Cologne boasts the oldest museum of East Asian art in Europe and the only one in the state of North-Rhine Westphalia. Founded in 1909, the museum has a collection of precious works of art from China, Korea and Japan. Visitors can explore Buddhist painting and wood sculpture, Japanese screen painting, colour woodcuts and lacquer work, porcelain and ceramics form the Bronze Age to the 19th century.
Apart from the works of art, the building itself is certainly worth a visit. It was opened in 1977, designed by Kunio Maekawa (1905 – 1986), a pupil of Le Corbusier. Its severe, lucidly structured cubes draw on ancient Japanese traditions while at the same time developing a new, modern design vocabulary. The heart of the complex is the landscape garden in the tradition of Japanese meditation gardens which was designed by the Japanese sculptor Masayuki Nagare (born 1923).