Hakone's Six World-Class Museums
You could spend a week here, just enjoying the museums
Hakone is known all over the world for both its onsen (hot springs), and its great views of Mt. Fuji, but I'm guessing you didn't know that it is also home to some of Japan's best museums. And in fact, six of them are (in my opinion) world class; some because of their uniqueness, and others because of the great art they serve up to visitors.
In this short introduction, I would like to tell you a little about each of the museums, and then link you to more information and other articles that have been written about them here on JapanTourist.
The six museums are: 1) The Lalique Museum, 2) The Little Prince Museum, 3) The Narukawa Art Museum, 4) The Open Air Museum, 5) The Pola Museum of Art, 6) The Venetian Glass Museum.
1) The Lalique Museum showcases the exquisite glasswork of Frenchman, René Jules Lalique (1860-1945). The museum has collected more than 1500 of his pieces.
2) The Little Prince Museum is all about Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and his most famous story, The Little Prince. Set up like a tiny French village, the museum features hundreds of large, rare photos, a movie, and reproductions of the rooms he lived in during is around-the-world journeys.
3) The Narukawa Art Museum offers up works by major Japanese artists in a setting of beauty and splendor. The exhibition rooms are wide and comfortable (they're carpeted), and the views of Lake Ashinoko and Mt. Fuji are incredible from here.
4) The Hakone Open Air Museum is spread out over 70,000 square meters and features sculpture by some of the world's most famous artists. Also, it all feels better because it is set outdoors amongst the beautiful nature of Hakone. There is also a special Picasso-only house tucked into the corner of the grounds.
5) The Pola Museum is also home to a number of Picasso's works, as well as Monet, Cezanne, Renoir, and Chagall. There are also a number of prominent Japanese artists featured in the collection. The architecture is unique, and the museum is located in the middle of a beautiful forest.
6) The Venetian Glass Museum (also called the Glass Forest Museum) is a lot of fun. Don Venetian masks and party garb upon arrival, and then spend a fun couple of hours enjoying the glass (indoors), or the extensive grounds (outdoors.