Parisians owe this fabulous museum to the ambitions of a 19th-century industrialist who traveled around the Far East in search of ancient artistic gems. Families usually flock here on Sundays to see the ornamented Buddhas of Southeast Asia, while the kids get a kick out of the somewhat silly-looking 6th-century terracotta Japanese warriors and all the mysterious deities sculpted in postures Westerners would need several sessions of yoga to imitate.
Located just a few steps away from the Champs Elysées, the layout of this 5500-square-meter space is an architectural feat. The smart design of the museum makes it easier to understand the connections and differences between the artistic traditions of the Himalaya, Southeast Asia, China, Korea, Japan and other regions in the Pacific. The beauty of each artifact is emphasized using natural lighting, revealing the significance of the artwork in its original glory.