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Art surrounded by nature! Hakone Open Air Museum

Sei
Updated Sep 23, 2015

Hakone is a touristic place easily accessible from Tokyo. Most people associate Hakone with hot springs and energy spots, but in fact it’s also a popular place to see art. One cannot visit all the existing museums and galleries in a single day. I will now introduce Hakone Open Air Museum, one of the most artistic places where you can easily get carried away and forget about time.

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Impressive art objects spread around the spacious museum grounds!

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Immediately after entering the museum, you will be impressed by the outdoor art objects. The sculptures installed on the spacious grounds look large and majestic. The open air space is 70 000 square meters. It has not only art objects, but also empty space and lots of green plants, creating a harmonic balance between art and nature. In sunny days the sunrays create a beautiful contrast with the installations and act as museum illumination. The visual beauty is truly impressive.

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Both kids and adults can enjoy! Playful art

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One of the objects on the route is a giant construction which looks as if it was made of many soap bubbles. This is the “Soap bubble castle”, a place for the kids to play. Designed like an obstacle facility from adventure parks, it allows kids to play inside lit by the sunbeams. Just being there makes you feel like you’ve been transported to an unusual fantasy world. Adults cannot enter inside, but they can enjoy the beauty of the transparent construction which reflects nature’s light.

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Picasso’s secrets featured indoors!

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One of the highlights of Hakone Open Air Museum is the Picasso Collection. Art made by the Spanish genius from the 20th century can be seen in the special Picasso building. This is the first private collection of Picasso art in Japan and the items have been donated by his daughter. Over 300 art items can be seen.

Many people like Picasso because of his daring creations, but inside the collection there are some delicate items as well. Some of the pieces exhibited express his strong emotions, while others have a flavor of solitude, thus one can get a taste of Picasso’s entire life and the changes in his creative style.

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Stained glass wrapping up a whole different world

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An outstanding tower can be seen on the spacious museum grounds. It is called “Happiness symphony sculpture” and its interior is really impressive. The space inside is enclosed by stained glass. The colorful pieces of glass refract the sunbeams into a harmonic mosaic of warm colors. It feels as if a totally different world has been wrapped up inside this tower in Hakone Open Air Museum. Climbing up the spiral staircase lets you enjoy the interior from various angles.

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Praising women with the strong and attractive female statue

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A sturdy and colorful female statue can be found standing outside on the spacious lawn. Slightly plump and protective, this sculpture named “Miss Black Power” has been created by the French artist Niki de Saint Phalle. It is one of the art products from Niki’s female statues series “Nana”. What has been depicted here is the strong life presence of a confident woman. Her clothes and handbag are French, colorful and fashionable. Just watching this statue gives you hope and confidence.

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Many more! An endless collection of art items

Walking around Hakone Open Air Museum will take you half a day without you even noticing that. There is also a café and an art shop worth visiting. There is even a foot hot spring popular with families who rest there after walking around the spacious museum grounds.

Art items are displayed not only outside, but indoors too, and there are so many that I cannot introduce all of them, however I recommend seeing them with your own eyes. Particularly the outdoor installations can be enjoyed in different ways according to the weather, therefore this museum is a place you can visit multiple times.

This article was originally published on Sep 23, 2015

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