The Sagawa Art Museum, also known as “the floating museum,” is a unique and captivating destination for art enthusiasts. Situated in Moriyama, Shiga Prefecture, this museum is renowned for its impressive collection of Nihonga paintings, bronze statues, and ceramics. What sets it apart from other museums is its stunning architectural design, resembling a gabled-roof structure that appears to float on an artificial pond garden. This distinctive feature has earned it the nickname “the floating museum.”
One of the highlights of the Sagawa Art Museum is its collection of works by three of japan‘s leading contemporary artists. These artists, whose works are permanently displayed, have made significant contributions to the modern Japanese art scene. Visitors have the opportunity to appreciate the artistic brilliance of Ikuo Hirayama, Sato Churyo, and Jikinyu Raku (formerly known as Kichizaemon Raku) through their thought-provoking creations.
The museum’s dedication to showcasing the beauty of Japanese ceramics used in the tea ceremony is another aspect that draws visitors. The art of tea ceremony, known as sado, holds great cultural significance in Japan. It is a practice that emphasizes simplicity, harmony, and respect. The Sagawa Art Museum provides an immersive experience by featuring an underwater room and a tearoom that showcases the works of Kichizaemon Raku, the current head of a family of pottery masters dating back 450 years. The Raku clan’s pottery has long been associated with “wabi-cha,” a style of tea ceremony developed by master Sen no Rikyu.
The museum itself is a work of art, designed to appear as if it is floating on water. It was opened in 1998 to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Sagawa Express shipping company. The aesthetic appeal of the architecture is truly remarkable, and visitors are often captivated by its beauty. The museum’s location, surrounded by the tranquil atmosphere of the pond garden, adds to its allure.
In addition to its impressive collection of artworks, the Sagawa Art Museum is also home to a National Treasure. This treasure is a temple bell from the west bell tower of Mt. Hiei, a sacred mountain in Japan. The bell holds great historical and cultural value, making it a significant part of the museum’s collection.
Getting to the Sagawa Art Museum is relatively easy. Visitors can reach the museum by train and then bus. The JR Kosei line from Kyoto to Katata is one option, followed by a 15-minute bus ride. Another option is to take the JR Biwako line to Moriyama and then a 30-minute bus ride. For those traveling by shinkansen, connecting to the JR Biwako line at Kyoto or Maibara is a convenient route.
Visiting the Sagawa Art Museum is an opportunity to immerse oneself in the world of Japanese art and culture. The museum’s commitment to showcasing the works of renowned contemporary artists, as well as its focus on ceramics used in the tea ceremony, makes it a must-visit destination for art enthusiasts and those interested in Japanese traditions.
The museum’s unique architectural design, resembling a floating structure, creates a serene and ethereal atmosphere that enhances the overall experience. Whether it is admiring the stunning Nihonga paintings, appreciating the intricate details of bronze statues, or immersing oneself in the world of Japanese ceramics, the Sagawa Art Museum offers a truly memorable and enriching experience.
The museum’s location in Moriyama, surrounded by the beauty of nature and the tranquility of the pond garden, further enhances the overall ambiance. Visitors have the opportunity to enjoy the breathtaking scenery and reflect on the artworks in a serene setting.
Throughout the year, the museum’s atmosphere changes with the seasons, offering a different perspective on the artworks and the overall experience. The floating design of the museum, combined with the immersive interiors, creates a sense of luxury and elegance that captivates visitors.
For art enthusiasts and those passionate about Japanese culture, a visit to the Sagawa Art Museum is an opportunity to delve into the rich artistic heritage of Japan. The museum’s collection, with its focus on contemporary artists and ceramics used in the tea ceremony, provides a comprehensive overview of Japanese art and traditions.
In conclusion, the Sagawa Art Museum, also known as “the floating museum,” is a remarkable destination that showcases the beauty and diversity of Japanese art. Its collection of Nihonga paintings, bronze statues, and ceramics, along with its unique architectural design, create a captivating and immersive experience for visitors. Whether it is appreciating the works of renowned contemporary artists or delving into the world of Japanese ceramics and the tea ceremony, the museum offers a truly enriching and memorable experience. A visit to the Sagawa Art Museum is an opportunity to explore the cultural heritage of Japan and gain a deeper understanding of its artistic traditions.
Address And Maps Location:
2891 Kitakawa, Suibo-cho, Moriyama-shi, Shiga-ken