Famous for its gardens as well as its art, the Adachi Museum of Art is a renowned cultural institution located in Yasugi, Shimane-ken, japan. Founded by Zenko Adachi, a local businessman with a passion for Japanese gardens and art, the museum showcases an exquisite collection of paintings by modern Japanese masters, while its extensive gardens offer visitors a serene and picturesque experience.
Zenko Adachi believed that a Japanese garden should be seen as a living painting, and the Adachi Museum of Art embodies this philosophy through the artful juxtaposition of paintings inside the museum and the beautiful gardens outside. The museum’s mission is to create a harmonious relationship between art and nature, allowing visitors to appreciate the beauty and tranquility of both.
One of the highlights of the museum is its impressive collection of artworks by the pioneers of modern Japanese art styles from the Meiji period (1868-1912), Taisho period (1912-26), and Showa period (1926-89). These artworks provide a glimpse into the evolution of Japanese art during these transformative periods in the country’s history.
However, it is not just the art inside the museum that captivates visitors. The Adachi Museum of Art is also renowned for its stunning gardens, which cover a vast area of 165,000 square meters. The gardens are divided into different styles, each offering a unique and captivating experience. From moss gardens to pond gardens and dry gardens, the museum’s gardens showcase the diversity and beauty of Japanese landscaping.
The most iconic garden in the museum is the White Gravel and Pine Garden, which is often described as an immaculate landscape. This garden features a waterfall in the distance, contrasting with the abstract combination of green and white. The carefully curated views from the museum’s windows frame the gardens like “living paintings,” creating a sense of harmony and tranquility.
The appearance and character of each garden change dramatically with the seasons, adding another layer of beauty and enchantment to the museum’s surroundings. Visitors can witness the vibrant cherry blossoms in spring, the lush greenery of summer, the fiery colors of autumn, and the serene blanket of snow in winter. Each season offers a different perspective and enhances the overall experience of the museum.
While exploring the museum and its gardens, visitors can also take a moment to relax and indulge in the various dining options available. The museum features a tea room where visitors can enjoy traditional matcha green tea and Japanese sweets. Additionally, there are two cafes, Cafe Midori and Cafe Taikan, where visitors can take a break and savor delicious food and drinks while enjoying the views of the gardens.
Apart from the art and gardens, the Adachi Museum of Art also houses a collection of around 2,000 pieces by modern and contemporary masters of traditional Japanese art. The works of Yokoyama Taikan, credited as one of the founders of the Nihonga style of painting, are heavily represented in the collection. Visitors can also admire works by other well-established Nihonga painters such as Takeuchi Seiho, Hashimoto Kansetsu, and Sakakibara Shiho.
In April 2020, the museum celebrated its 50th anniversary by inaugurating the Rosanjin Hall, a new building dedicated to displaying approximately 120 pieces by Kitaoji Rosanjin. This collection includes ceramics, seal engravings, calligraphy, and paintings. The Rosanjin Hall also houses representative works by leading contemporary Japanese artists and winners of the Adachi Museum of Art Prize, which recognizes up-and-coming talent in the art world.
Beyond the museum’s premises, visitors can explore the nearby ruins of Gassantoda Castle, which is located just two kilometers away. Considered one of the top five mountaintop castles in Japan, Gassantoda Castle was dismantled when Horio Yoshiharu decided to relocate and build Matsue Castle as the center of his domain. Climbing up to the castle’s remains offers a glimpse into the history and architectural prowess of ancient Japan.
Not far from the museum is Kiyomizu Temple, a mountain temple with a history that predates its famous namesake in Kyoto. The temple is home to the only three-story wooden pagoda in the region, offering visitors a panoramic view of the surrounding forested countryside. Kiyomizu Temple also offers various experiences conducted in English, including Zen meditation and sutra copying. A restaurant within the temple grounds serves shojin ryori, the traditional vegetarian cuisine of Buddhist monks, providing a complete cultural experience.
To visit the Adachi Museum of Art, travelers can take a bus from Yasugi Station, which is accessible by an express train from Matsue. The museum also offers a free shuttle bus service to and from Yasugi Station, making it convenient for visitors to reach the museum.
In conclusion, the Adachi Museum of Art is a must-visit destination for art and nature enthusiasts alike. Its unique concept of combining art and gardens creates a harmonious and captivating experience. From the impressive collection of modern Japanese artworks to the meticulously designed gardens that change with the seasons, every aspect of the museum is a testament to the beauty and cultural richness of Japan. Whether you are an art lover, a nature enthusiast, or simply seeking a serene and contemplative environment, the Adachi Museum of Art offers an unforgettable journey through the soul of Japanese aesthetics.
Address And Maps Location:
320 Furukawa-cho, Yasugi-shi, Shimane-ken