Group tours are offered at 12:15 pm, 1:15 pm, 2:15 pm and 3:15 pm daily, except Wednesdays and federal holidays. All tours are subject to availability. Each tour lasts approximately one hour and is held in the Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery.

The museum also offers reserved group tours in Mandarin, Japanese, Korean, French, Spanish, Italian, Hindi, and Cantonese, by request.

In accordance with the public health policy instituted by the Smithsonian to postpone or cancel all public programs, the Freer and Sackler will only accept tour requests after May 4. All requests are subject to change.

Tour topics

Art Across Cultures: Freer

Limit: 60 participants
The creation of art is a universal human endeavor, but what connects artwork across cultures and what sets them apart? Investigate artworks from across Asia, exploring commonalities and differences in cultures, aesthetics, and ideas.

Art Across Cultures: Sackler

Limit: 60 participants
Discover outstanding works of art from throughout Asia in an hour-long, docent-led tour through the Sackler. Explore art featured in special exhibitions from varied time periods, countries, and cultures.

Explore Buddhist art

Limit: 60 participants
Delve into the art and practice of Buddhism across Asia. Tours focus on Encountering the Buddha: Art and Practice across Asia and/or our permanent collection of art from India, China, and Japan.

Hokusai and the Art of Japan

Starts November 27, 2019–November 2020
Offered daily from, 2:15–3:15 pm
Tours begin at the Freer Information Desk

The Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai (1760–1849) is widely recognized for a single image—Great Wave Off the Coast of Kanagawa, an icon of global art—yet he produced thousands of works throughout his long life. Come view the exhibition Hokusai: Mad About Painting, which features works from the world’s largest collection of paintings, sketches, and drawings by Hokusai. Works large and small are on view, from six-panel folding screens and hanging scrolls to paintings and drawings. Together, these works reveal an artistic genius who thought he might finally achieve true mastery in painting—if he lived to the age of 110.

The Peacock Room and American Art at the Freer

Limit: 45 participants
Museum founder Charles Lang Freer not only acquired vast holdings of Asian art, but he also assembled outstanding examples of what was contemporary American art in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Today, the Freer Gallery houses the world’s largest collection of diverse works by James McNeill Whistler, including his famed Peacock Room. In the galleries compare and contrast American and Asian art as Freer intended more than a century ago.

Scheduling a tour

  1. Choose a tour and day that works for your group.
  2. Review the museum guidelines.
  3. Submit a request at least four weeks in advance using the online form.
    • Submitting a form does not guarantee a reservation.
  4. If you are planning to come with more individuals than the tour size limit, please contact asiatours@si.edu for more information.
  5. If your group is planning to visit in less than four weeks, complete the request form on the self-guided groups page.
  6. Walk-in tours cannot accommodate large self-guided groups.

Request a tour

Things to know

  • Requests are handled on a first-come, first-served basis and depend on availability.
  • Please indicate any special needs as “additional information” on the request form. Subject to availability, we can provide:
    • tours in some foreign languages (please specify)
    • tours for visually impaired visitors
    • sign-language interpreters.
  • Two weeks before your tour, we will email a confirmation with logistical information, including which building your group should enter.
  • Please call the tour scheduler immediately at 202.633.1012 to report cancellations and changes. For weekend cancellations and changes, please call 202.633.2843 or 202.633.2834.
  • A small portion of the Freer|Sackler’s vast collection is on view at any given time. We cannot guarantee that a specific object will be on display.
  • For your safety, all visitors will have their bags checked. See the complete list of restricted items and bag sizes.
  • Photographs may be taken of the permanent collection but not of loan objects or exhibitions; please be aware of “no photography” signage in the galleries.
  • The Freer│Sackler does not offer facilities for eating. For information on dining locations, go to the Smithsonian dining page.

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