Asian Art | The Israel Museum, Jerusalem



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To the accessibility map of the Museum
We strive to make the Museum as accessible as possible for disabled visitors
  • Marked handicapped parking is available near the main entrance to the Museum, and the Second Temple Model.
  • An audio system for the hearing-impaired is available at ticket counters.
  • Counters are wheelchair accessible.
  • Discounts on admission to holders of a disabled identification card.
  • Discounts on admission to wheelchair users (admission is free to an escort).
  • Free admission to blind and visually impaired visitors and their escort.
The Campus
  • Entrance to the Museum and interior passages are wheelchair accessible.
  • Wheelchairs and lockers are available in the entrance pavilion.
  • A cloakroom and folding chairs are available near the elevators.
  • A transit vehicle for four is available to those who have difficulty walking through the Route of Passage.
  • Elevators, stair lifts, and ramps are available in the various galleries (* there is no Shabbat elevator)
  • Museum’s restaurants and shops are wheelchair accessible.
  • Maps in various languages are available (details at the Information Desk).
  • Wheelchair accessible stalls are available in rest rooms.
Art Garden
* The Art Garden is inaccessible to wheelchair users (observation points overlook the garden).
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What's New in the Galleries?

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Synagogue Route

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Shrine of the Book and Model of Second Temple Jerusalem - weather permitting

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Opening Hours

Free entrance for children under 18 (excluding groups and workshops) on Tues, and Sat thoughout the year, courtesy of the Canadian Friends of the Israel Museum and David and Inez Myers, Cleveland, Ohio

Free entrance for soldiers doing compulsory military service and for those doing National Service, courtesy of Israeli Friends of the Israel Museum

Rockefeller Museum is closed on Tues, Fri, and Holiday Eves
Ticho House is closed on Saturdays


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Ticho House

Sun to Thurs 12 pm - 8 pm
Fri and holiday eves 10 am - 2 pm
​Sat closed

10 HaRav Agan Street
Tel: 645 3746,

Rockefeller Museum

Sun, Mon, Wed, Thurs 10 am – 3 pm
Sat 10 am – 2 pm
Closed Tues, Fri and Holiday Eves

27 Sultan Suleiman St.
Tel: 628 2251

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Directions and Transportation

Find Us
The Israel Museum is located in Jerusalem on 11 Ruppin Boulevard, Hakyria, near the Knesset (Israeli Parliament).
The Israel Museum, Jerusalem
POB 71117
Jerusalem, 9171002
Tel: 972-2-670-8811
Fax: 972-2-677-1332
By Bus
Bus lines: 7, 9, 14, 35, 66
Direct from Tel Aviv, line 100 from Shapirim Junction Parking
Information and schedules »
or dial Kol Kav *8787
By Car
Parking for cars and bicycles outside the Museum
GPS - Avraham Granot Street
WAZE - Israel Museum
Parking available for Museum visitors. Limited number of parking spaces.
Museum visitors are requested to retain entrance tickets, or receipts from Museum stores, or restaurants for presentation at the exit booth of the parking lot.
Ticho House
10 HaRav Agan Street, Jerusalem
Free entrance 
Tel: 02 645-3746 
The Rockefeller Museum
POB 71117
91710 Jerusalem 
Tel: for groups: 02 670-8074
Fax: 02 670-8063
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Modern, the Museum's kosher meat restaurant, is designed in an early modernist style. It offers contemporary Jerusalem cuisine and a rich collection of quality wines. Adjoining a plaza and overlooking the Valley of the Cross, this restaurant specializes in hosting private and business events. 
Modern is kosher meat, under the supervision of the Chief Rabbinate of Jerusalem. Dining in the restaurant does not require purchase of an admissions ticket to the Museum. Museum members and Friends of the Israel Museum are entitled to a 10% discount. 
Parking is free and the restaurant is accessible to all. 
Open: Sun, Mon, Wed,Thurs from 11:30 am - 5 pm, Tues 11:30 am - 11 pm, Fri 10 am - 2 pm 
For inquiries: 02 648-0862.
To arrange events: 054-778-8558; 054-304-0279; 
See Modern's website »

Mansfeld, the Museum's dairy cafés, are named after Al Mansfeld, the first architect of the Israel Museum and winner of the Israel Prize for Architecture for his design of the Museum. The café's rich menu includes home-baked goods, cakes, sandwiches, salads and hot dishes. The café is suitable for hosting private events.
Mansfeld is kosher dairy under the supervision of the Chief Rabbinate of Jerusalem. 
Dining in the café does not require purchase of an admissions ticket to the Museum. Museum members and Friends of the Israel Museum are entitled to a 10% discount. 
Parking is free and the restaurant is accessible to all. 
Open: Sun, Mon, Wed, Thurs 8 am - 5 pm | Tues 8 am - 9 pm | Fri 8 am - 2 pm. 
For inquiries: 02 563-6280; Fax: 02 561-8399;
To arrange events: 054-884-7133 or 050-997-8800
See Mansfeld's website »

Chic Café
Chic Café is a dairy café located at the entrance to the Model of Jerusalem in the Second Temple Model. The menu includes fine coffee and cold drinks, sandwiches, salads (soups in the winter), cakes, ice cream and snacks. 
Dining in the café does not require purchase of an admissions ticket to the Museum. Museum members and Friends of the Israel Museum are entitled to a 10% discount. 
Parking is free and the restaurant is accessible to all. 
Open Sun Mon Wed Thurs 8 am - 5 pm; Tues 8 am - 6 pm; Fri 8 am - 2 pm, Sat 8 am - 5 pm 
Cafe Tel: 02 633-2555,


Anna Italian Café 

Ticho House
10 HaRav Agan Street
Sun – Thurs 9 am – 11 pm 
Fri 9 am – 3 pm 
Kosher dairy, Jerusalem Rabbinate 
Tel: 02 543-4144

Anna Italian Café »

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Museum Information
Please feel free to contact Museum Information with any questions.
Tel: 02 670-8811
Cloakroom and folding chairs
A cloakroom and folding chairs are available at the end of the Route of Passage, next to the elevators. Please inquire at the Information Desk.
Wheelchairs and disabled access
Wheelchairs are available in the Entrance Pavilion. Please inquire at the Information Desk for details. Much of the Israel Museum is wheelchair-accessible, and an ongoing renovation program continues to improve access for the disabled. Wheelchair-accessible places include the entrance pavilion, the Shrine of the Book, and the Model of Jerusalem in the Second Temple Period. Download the PDF accessibility map of the campus. Accessibility in the Museum »
Parking available for Museum visitors. Limited number of parking spaces. Museum visitors are requested to retain entrance tickets, or receipts from Museum stores or restaurants for presentation at the exit booth of the parking lot. Bicycle parking Available in the entrance plaza of the Museum
Audio guides
Audio guides for some permanent exhibitions in selected languages are included in the Museum entrance fee and are available at the Entrance Pavilion. The exhibitions include: The Shrine of the Book, the Second Temple Model and the Art Garden. Audio guides are also appropriate for hearing impaired visitors.
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Museum Stores

Shop online

We are committed to bringing you the best that Israel has to offer. Whether you’re looking for exquisite jewelry made with materials unique to Israel, organic farm-fresh preserves, world-renowned Dead Sea skincare or home décor from internally acclaimed Israeli artists, we’ll send it to you straight from Israel.

Go Shopping »

Take the Museum experience home with you

Everyone buys gifts, but only at the Israel Museum shops do they come with a story. Each story reveals a new, and exciting world - all inspired by from the vast and unique collections of the Museum, from both the permanent exhibitions and special exhibitions. Discover the story behind specially-produced articles to make your your Museum experience linger on.

* Special benefits and discounts for Museum Members and an additional 10% discount on all products.

Be inspired
Discover items inspired by the Shrine of the Book, the Ahava (Love) sculpture from the Art Garden, a wide range of Judaica items; Hanukkah menorahs, wine cups, candlesticks, and more. Choose from the many children's products, as well as the exclusive and distinctive jewelry created by top Israeli and international designers.
Museum Stores
The three stores are located: at the entrance to the Second Temple Model, on the central cardo of the Museum opposite the Bella and Harry Wexner Gallery, and the main store in the entrance pavilion. No entrance fee required to the main store and parking is free!
Israel Museum Products, Ltd.
Israel Museum Products, Ltd. is an Israel Museum commercial corporation which operates three stores on the Museum campus. The company holds exclusive rights to create products for the Israel Museum inspired by the Museum's collection of unique items and temporary exhibitions. The company is committed to the inclusion of disadvantaged sectors, both in its stores and among workers involved in the product development and manufacture, in cooperation with various foundations and the Ministry of Economy and Industry. Special benefits and discounts for Museum Members and an additional 10% discount on all products.
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Benifits, discounts and special activities
Check the Member's Page for ongoing Membership benefits: exhibitions pre-openings just for members, special lectures, guided tours in the Museum and at other cultural institutions, discounts and more.
Give a Museum Membership to those you love - the gift that people love to get.
Purchase a membership for a friend and gain an additional month on your own membership for free. Please call for more details Tel: 02 670-8855
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Purchase tickets online to the Museum and events
Full-cost tickets may be purchased online or at the box office. Please note that discount tickets for children and youth, students, seniors, disabled visitors, IDF soldiers, National Service personnel, repeat visits within three months, and Jerusalem Resident cardholders are available only at the box office.







Children and teens (aged 5 to 17)  Free on Tues and Sat  (except groups and workshops)


Senior Citizen (Upon presentation of official Israeli Ezrach Vatik ID)
(Cannot be purchased online)


Senior Citizen (Upon presentation of official Senior Citizen International ID)
(Cannot be purchased online)




Soldier / National Service (Upon presentation of suitable ID)


Repeat Visit (within 3 months) (No double discounts)


Free admission for children (aged 5 to 17) throughout August (does not apply to groups and does not include performances and workshops)


Leumi 1+1 cardholders, Discount on tickets purchased in advance on the Leumi Card website, (No double discounts)

Please note: Tickets to the Museum are valid for two years from the date of purchase.
For information about special cultural events and purchasing tickets online »
Free audio guide for hearing impaired visitors included with all tickets.

Terms and conditions

  • Tickets may be purchased online only at full cost for adults
  • Collection of tickets is conditional upon presentation of the credit card used to purchase the tickets
  • A ticket is valid until the stub is torn from the ticket or until the bar code is scanned at the entrance to the Museum
  • A ticket is valid only for one admission and one reentry on the day of the visit
  • There are no multiple discounts
  • Admission tickets to the Museum do not include admission to events, performances, or workshops to which additional fees are charged
  • Possession of an admission ticket only permits the visitor to enter the Museum campus 
  • Tickets may be collected at the ticket office or at automated ticket vendors, located at the Museum Entrance Pavilion

Asian Art

The Asian art gallery in the Israel Museum display works of art that span almost 5,000 years of artistic creation. Each of them offers a glimpse of the rich cultures of China, Japan, and India and the Himalayan region. These are very different cultures, each influenced by its own distinct history, social structure, and physical surroundings. Yet they are also connected, and their art reflects the vibrant exchange of knowledge and ideas in this part of the world, with its shared borders and age-old trade routes.




Japan is a chain of thousands of islands, located east of mainland Asia. The sea surrounding it protected it from invaders from the continent, but also limited its ties with the rest of the world and causing its isolation. Prolonged seclusion deeply influenced the culture of this unique nation, which is characterized by the preservation of the ancient values ​​and institutions, and reception of external influences without renouncing its original culture.  Japanese creativity, displayed in the gallery through a selection of artworks and everyday objects, shows a strong sensitivity to nature, high technical prowess, pure aesthetics, and sophisticated simplicity.

Japan's exposure to China and to the West at certain chapters in its history caused great change. In the 6th century AD, Buddhism, originating from China and Korea, reached Japan, co-occurring with the indigenous ancient, nature cult – Shinto. Buddhism triggered a great burst of artistic creativity: painting, calligraphy, the building of many temples, and decorating them with statues.

A Pagoda inscribed with Buddhist text (kompon dhrani) displayed in the gallery is one of a million pagodas commissioned by the Empress Shutoko, probably to atone for the bloodshed during the suppression of the rebellion that broke out in her kingdom. Pagoda texts were not meant to be read; the act of copying them was an accepted way of gaining religious merit.

The Samurai warriors, led by their Shogun, and the feudal lords ruled Japan from the 12th to the 16th century. War raged at home and beyond. A Samurai suit of armor displayed in the gallery was prepared according to the model developed over the centuries in order to protect the warrior wearing it. The suit's helmet, with its 62 ribs, was made by Myochin Nobuie, a renowned Japanese metal artist, bears his signature and the year of production, 1525.

The 17th century was the beginning of a peaceful era in Japan, marked by stability and seclusion. This period saw the nurturing of traditional forms of Japanese art; painting and printmaking, tea ceremony, garden cultivation, and performing arts.

Japanese No theatre is a near-abstract, stylized musical performance, focusing on the inner turmoil of a person who finds himself in a dramatic situation. A No theater mask in the form of a young woman (ko omote) from the 18th century, worn by a male actor, reflects the classic beauty standards of the imperial court Heian period (11th century), shaved eyebrows, parted hair and blackened teeth.



China’s magnificent culture has existed since the dawn of history until today, evolving in spite of numerous wars, conquests and upheavals. The works displayed in the gallery - including paintings, sculptures, bronze objects and ceramics - shed light on the customs and beliefs, styles and arts that form thousands of years.

In 221 BCE a Chinese ruler declared himself emperor, uniting for the first time the separate states under his authority. Subsequent emperors ruled, supported by an extensive administrative system of scholarly officials. The homes of these officials, as well as in the homes of other wealthy families in China, were organized in the traditional separation of public, and private areas for men and women.

Second to the guest rooms, the study was the most important room in the house. There the head of the household would turn to his elevated arts - calligraphy, reading, playing, or listening to music. It was there too that he would receive his friends to discuss paintings and antiques. A Chinese gentleman’s room was set up in the gallery, displaying 16th to 17th century furniture, allowing a glimpse of the world of a scholar of that period.

Chinese scientists and scholars invented paper, gunpowder, and the compass; changing the course of history, as well as producing silk, tea and porcelain ware. On display in the gallery are examples of the legacy of the rich material culture created by artists and craftsmen.  See, for example, the emperor Daogoang period (1850-1822) bowl, decorated with dragons, and the chrysanthemum-like dish from the 18th century. Both vessels are fine examples of Chinese superior advancement in ceramic production, 7000 year old in China.

Different philosophical systems existed side by side for thousands of years in China, among them Confucianism, Daoism and Buddhism. Traditional ancestor worship, and the belief in the afterlife was also maintained since ancient times, forming the custom of burying the dead  in elaborate ceremonies and sending them on their way, fully equipped with the objects they will need in the world to come. Ancient emperors’ tombs were essentially underground castles, and contained bronze tools, ceramics and pottery that depicted everyday life of agricultural society, complete with farmers and their animals. A fine example is the statue of a Middle Eastern merchant riding a two-humped camel, inspired by the camel caravans laden with goods traveling along the 8,000-mile Silk Road linking China and West Asia to Rome.



Despite India’s physical borders - the Indian Ocean to the south, and the Himalayas to the north - various peoples migrated across these borders and left their imprint on its already diverse social landscape. Today, more than a billion people live there, speaking 14 languages ​​and some 200 dialects.

Religion occupies a central place in the lives of Indians; 80 percent of them are Hindu, and the traditional ancient art is, for the most part, religious in nature. Hindu and Buddhist sculptures were made according to fixed rules observed for centuries, until present day. Visits and pilgrimages to shrines, sometimes thousands of miles away, are common, and are of major significance in the lives of Indians; it is there that ‘Darshan’ (Sanskrit for observation) occurs - the encounter with God.

Works displayed in the gallery, spanning from the 3rd century BCE to the 19th century CE, shed light on some of the fascinating beliefs and philosophies of India. One of the most prominent sculptures, a fourth century BCE red sandstone Shiva, describes this major Hindu divinity as a phallic pole - "Lingam". The “Lingm”s are the most important and most sacred of all the objects in Shiva’s temples. Believers worship them because they symbolize the productive power of the universe, which is one of the most important attributes of Shiva. Next to the statue of Shiva is an enthroned Buddha made of slate, which was carved for a Buddhist temple between the 2nd and 3rd century CE.

Buddhism was founded in the 5th century BCE by Siddharta Gautama, a prince from north India also known as "Buddha" (Sanskrit for “enlightened" or "awakened"), a name that he received as he placed man and his suffering in the center, as well as the ways to heal him and relieve his pain. Buddhism spread quickly and became the dominant religion throughout most of Asia, although centuries later it lost some of its hold in India. Sculpted images of Buddha, played an important role in the spread of the Buddhist faith across Asia. Today, Buddhist sculptural tradition is also appreciated by art collectors in the West as objects of serene beauty.

Next to the sculptures, the gallery also displays paintings, most of which were made in northern India in the 17th and 18th centuries, and were incorporated into religious books describing ancient Hindu mythological epics.

 Miriam Malachi, Marcel Lorber Department of Asian Art Curator