Hakone Open-Air Art Museum

Japan is a country filled to the brim with art. For decades, generations, even centuries, the Japanese have managed to incorporate qualities into their culture that give its history and way of living an oddly persistent aura of elegance. The Land of the Rising Sun is artistically enthusiastic, both in the categories of modern and traditional art. In the traditional aspect, many facets of culture that seem ordinary or standard for the Japanese are perceived to be aesthetically pleasing or outstanding, especially by western cultures.

Many have given their own descriptions of the overall style of Japanese art. Words such as serene, elegant, precise, dynamic and flowing come to mind, especially when looking at Japanese art throughout history. Whether it’s the art of forging a sword, such as the famous Japanese Katana, the ancient part of playing ancient string instruments, creating paper figurines called Origami or even more modern arts such as flower arrangements and cinema, Japan is much accomplished in all major fields of art. Another integral part of Japanese culture is nature and generally the outdoors. The variety Japan has to offer in the outdoor department is as diverse as its contribution to the world’s arts, celebrating diverse seasons and unlimited opportunities to enjoy nature’s gifts.

One place that combines these two naturally connected forces, nature and art, is the Hakone Open Air Art Museum. The term “art museum” is normally associated with exhibition galleries, especially famous ones such as France’s Le Louvre, however, the Hakone Open Air Art Museum takes a different approach to letting visitors experience art.

Located in the town of Hakone in the Ashigarashimo District of the Kanagawa Prefecture, the Open Air Art Museum showcases art in balance with nature, built on spacious and lusciously green grounds surrounded by mountains. It’s a perfect place to unwind and experience two of Japan’s finest qualities at the same time.


The gallery opened in 1969 and features over 1000 sculptures, with works by various famous artists in the industry such as Picasso and Henry Moore. The fact that the exhibition is located outside sets the tone for the types of collections there are to see in the museum. Many different types of sculptures can be seen, with some even constructed upon water. The Picasso collection is most likely the centerpiece of the museum’s collection, a pavillion dedicated to the genius’ works featuring 188 pieces of his ceramic work that the museum had been able to acquire.

First image by japan-guide.com

Second image by bornplaydie.com

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