- 3 min read

Elleair Matsuyama Museum of Art

A pleasantly quiet museum off the beaten path

Elleair Matsuyama Museum of Art is a small museum that accommodates a collection of about thirty paintings by well known artists. It’s run by Daio Paper Corporation, one of the leading paper companies in Japan, headquartered in Ehime. It stands on the top of a mountain above Dogo Plain and takes about 30 to 40 minutes from central Matsuyama by car. You can get there by following the signs for Elleair golf course, or Matsuyama City Outdoor Aactivity Center. After passing by the clubhouse of the golf course, you’ll soon find the museum.

I went there on a fine day in May so the new green of both the mountain and the golf course were beautiful. The museum building was designed by Tadao Ando, a famous Japanese architect. Like all his other works, it’s constructed of reinforced concrete. No admission fee is charged. But photography is not allowed inside.

Stepping into the cool interior, the series of Daphnis et Chloe by Marc Chagall welcomed us. The forty-two pieces, which depict episodes of the famous Greek love story, were exhibited along the wall in the corridor. Before entering the main area of the museum, my attention was caught by white bodies lying outside. That was “Ninfa”, and a short distance away, “Fauno” crouched down. They are sculptures made of white marble by Giacomo Manzu, an Italian sculptor famous for the decoration of the chapel of Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore. In the main gallery, large and medium -sized works of well-known painters are exhibited including Raoul Dufy, Pablo Picasso, Fujita, Paul Aizpiri, Maurice Utrillo and so on. Among these, I liked La Plage (The Beach) by Bernard Buffet. I imagine most of his paintings to be in black and white but this one is pale blue and yellow and gave me a sensation of brightness. Going down to the ground floor, there was a small café space which faces a big window. We sat at one table. The menu is limited: coffee, tea, green tea and juice but you can relax with the paintings there and gazing outside at water flowing down a concrete wall.

After tea, we went up to the other side of the 1st floor. The space was a lounge with comfortable sofas. There were no paintings but you can see a green view of the golf course from the picture windows. There were few visitors while I was there so it was pleasantly quiet. (If you’re lucky, you can enjoy the museum completely to yourself.) This museum offers only permanent exhibits so there won’t be any change in the lineup but I sometimes want to come back to have a relaxing time with excellent art.

The museum is open from 10:30 to 4:30. It's closed on Monday and Tuesday

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