Tochigi Prefecture Museum is barrier-free (slopes, elevators, washrooms), open and bright. Even if you are not an art-lover, you may want to visit to pick up Japanese art souvenirs, or for a relaxing lunch, tea, coffee or dessert. The museum lacks multi-lingual support, except for the English homepage, so read on to find out more.
This museum boasts plenty of free car parking, bicycle parking and is next to a bus stop, just 3.5 kilometers west of JR Utsunomiya Station. Neighborhood families gather here for hanami in early April, to picnic under the cherry blossoms. Small children will delight in the slide, swings, and open space to romp in the park, which has plenty of shade, sculptures, a drinking fountain and benches.
The permanent collection for the most part displays art works created in Tochigi Prefecture: Japanese style paintings, oil paintings, drawings, prints, sculpture and crafts. It also includes British paintings by J.M. W. Turner and John Constable, and Meissen porcelain.
My favorite art in the permanent collection is the larger than life-sized re-creation of a Harley Davidson motorcycle, made from corrugated cardboard by Shinohara Ushio, and a series of pencil crayon sketches by Tanaka Kouki titled “Sekai wo Tsku tame no Plan. ” The sketches express deforestation, desertification and so on by showing a boy playing with the planet earth, which has shrunk to about twice the height of the boy.
Japan`s public museums are affordable for all. Children and youth under the age of sixteen may enter the Prefecture Museum without paying admission. Adults wishing to check out only the permanent collection pay ¥250. If the current temporary exhibition is of interest, pay ¥800 for that and your ticket includes admission to the permanent collection. High school students, and adults with a student card pay less than half. Free on Prefecture Days, June 13-15 and on Culture Day, November 3.
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