Not only is it the largest jade collection in the world, it's a world-class Pre-Columbian collection of many other goods as well. The 5 story multi-million dollar building is a beauty. There is a Shamanic collection of pieces that is truly memorable and lots to keep both children and adults interested.
The 7,000+ piece strong collection has never been exhibited in its entirety before now- the breadth of it and the quality is really something to behold. We are expats going on our third year here and it can be dicey to recommend museums and trips into San Jose which can quickly become an all too urban experience. However, the new location is a gem. Our guests liked the museum so much they stayed on to go back after a terrific lunch at an authentic Italian restaurant that is within striking distance of the museum and took a cab back. (on the corner just past the parking that sits behind the museum--- Sapore Trattoria 2222-8906)
The new location makes for a stellar San Jose itinerary-
1. The National Museum is almost next door
2. National Park: There is a beautiful park a couple block's away that is a green oasis and fun people watching.
3. The Gold Museum and National Theater are a stone's throw (my 80 year old Aunt/Uncle and 70+ parents walked this no problem).
*Be sure to take in the noon concert at the National Theater on Tuesday's. It is almost free and a great variety of entertainment is presented- you won't go wrong. Stay for a fascinating tour of the theater after with Jeff- he is extremely knowledgable and has excellent English. Coffee at the cafe is a great finish.
There are some rough spots in the new museum but they are minor and hopefully reflect that it's only been open since the end of May 2014. Ideally, the powers that be will invest in more labeling of the collection and not depend on the computer catalog which is really basic and adds little to understanding the outstanding pieces.
*They were still installing a cafeteria and gift shop when we visited in June 2014.
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