The Osaka City Fine Art Museum and Keitakuen Garden

Tennoji is a very popular area in Osaka. With two large stations (Kintetsu and JR) with tons of shopping, restaurants, and Tennoji Zoo and Shitenno-ji Temple just a few minutes away, it is easy to understand the attraction. Also in Tennoji is the Osaka City Fine Art Museum and its Japanese garden, Keitakuen.


About The Osaka City Fine Art Museum

In 1926, the wealthy Sumitomo family donated a large plot of land, as well as some paintings, to the city in order to make a museum. Osaka City then opened said museum to the public in 1936. Fortunately, the museum survived WWII, so the original building is still in use.


Getting to The Osaka City Fine Art Museum

The museum is located just across the street from Tennoji Zoo, which is next to JR Tennoji and Kintetsu Abeno stations.

Kyu-Kurodahan Nagayamon Gate in Osaka Japan
Kyu-Kurodahan Nagayamon Gate. Located on the east side of the museum. Built by the Fukuoka clan in the mid-Edo Period.

The Osaka City Fine Art Museum

Front of the Osaka City Fine Art Museum original white 1930 Japanese style building
Osaka City Fine Art Museum

Throughout a year, the museum holds many special exhibits, so you can enjoy something new whenever you come. The normal exhibit is only 300 yen, but when there is a special exhibit the admission fee will be higher. Check out the museum’s website to see when the next special exhibits will be held.

*You cannot use Osaka Amazing Pass when there is a special exhibit—which is often.

Large marble room with high ceilings and large crystal chandelier
Main room. No photography allow in the museum, hence our lack of pictures.

The focus of this museum is classic Japanese and Chinese art and with two floors of exhibits, you’ll need to take your time looking around. I’d say give yourself about an hour. When we went there, there, the museum was holding a Nitten special exhibit. The exhibit displayed art from several renowned Japanese art competitions such as Nitten or Nikaten.

Currently, Osaka City is planning to build a new art museum in Nakanoshima. The new museum will showcase the city’s collection of Modern and Western Art. The Osaka City Museum of Modern Art will open in 2021, but you can view their virtual collection here.

Keitakuen Garden

Entrance gate of Keitakuen Garden
Entrance of Keitakuen Garden

The Keitakuen Garden was made from the same land donated by the Sumitomo family. The entrance to the garden is on the east side of the Osaka City Fine Art Museum, and the entrance fee is 150 yen. 

Keitakuen Garden with Abeno Harukus in background
Keitakuen Garden

The garden was designed by Ogawa Jihei VII [小川治兵衛], one Japan’s most renowned gardeners. At the center of the garden is a pond with a small island and with a number of carefully placed rocks and many interesting flowers throughout.

flowering azalea bushes with Japanese pine trees near a pond
Come at the start of summer to see the beautiful azaleas!
Blooming purple irises in Keitakuen Garden
Irises near the pond
Outdoor observation room in Keitakuen garden
Observation room. Great place to chill!

Keitakuen is certainly small, but it is a nice place to relax and take a walk. Unfortunately, they don’t have many flowering trees like, ume or sakura. If seeing those flowers are high on your list, we recommend Shitenno-ji’s Gokuraku Jodo Garden.


Osaka City Fine Art Museum and Keitakuen Garden

Address 1-82 Chausuyama-cho, Tennoji Ward, Osaka City,
Hours of Operation Museum: Mon-Sun

Garden: Mon-Sun
*9:30-18:00 May-September, weekends only
Admission Fee Museum: 300 yen
Garden: 150 yen

We really move museums, especially in the summer when its too hot to do much outside, but you still want to do something. The exhibits are always rotating, so be sure to check the website before you go. You don’t want to end up spending more money than you’d like on an exhibit that has little appeal to you.

Coming next time,
An afternoon in Tennoji Zoo

The adventure continues…

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