning at the Museum

Hands-on Carts

To prevent the spread of COVID-19 infection, this program is not being implemented at this time.

What are Hands-on Carts?

The Hands-on Carts contain interactive educational materials, including replicas of artworks and cultural properties and samples of materials that visitors can hold, touch, and look at closely to observe details that are otherwise difficult to see in the galleries. Adults and children alike can also deepen their knowledge of cultural properties by chatting with the Kyohaku Navigators who are in charge of the carts. Hands-on materials are currently available for four areas: archaeology, painting, sculpture, and lacquerware. The museum plans to add more materials in the future. To prepare and create these unique educational materials, the museum received the cooperation of studios and other workshops that are involved in the repair of cultural properties.

Operating Hours: 10:15 a.m.-4:15 p.m.
Location: In front of the elevators on the 2nd and 3rd floors (subject to change)

Hands-on Carts

Hands-on educational materials


This cart contains detailed resin replicas of bronze artifacts from the museum's collection, including Dotaku (Bronze Bell) with Flowing Water Pattern and Mirror with Triangular Rim, Three Gods, and Three Animals.
Visitors can hold the bell in their hands, look inside it, and take a close look at its incredibly detailed surface patterns. They can even see their own faces reflected on the surface of the bronze mirror.

  • Resin Replicas
  • Archaeology


This display of various pigments used in East Asian painting helps viewers to understand the kinds of raw materials that were used to create the paintings on view in the museum.
The reproductions of illustrated handscrolls on display can be rolled and unrolled, providing visitors with the unique opportunity to experience how these kinds of scrolls would have originally been viewed.
Other materials on display include samples of ink, handmade Japanese paper and papermaking materials, and painting brushes.

  • Painting
  • Painting


A model of the inlaid crystal eyes used for Buddhist statues allows visitors to see how the eyes of Buddhist statues were made by inserting them into the model themselves. Visitors can also try their hands at inserting an urna (a jewel-like white ⅽurl on the forehead of a Buddha) or an ushnisha jewel (a jewel at the base of the topknot-like protuberance rising from the head of a Buddha).
Visitors can touch and feel models of drapery patterns, which are a distinctive feature of Japanese Buddhist sculpture that changed over time.
Samples of wood used for making Buddhist sculptures are displayed to provide visitors with an understanding of the tactile quality, color, fragrance, and weight of the different varieties of wood.

  • The Inlaid Crystal Eyes
  • The Inlaid Crystal Eyes
  • Models of Drapery Patterns


Visitors can observe the multi-step processes for two foundational techniques of Japanese lacquerware: makie (sprinkled metallic powder) and raden (mother-of-pearl inlay).
Samples made by skilled craftsmen exhibit differences in texture that give visitors an understanding of the techniques used for pieces in the museum's collection.

  • Lacquerware

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