At least two to three times a year my family visits Tottori Prefecture, as it is an area filled with beauty and wonder that never ceases to amaze. One of our regular stops is Mizuki Shigeru Road which is in the heart of Sakaiminato City. On this road there are a number of shops that you need to visit, especially if you are a Japanese anime fan because there are exclusively made goods that can only be bought here. However, here I want to introduce the museum that showcases the life and work of the legendary manga artist Mizuki Shigeru. The museum is operated by the city and is located in the arcade area about 1 km from the train station.
The price of admission is 300 yen for elementary school children and goes up to 700 yen for adults. After walking into the museum and buying your ticket, you will be directed to go upstairs. As you climb the stairs you notice that Mizuki Shigeru has drawn some of his iconic characters on the walls and actually signed them. As you move through the room you are introduced to his life as a young man, as an artist, and all that he has contributed to this city. You feel the power of his animation and the scary creatures he created. Then you learn that he was strongly influenced by African art, which is shown by a display of African masks. His art in giant sized form is strategically located in each space with life-like models of his characters standing around you.
You also get to see parts of his old workspace as well as objects from his house, you will note that his life was a humble one spent in this seaport area. As you move downstairs you enter areas that are darkened with the monsters of his imagination placed on the walls and hidden to make you feel and experience each scary creature. If you have children don't worry about the museum being too scary. It's not designed to shock but rather engage the visitors. Some characters are meant to seem grotesque but I think even kids can see their artistic side.
As you complete your tour of the museum you are led into a beautiful Japanese garden and then into the gift shop where you can buy some souvenirs. I think visiting this museum is a must if you are going to travel to Mizuki Shigeru Road.
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Hi, I’m Judith Mikami originally from Auckland, New Zealand. I came to Japan about twenty years ago to experience a culture and country very different from my homeland. Like many who have ventured to Japan I fell in love with the people, culture and places and before I knew it I would meet my husband. I have lived only in Okayama Prefecture and call this area my home away from home.