Adachi Museum of Art

Trip Start Apr 02, 2006
Trip End May 17, 2008

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Where I stayed
Hotel Taiyo

Flag of Japan  , Shimane,
Monday, August 23, 2010

Adachi Museum of Art has one of the finest Japanese gardens and ranked first in the ranking of the Japanese gardens published by the Journal of Japanese Garden in the US for seven years in a row. This garden is quite far from big cities like Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya, so it seemed a bit trouble even for most Japanese, to say nothing of international tourists, to visit the museum. Luckily, however, I happened to find an ad of a day tour to the museum which was conducted by Yomiuri Tour in Osaka. The cost of the tour was only JPY 4,999 including an admission ticket (JPY 2,200 per adult) and lunch and it was hard to miss out on. The minimum passenger count was scheduled to be 25, but some registered passengers were absent on the day because of sickness and the final figure of the passenger was 21. 

The bus left Umeda in the City of Osaka, at 7:30 on time. Stopping by Hiruzen Hiland Centre for mutton barbecue lunch, we headed for the museum located in Yasugi of Shimane prefecture. We had only 2 hours to enjoy the museum, but it was not as large as the British Museum or Louvre Museum and 2 hours was enough for seeing everything housed and the four main gardens. I rent an audio guide (for English speakers) for JPY300 (discounted price for the tour participants; original price is JPY500), but the English version doesn't have as full explanation for paintings as the Japanese version. The main feature of  the collection was Yokoyama Taikan's paintings. He is one of the most famous ink painters living from the Meiji through Taisho to Showa Period. The founder of the museum, Adachi Zenko, loved his works and collected about 130 paintings of his, so this museum is dubbed as Taikan's museum. Exhibited artworks change season by season in accordance with the changing appearance of the gardens outside. The gardens are full of new buds in spring, lush green in summer, autumn leaves in fall, and snow in winter. Zenko took a garden for a kind of picture and made the masterpiece "the dry landscape garden" just like an ink painting. He travelled around the country and chose stones and pine trees for the garden and built a 15m waterfall in the backdrop.
The American journal also appreciated the accommodation of staff members and daily maintenance by all of them including the director of the museum. It was obvious that all the details of the gardens were carefully maintained and beautifully harmonized with each other. This museum gardens has been rated as the finest of more than 800 Japanese gardens by the JOJG reviewers from Japan, the US, and Australia. 

Top 50 Gardens of Japan (by JOJG: The Journal of Japanese Gardening)
JOJG announced the result of their 2010 survey of fine Japanese gardens. The number of gardens surveyed came up to 841 and Adachi Museum ranked first (eight years in a row). 
Adachi Museum of Art Official Website
There are plenty of pictures on the site. Pictures from the gardens in different four seasons are recommendable and they may enable you to choose a season in which you visit the museum. It also includes a number of pictures of paintings with full legends. 
Flowers and Gardens (Yasugi City, Matsue City Shimane) video 
First half of the video covers Adachi Museum of Art. 
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