It is the only museum in Japan specializing in carpentry tools, which systematically collects and stores hand tools and carries out research and exhibitions in order to pass on the skills and the spirit of craftsmen to succeeding generations. The museum was established in Nakayamate, Chuo-ku, Kobe, in 1984 which marked the 85th anniversary of the Takenaka Corporation. It was relocated in October 2014 to a verdant site near the Shin-Kobe station due to aging of the facilities and insufficient storage space. Workshops that make full use of the unique advantages of a “museum with a resident shrine carpenter” will be offered at the newly introduced Woodworking room. Moreover, the museum shop has a wide range of original goods developed around the concept of “wood” and “tools”.
What kind of building is the Carpentry Tools Museum?
It is a building with one floor above ground and two floors under ground, which has a Japanese-style roof that helps it to blend in to the surrounding nature. We have taken much care to assimilate the work of craftsmen such as carpenters, plasterers, and tillers so that visitors could witness the skills and spirit of a tradition that Japan prides itself in. Moreover, it also incorporates the most advanced architectural technology as exemplified by the large hall constructed with a steel structure and wood in pursuit of the ultimate slimness. In other words, the museum itself is a “place for coming into first-hand contact with the countless skills of master craftsmen”.
What kinds of exhibits are on show?
Other than 1,000 carpentry tools carefully selected from among the more than 30,000 items that have so far been collected, on show are also special models crammed with the masterful skills of the best carpenters of today, such as life-sized 7 meters-high models of columns and bracket complexes from the Golden Hall of Toshodaiji temple that stand tall in the double-height space, and the structure of a Sukiya-style tea room that presents the subtlety of the woodwork.
How long does a visit usually take?
It varies among visitors, but looking at the permanent collection usually takes from half an hour to an hour. This estimate does not include the time spent watching videos at the video corner.
What can we expect from the workshops in the woodworking room?
Please refer to event flyers and the website.
>Click here(japanese only) for more information about events and our learning page
Is it necessary to make a reservation for group visits?
Please do make an advanced reservation in case you would like a guided tour (lasting about one hour and a half). A reservation is not necessary in case you do not need a guided tour. Please refer to the “For groups” page for more details.
>Click here for more details about group visits
Is it possible to visit the tea room?
The tea room is usually closed but we plan to open it for public viewing in spring and autumn. The dates will be announced on the website in the Takenaka Carpentry Tools Museum News section as soon as they are determined.
Do you provide information in other languages?
We have brochures in English, Chinese and Korean. A part of the information and tools in the exhibition are in English. Please come with an interpreter for a group visit for non-Japanese speakers.
Is there a parking area? How much does it cost?
There is parking space for 6 standard-sized cars, out of which 1 is for people with disabilities. Parking is free.
Are there lockers in the Museum?
Lockers can be found in front of the stairs at the basement floor (free). However, the Museum assumes no responsibility for any accidents involving the items stored in the lockers. Please keep valuables with you.
Are eating, drinking and smoking allowed inside the Museum?
We don’t allow consumption of food and beverages (including candy and chewing gum) within the main building. For eating and drinking, please use the lounge area to the north side of the main building (the lounge area is supplied with vending machines only, no food is sold). Please also feel free to bring your own food and beverages to consume within the lounge area.
※ The lounge area has 24 seats. During busy times, please share this space and be mindful of other visitors.
Is photography allowed inside the Museum?
Taking photographs of the Museum and the permanent collection is allowed if the photographs are for personal use only. However, we may ask you not to photograph temporary or special exhibitions that display items on loan. Please ask the Museum staff if unsure whether the exhibition is of a permanent collection or a temporary/special exhibition. It is forbidden to reproduce and/or distribute photographs for commercial purposes without the Museum’s permission. Permission is required also when using photographs on a website. Please avoid causing inconveniences to other visitors by using tripods or staying in one place for a long time to take photographs.
Is it possible to re-enter the Museum after leaving it once?
Yes, it’s possible to re-enter the Museum during the same day of the visit. Please show your ticket when leaving and re-entering the museum, mentioning the fact that you’re re-entering to the staff.
Is it possible to go into the museum on a wheelchair?
If you are driving, please use the parking space for people with disabilities. The front entrance is a gentle slope. Please do notify us should the inclination prove too steep. The museum is fully equipped with elevators and accessible toilets.
Is it possible to rent a wheelchair?
We have one wheelchair available. Please notify us before your visit in case you would like to use it.
Is it possible to order the museum’s original goods by mail?
We are sorry but we can only send published material. We invite you to come to the museum so that you may take a look at the goods directly.
Do you hire volunteer workers?
We currently are not seeking for volunteers. Should there be another recruitment opportunity in the future, we will make the notification in “Takenaka Carpentry Tools Museum News” on our website.
>Click here(japanese only) for volunteer recruitment
Can I put a link to the Museum’s website on my website?
You may link to the top page of the Museum’s website freely. There’s no need to contact us. However, we may ask for the link to be removed in case your website is deemed too commercially oriented or links from inappropriate websites. Please contact us should you wish to link to pages in the website other than the top page.
Are there any free-entrance days?
Entrance is free on the International Museum Day (May 18), Kobe Tourism Day (October 3), and Kansai Culture Day (November 15, 16).