Japanmuseum SieboldHuis in Leiden
A quiet little museum about Japanese artifacts collected by Philipp Franz von Siebold (1796 – 1866), a German born physician who worked for the Dutch military service in 1822.
In 1823, Siebold was assigned as resident physician and scientist to Deshima, a Dutch trading post just outside Nagasaki. During his stay, Siebold managed to cultivate an extensive collection which formed the basis of his ethnographic, zoological and botanical objects. They include clothes, maps, prints, household hardware, handicraft items, coins, ceramics, fossils, stuffed animals, rocks, plant samples and other treasures. These items were obtained during the time when no country was allowed to trade with Japan except the Dutch. It was truly significant. In the end, Siebold was caught possessing maps of Japan which was strictly forbidden in the hands of a foreigner. He was banished in 1829.
Japanmuseum SieboldHuis was Siebold’s grand canal house in Leiden from 1832 to 1845. He proudly opened his home museum to the interested public during those years. Japanmuseum SieboldHuis was established in 2005 to continue the legacy.
When you visit, do not miss the short introductory film about Siebold’s life and how this museum came about. Ask for the free audio guide if they forget. Many of his fascinating acquisitions are on permanent display on the ground floor of this museum. There is an AV-room and a coffee corner in the basement area. The temporary exhibitions are located on the upper floor and they are on-going throughout the year showcasing a wide range of Japanese art and culture. An intimate museum worth a peek!
Address: Rapenburg 19. 2311GE Leiden.
Entrance fees: €8 per person. Free for kids up to 12 years old. Free entry for Museumkaart holders.
Opening Hours: Tues-Sun from 1000hrs – 1700hrs.
How to get there: 15 minutes walk from Leiden train station.