The Yomiuri ShimbunShoso-in was originally a repository of the Todaiji temple in Nara.
The history of its treasures began when items related to Emperor Shomu (701-756) were stored there. After the emperor died, his grieving widow Empress Komyo (701-760) dedicated hundreds of objects used by the emperor to the statue of the Great Buddha at the temple.
The Shoso-in collection includes about 9,000 items such as Empress Komyo’s favorite belongings, gifts from Imperial family members and aristocrats, Buddhist objects of the Todaiji temple and old documents and other items associated with Emperor Shomu.
Since the Meiji era, which began in 1868, the items have been managed by the central government as treasures of the Imperial Household.
Usually, only about 70 items of its collection are shown to the public each year during the annual Shoso-in exhibition.
The Yomiuri Shimbun
Schedule: Oct. 28 to Nov. 13. Open daily from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. (until 8 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and national holidays)
Admission: ¥1,100 for adults, ¥700 for high school and university students, and ¥400 for elementary and junior high school students. Prices are reduced by ¥100 for advance tickets (on sale until Oct. 27) or for groups of 20 or more. Late-entry tickets to visit the museum 90 minutes before closing can be purchased 2½ hours before it closes. They are priced at ¥800, ¥500 and ¥200, respectively. An advance pair of tickets for an adult visiting with a child of elementary or junior high school age costs ¥1,100.
Venue and organizer: Nara National Museum
Supporters: Iwatani Corp., NTT West Corp., Kansai Electrical Safety Inspection Association, Canon Inc., Kyoto Arts And Crafts University, Kintetsu Railway Co., Central Japan Railway Co., West Japan Railway Co., Shionogi Healthcare & Co., Daikin Industries, Ltd., Daiwa House Industry Co., Hakutsuru Sake Brewing Co., Maruichi Steel Tube Ltd. and Yamato Noen Co.
Special cooperation: The Yomiuri Shimbun
Cooperation: Minerva Shobo Ltd., Yomiuri Telecasting Corp. and others
Visiting: The museum is a 15-minute walk east from Kintetsu Nara Station. Alternatively, a local bus service is available from both Kintetsu Nara Station and JR Nara Station.
The venue is usually busiest in the morning on weekends and national holidays, and less crowded later in the afternoon on weekdays.
Visit www.yomiuri.co.jp/shosoin for more details (in Japanese).