Where Refined Art and Nature Meet
Utsukushigahara Open-Air Museum, located on the Utsukushigahara Highland overlooking Ueda City and the central Nagano plains to the Northern japan Alps, is a stunning sculpture garden that combines refined art and the beauty of nature. With its expansive exhibition space of 130,000 square meters, the museum houses over 350 contemporary sculptures from all over the world. This museum without walls invites visitors to enjoy the conversation with contemporary art amid the great beauty of nature.
How to Get There
Utsukushigahara Open-Air Museum is accessible by bus or by car. During the summer Bon Festival, a round trip bus service is available once a day from the Matsumoto Bus Terminal in front of Matsumoto Station, taking about one hour and 40 minutes. In spring and fall, it is recommended to use a car to reach the museum. The museum is closed from mid-November to late April. Regardless of the season, driving is the most convenient way to get there.
Take in the Beauty of the Highlands
Utsukushigahara Highland, also known as “beautiful fields,” is situated at an altitude of 2,000 meters. The plateau offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. During the summer, over 200 varieties of wildflowers bloom, creating a vibrant and colorful scenery. From the highest point at Ogato, visitors can enjoy a panoramic view of the Japan Alps, Mt. Asama, Yatsugatake, and the iconic Mt. Fuji to the south. Easy hiking trails connect different parts of the highland, allowing visitors to explore and immerse themselves in the beauty of the highlands.
Upon entering the exhibition hall of Utsukushigahara Open-Air Museum, visitors are greeted by a 3-meter marble sculpture of a thumb. This larger-than-life sculpture sets the tone for the artistic journey that awaits. The museum’s collection features both figurative and abstract sculptures, showcasing a diverse range of artistic expressions. Each sculpture tells a unique story and invites contemplation and reflection.
A Conversation with Contemporary Art
Utsukushigahara Open-Air Museum aims to create a space where contemporary art and nature can engage in a dialogue. As visitors wander through the grounds, they are encouraged to appreciate the stunning view of the Alps and the vibrant display of flowers during the summer. The juxtaposition of art and nature creates a surreal and immersive experience, blurring the boundaries between reality and imagination. The museum invites visitors to engage in their own interpretation of the artworks and explore the deeper meaning behind each piece.
Utsukushigahara Roadside Station
Located in front of the museum’s car park, Utsukushigahara Roadside Station is a red-roofed building that houses the museum entrance and a roadside station. The roadside station offers amenities such as a viewing terrace, a restaurant, and a shop. It is a convenient place for visitors to take a break, enjoy a meal, and purchase souvenirs. It is recommended to check the official website for the latest information, as some facilities may have different operating hours or services due to COVID-19.
In conclusion, Utsukushigahara Open-Air Museum is a unique and captivating destination where refined art and nature meet. The museum’s vast collection of contemporary sculptures, set against the backdrop of the Utsukushigahara Highland, creates a harmonious blend of artistic expression and natural beauty. Visitors can immerse themselves in the stunning landscapes, take in the beauty of the highlands, and engage in a conversation with contemporary art. Whether driving through the picturesque countryside or taking a bus during the summer Bon Festival, a visit to Utsukushigahara Open-Air Museum promises an unforgettable experience that combines art, nature, and the wonders of the Nagano region.
Address And Maps Location:
2085-70 Takeshikamihoniri, Ueda-shi, Nagano-ken