Surrounded by its wonderfully verdant nature, Hinode Town is a beautiful step away from the hustle and bustle of central Tokyo. Given its size and population, the town also surprises with some historically significant museums as well as a gallery that simply screams personality. Here is an introduction to the museums and gallery of Hinode and how to reach them.
Chiisana Kura no Shiryokan
A rich source of history and heritage, the items on display at the Chiisana Kura no Shiryokan are all sourced from traditional kura warehouses. Built during the Edo period, many of these warehouses still survive. Over 200 items make up the museum's collection and feature calligraphic works, lacquerware as well authentic samurai weapons and armaments like swords and armour.
From Musashi-Itsukaichi Station on the JR Itsukaichi Line, take the no.20 bus bound for Tsutsuru Onsen from the Kanyo Bus Stop.
Hinode Sanso, US-Japan Summit Memorial Hall
Once the summer residence of former Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone, Hinode Sanso served in the early 1980s as the location for US-Japan Summit between Nakasone and USA President, Ronald Reagan. Hidden away in the mountains surrounding the town, the two-storied retreat where the former Prime Minister would spend time is open to the public with a JPY300 admission fee.
A 15-minute taxi ride from Musashi-Itsukaichi Station on the JR Itsukaichi Lline.
Kumikie Gallery is the incredible gallery of artist Michio Nakamura. Using wood leftover from furniture making process of artisans and craftspeople, the pieces here are all carved by hand, coloured without paint and extraordinarily alive with detail. The designs all stem from the imaginary vision of Nakamura and his decades as an illustrator and feature animals, dragons and other fantastical creatures.
A 5-minute no.20 or 30 bus ride from Musashi-Itsukaichi Station on the JR Itsukaichi Line.