Adachi Museum of Art

I’m the type of person who wakes up early.

Partially because all my jobs have required me (because of commuting, but also because they’re just early shifts) to wake up sometime between 2am to 4am to get ready. This means that without meaning to, I just always wake up early. I also ended up waking up early over the weekends and on one particular Sunday, I decided to go to the museum.

I feel like I’ve mentioned this somewhere, maybe on Twitter, but because of COVID and my two job work schedule, I hadn’t really been able to indulge in museum visits in a while. I didn’t go frequently because it’s always a hassle driving out to the city but it just became even harder in the last year and a half.

So when I heard I lived near a museum, I knew I had to go check it out! Also, I got a 2-year membership because it was cheaper but also as a way to tell myself I wanted to stay long-term in Japan. I hope I don’t jinx it!

Apparently, at this museum, they have this really beautiful stone garden that has been recognized as Japan’s #1 garden (by the Journal of Japanese Gardening) for 18 consecutive years! I was sort of excited to see it but also, I was curious as to what else this museum was housing

The garden WAS really beautiful! I haven’t seen many of these types and the first time I ever saw one was probably in Black Butler, which Sebastian makes after Finnian destroys the massive Phantomhive garden. I wasn’t really sure what to expect. Maybe less greenery. It was also very peaceful. The weather was perfect, so I just enjoyed some time outside, taking in all the nature

The garden is gated. We can see it via the hallway windows when we first enter and then along a specified route, but we can’t just pull up a chair and sit there. We just have to stand behind the boundary, which means it’s not really for long-term enjoying (unless you have super strong legs but standing is tiring).

The route continues into the building at multiple places and there’s even this really nice enormous window where we can sit down and take in the view. There are even comfy benches!

The only “bad” thing about this area is that everyone is moving about and taking pictures of everything so it’s really hard to truly relax. Although, even with all this buzz, it is very easy to just lose yourself in the experience.

The garden was mainly at the start of the museum, while the rest of it was exhibits. I would love to show you all some pictures of the items but we weren’t actually allowed to take photos.

I was here for a couple of hours.

Everything was just very beautiful, but I have to admit that there was one exhibit where I felt like I couldn’t enjoy it to the max. It was a collection of pottery works and restaurant decorations made by Kitaoji Rosanjin. Ok, the translation of the exhibit’s description was hilarious. It said he opened up a restaurant, “allowing him to share his gastronomical indulgences”! I need to use this phrase now. I don’t know why but I love it!

Anyway, the reason I felt I missed something in this exhibit is that a lot of the art had writing on it. I believe it’s poetry. I’ve noticed this a lot in some of the Japanese paintings I’ve seen, so while I did find some works beautiful, my enjoyment only went so far.

Then I got to the annex!

I was actually trying to find the exit but I ended up going to a different building and seeing their special exhibit, which actually ended up being my favorite part of my visit. Sorry famous garden, but these paintings were just BEAUTIFUL

Before coming to this exhibit, I had been in another room where we could see works by some of the most famous Japanese painters and I just wasn’t feeling them. I mean, they were beautiful, but I felt like they lacked emotion. They were too quiet in a way that isn’t impactful. Or at least, to me, that’s how they felt.

But as soon as I walked into this exhibit, I felt like the paintings were speaking. They were giant works, taller and wider than a person, and the amount of details in each one was AMAZING.

These are a few from the start that I just wanted to sit in front of and just LOOK.

The previous exhibit had a lot of women in the works, but again, they were kind of just there. But the women in these paintings feel so…I’m not sure how to describe it. They have substance. They aren’t just something painted on paper. They have presence and weight and feelings and they were saying something

Thinking back on it, I think a lot of these pieces were also quiet, but in a different way.

This exhibit also had other paintings that weren’t depicting figures and I really enjoyed those as well. I believe the exhibit already ended. I think it was only supposed to go until the end of October so I’m curious to see what they will show next.

Before leaving the museum, I stopped by the shop.

I hadn’t really seen anything of interest in the shop before this one (I believe the first one is about halfway into the museum), but in this one, I actually ended up buying the special exhibit book and a few postcards.

Also, I want to say that staff was super nice and helped me out with my membership. I was just like I’m sorry I don’t know how to write my address in Japanese yet. I really need to practice that!

– G

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