Adachi Museum 足立美術館
After the thunderstorms of the night, the morning breaks raw and dripping. A short drive, mostly along a river bank, brings us to the Adachi Museum of Art. This museum is famed, and rightly so, for its gardens. It has a plaque to state that it has been the winner of the award for the number one Japanese garden for thirteen consecutive years. The gardens are perfect and that is, perhaps, the only problem with them.
For the most part, you cannot enter the exquisite gardens but only view them through the plate glass. At certain places it is permitted to step outside.
The other claim to fame is that foreigners are half price which is just as well as the entrance fee is rather high. Call it positive discrimination.
Our arrival coincides with a couple of bus tours but these soon disperse within the gallery and there is no sense of crowds. We step outside into the gardens, where permitted, to take photos. Inside there are various contrived spots from which to take pictures, where the widow itself becomes a picture frame or gives the illusion of being a screen or Tokonoma scroll.
＊Adachi Museum of Art ; 2300 yen / adult
After viewing the gardens, we enter the gallery to see the Japanese art. The emphasis is on Yokoyama Taikan whose work, for the most part, unfortunately, leaves me cold. Some of the other exhibits, however, are just wonderful. These were artist from the 1920’s to 50’s I think. I was very taken by one ink painting of a dog entitled ‘A Cold Day’ but I don’t remember by whom but many of the works caused a sharp intake of breath. The overall theme of the exhibition was the capture of light in differing seasons and time of day so scenes after rainfall featured prominently.
The gallery also stressed the progression of modern Japanese art and the materials used so another gallery held an array of contemporary Nihonga artists.
Many of these works were very large and I was very impressed by quite a few and many made me feel inadequate, unable to achieve anything like that. The subject matter and styles differed widely. For sheer originality, Miyasako Masaaki who’s ‘Story of a Herd Boy’ and ‘Spiral Inspiration’ stood out. Another, I would mention, is ‘Breath’ by Kishino Kaori.
This museum is well worth a visit.
The museum website now, 2019 May, does not mention a discount for foreigners so, possibly, it has discontinued the practice.
Exiting the museum, we make our way back to Sakaiminato to find something for dinner in Plant and then set off for Matsue. This seems to be an interesting place, with Nakaumi encroaching on the town and glimpses of the castle through various buildings. Though we don’t stop, we mark it down as somewhere to explore another time. Then, on the other side of the city, we come to another large lake, Shinjiko.
The sun is low but shining brightly over the water. A very beautiful scene, with numerous ducks, poles sticking out of the water and vague, misty hills in the distance. We stop, not an easy thing to do at this spot, and take some pictures but the sun is still too high and bright. Moving on round the lake we stop at the next michi no eki Aika Nagisa Park. Here we take more pictures now the sun is lower with only a hint of pink.
Tatenui Onsen Yurari
Next stop is Tatenui Onsen Yurari, a famous onsen. The bath is very large and the water very good but the outside bath proves a little tepid and I, worried about my cold, retreat inside.
It is dark when we arrive at michi no eki Taisha Goen Hiroba and it appears to be just a large car park with a couple of toilets. One of these proves to be pretty foul but the other bright and clean. Rain is forecast for the night.
＊Tatenui onsen ‘Yurari’ ; 600 yen / adult
The author is a long term resident of Japan who has and continues to travel the country extensively. Avoiding highways where possible, the author has driven from Kagoshima in Kyushu to Wakanai in Hokkaido covering 20,000 plus kilometres and counting.