Located in Nara City, the institute was set up as a base for exploration of the outstanding examples of Japanese ancient art and architecture found throughout the region. Students are able to observe restoration and preservation projects, as well as participate in research relating to Japanese cultural assets. Teaching also takes place at the center. Overnight accommodation is provided.
The center offers training in artistic photography and a wide range of photographic techniques. Technical support is provided for students and staff wishing to use photographs and photographic technique as part of creative and research projects.