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Arte Piazza in Bibai

Get your art fix at an Outdoor Sculpture Park

As you approach Bibai's Arte Piazza, it seems to be in the middle of nowhere. However, the scenic outdoor setting that surrounds the park is what makes it so aesthetically appealing. Although the Piazza is an outdoor sculpture park, it becomes more of an outdoor scavenger hunt for the stunning sculptures of Kan Yasuda. If you need your quirky, wistful art fix, Bibai’s Arte Piazza is the place to find it.

Easily accessible, the Piazza is located about 15 minutes from Bibai station by car or bus. Go north on the 12, take a right on the 135 and drive for about 10 to 15 minutes until you see a sign for the park in English. There are two different parking lots for free, and admission to the park is free as well. A bus from the train station conveniently stops right in front of the Piazza.

As soon as I stepped out of the parking lot, I spotted a wood cabin that heads the first enclosure of open space in the park. As I passed the cabin, which contains a charming cafe and an area for art classes, I saw that hills and mountains surrounding the space in the background. At the end was one of the most eye-catching pieces in the park, "Pure Nothing." It is a simple open rectangular block of marble that contains a round sphere within its empty space. The craftsmanship and location work together to create a dreamy image of nature and man-made beauty. To the left, I discovered pathways up one of the hills, where I began scavenging for other art pieces hidden within the forest trees.

The next half of the park, located near the second parking lot, felt more like an actual park. In the first section of grass, a thin flow of water dribbled over a stretch of white pebbles, and nearby was a similarly crafted pool only deep enough for your feet. Children and adults were relaxing and enjoying the union of art and landscape, playing freely in the hot August sun. The second section had a playground next to several more large sculptures, and a two-floor building conjoined both of these play-like areas with various miniature sculptures and other art exhibits, including other play areas for children.

After I exhausted myself exploring the beautifully charming park, I cooled off at Caffé Arte. Although 500 yen is a little steep for a glass of iced tea or coffee, I highly recommend a cup of soft serve ice cream, which is smooth, creamy, and set high standards for any vanilla ice cream I try from now on. Other than iced tea and ice cream, the cafe also offers juices, cakes, and kabocha pumpkin soup, which I plan on going back for when the Arte Piazza is surrounded by fall colors and shows the beginnings of frost.

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Tyra 'nell Pille-Lu 11 years ago
I also love the sculpture of the white hollow rectangle with a marble inside, as well as the photo of the sculpture with a caption "annihilation." This is a great place to be. I am getting more and more interested to go to Hokkaido. Thanks for sharing!