Museums of the Far East (Royal Museums of Art and History)
Peculiar architectural realizations of the Belgian King Leopold II, important collection of Chinese porcelain made for export and Japanese export art. From Spring 2006: authentic Japanese art in the Museum of Japanese Art.
Visible from many points in the city, the Japanese Tower and Chinese Pavilion are an intriguing sight due to their exotic outlines, which stand out from the rest of the urban landscape. Both are original buildings that only appear to be oriental. To give them a genuinely authentic touch, major orders were placed in Japan and China. For example, some ornamental elements of the Japanese Tower - in the garden and the building's frame - come from Yokohama, while the porch (which served as an attraction during the 1900 universal exhibition in Paris) was made by a Tokyo-based carpenter. For the Chinese Pavilion, initially designed as a luxury restaurant, the kiosk and outer wooden panelling - veneered on three sides - were made in Shanghai. As for the rest, the construction principles are European, materials are from Belgium, and artists from Paris designed the decoration. The Tower now hosts an exhibition that highlights a collection of Japanese export art, while the Pavilion houses a major china collection made up of Chinese exports. Japanese art can be visited in the new Museum of Japanese art (housed in the annex of the Chinese Pavilion).