"This is the maximum number of people that should ever come in here," says Kengo Kuma, glancing toward a small group of people murmuring quietly in front of a nearby Buddha statue. "It's much nicer when it's empty."

The presence of people may have been a blot on the landscape for one of Japan's most celebrated — and perfectionist — architects as he unveiled the gleaming new Nezu Museum in the Aoyama district of Tokyo this week.

However, his concerns were undoubtedly eclipsed by the curiosity of visitors attending the museum's long-awaited re-opening following a closure lasting more than three years.