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Adachi Museum of Art

The Adachi Museum of Art in Matsue was founded by Adachi Zenko in 1980 in order to combine his passions for Japanese art and garden design. He hoped that viewing the gardens and artwork together would foster appreciation and interest in Japanese art. The museum is now best known for its award winning garden, which…

Type: art  |  Category: Western Honshu  |  Tags: , ,

All that glitters is gold: Kanazawa gold-leaf experience

On her recent trip to Japan, Karan from the UK office went in search of art, creativity and luxury in Kanazawa. Here, she participated in a gold-leaf experience, learning more about Kanazawa’s most famous export, and decorating her own product in the process! Kanazawa (金沢) literally means “gold marsh” and is certainly a glitzy place….

Type: art  |  Category: Western Honshu  |  Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Benesse House Hotel

Benesse House is a unique fusion of modern architecture and art that has a growing legion of worldwide fans. Designed by Japan’s most famous architect, Tadao Ando, the hotel successfully marries art, architecture and nature in a stunning environment. Guests have a choice of four separate hotel areas in which to stay: Oval, Museum, Beach…

Type: art  |  Category: Western Honshu  |  Tags: , , ,

Gyotaku Fish Printing

Learn the art of gyotaku fish printing with an expert! Before the advent of photography, in the mid 19th century, when fishermen sought to have proof of their catches, lest others just smile at their tall tales, they would coat one side of the fish they’d caught with ink and then cover it with rice-straw…

Type: art  |  Category: Tokyo  |  Tags: , ,

Hakone Open Air Museum

Chōkoku-no-mori, (“the sculpture forest”), an intriguingly-named station on the Hakone Tozan railway line, is home to the Hakone Open Air Museum. The museum houses over 300 works by Picasso alone, as well as sculptures by many other famous artists, including Henry Moore, Rodin, and Miro. We highly recommend taking advantage of the hot spring foot…

Type: art  |  Category: Central Honshu  |  Tags: , , ,

Hotel Claska

Tokyo’s only true boutique hotel, Claska was originally built in the 1970s and then refurbished in 2003 as a design hotel. The hotel has only 12 rooms (9 Western and 3 Japanese style), each filled with handcrafted furniture and low-key Japanese touches. No two rooms are the same: one has an attached terrace, another a…

Type: art  |  Category: Tokyo  |  Tags: , , , ,

Isamu Noguchi Memorial Garden

Isamu Noguchi (1904-1988) was a prominent Japanese American artist, sculptor and landscape designer. Although born, educated and based in the United States, Isamu Noguchi maintained a workshop in Japan and spent months at a time working there towards the end of his nearly 65 year long career. Noguchi’s major works include bridges at the Hiroshima…

Type: art  |  Category: Tokyo  |  Tags: , ,

Japan Ukiyo-e Museum

The Japan Ukiyo-e Museum in Matsumoto is easy to miss: somewhat out of town and best reached by taxi or bus, but it is worth the trip. Now into its eight generation, the Sakai family has one of the largest best collections of ukiyo-e (woodblock prints) in Japan, some of them very famous, and some…

Type: art  |  Category: Central Honshu  |  Tags: , , ,

Kanazawa

Kanazawa, best known for the stunning Kenroku-en Gardens, is one of Japan’s best kept secrets. Ruled first by Buddhist monks and then by the powerful and wealthy Maeda clan, Kanazawa was once one of Japan’s richest cities. It was also one of only a handful of cities to escape damage during the Second World War,…

Type: art  |  Category: Central Honshu  |  Tags: , , , , , ,

Keyforest Hotel Hokuto

A property as stunning as it is exclusive, the Keyforest Hotel Hokuto acts as the crown jewel of the Kobuchizawa Art Village. With its six carefully-designed rooms, friendly international staff, private spa and intimate dining spaces, guests are sure to enjoy a highly personal experience. Though still relatively unknown to international tourists, the Art Village…

Kyoto National Museum

Opened in 1897, the Kyoto National Museum, is one of Japan’s oldest and most distinguished museums. The museum’s permanent collection is presented to the public in rotating exhibitions and consists of a wide variety of cultural properties, including archaeological relics, sculptures, ceramics, calligraphy, costumes and paintings. Highlights of the Kyoto National Museum’s huge collection include…

Type: art  |  Category: Kyoto  |  Tags: , ,

Lantern-making in Kyoto

On her latest trip to Japan, Into Japan’s Karan decided to get creative in Kyoto. With such a rich culture and history of tradition and creativity, Kyoto is the perfect place to turn your hand to something artistic. Lanterns abound not only in Kyoto but in Japan as a whole, providing a wonderfully soft, glowing…

Type: art  |  Category: Kyoto  |  Tags: , , , , , , ,

Life on the road

Keen to see parts of Japan she hadn’t seen before, Hannah hired a car and set off on a road trip to northern Honshu. Driving in Japan couldn’t be simpler, especially for British tourists as Japan also drives on the left side of the road! Summer isn’t everyone’s first choice of season to visit Japan….

Type: art  |  Category: Kyoto  |  Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Manga Drawing Classes

Japanese comics of all genres, known as manga, are popular around the world. The art styles are gaining more and more attention and many people are creating their own manga. If you wish to try your hand at drawing manga or improve your technique, a manga drawing class at Nakano Manga School is perfect for…

Type: art  |  Category: Tokyo  |  Tags: , ,

Naoshima

Japan’s Seto Inland Sea is dotted with ruggedly beautiful islands that rise sharply from the rough waters. Left behind by Japan’s urbanizing economy, these islands are redefining themselves as centres of art and architecture. Foremost among these is Naoshima, which is now well known in Japan and abroad for its modern museums, architecture, and sculpture….

Type: art  |  Category: Western Honshu  |  Tags: , , , , , ,

Nezu Museum

Originally founded in 1941 to showcase the extensive collection of industrialist Nezu Kaichiro, the museum was redesigned in 2009 by the well known architect Kengo Kuma. Located along a quiet bamboo passage off the busy Omotesando district, the museum showcases one of the world’s finest collections of Japanese and East Asian art, including seven works…

Type: art  |  Category: Tokyo  |  Tags: , , ,

Noku Roxy

The idea of a boutique hotel – small, intimate, upscale accommodation, where guests are made to feel at home – is a growing trend in Europe. In Japan boutique hotels are less common, but Noku Kyoto certainly fills this gap. The hotel’s style is very simple, and in this sense it is typically Japanese, yet…

Type: art  |  Category: Kyoto  |  Tags: , , ,

Ohara Museum of Art

Opened in 1930, the Ohara Museum of Art in Kurashiki was the first collection of Western art to be permanently exhibited in Japan. The museum originally consisted mostly of French paintings and sculptures of the 19th and 20th centuries but has since expanded to include paintings of the Italian Renaissance and of the Dutch and…

Type: art  |  Category: Western Honshu  |  Tags: , , ,

Ota Memorial Museum of Art

A small but excellent museum near Harajuku, the Ota Memorial Museum of Art was founded in 1980 to showcase the vast collection of the late Ota Seizo, the former chairman of a large insurance company. The museum houses about 12,000 ukiyo-e works, including famous works by Hiroshige and Hokusai. Every month, a regularly changing exhibition…

Type: art  |  Category: Tokyo  |  Tags: , ,

Plastic Food Making

Have you ever wondered how the delicious looking replica food in restaurant window displays is made? This is your chance to find out and try the techniques for yourself under instruction from one of the best known companies in the industry. Based in Kappa Bashi, the ‘kitchen’ of Tokyo, this company has supplied restaurants for…

Type: art  |  Category: Tokyo  |  Tags: , ,

Pottery Class

Experience traditional Japanese pottery making classes in Tokyo, Kyoto, Bizen and several other locations. What you make is usually up to you but you can try your hand at sake cups, bowls, chopstick rests or whatever takes your fancy. In Kyoto, learn the difference between Kyo-yaki and Kiyomizu-yaki. Works created by highly skilled potters and…

Type: art  |  Category: Throughout Japan  |  Tags: , , , , ,

Tokugawa Art Museum

A private museum housing the hereditary collection of the Owari branch of the Tokugawa clan, a family whose members ruled Japan as Shoguns from 1603 to 1867. The collection contains more than 12,000 items, including swords, armour, Noh costumes and masks, lacquerware, furniture, Chinese and Japanese ceramics, calligraphy, and paintings. The most important and valuable…

Type: art  |  Category: Central Honshu  |  Tags: , ,

Trip Report: Discovering Japan with the Newman family

As an adventurous family of four, the Newmans didn’t settle for paths most trodden by international tourists. Their July 2016 tour instead took them to a wide variety of locales across Honshu, discovering the best in Japanese arts, nature and culture. From cycling through the Satoyama countryside to exploring the famous art island, Naoshima, the…

zaborin, niseko

Zaborin

Zaborin is a secluded luxury ryokan in the Hanazono woods in Hokkaido, part of the area spanning the resorts of Niseko. Inspired by Zen, the name Zaborin merges the traditional Japanese characters, ‘zabo’ (坐 忘) meaning “to sit, to forget” and the character ‘rin’ (林) representing a small forest or wood. Subtle, contemporary architecture and…

Type: art  |  Category: Hokkaido  |  Tags: , , ,