Located amongst the lush green mountains of Hakone, in Kanagawa prefecture, the Hakone Open-Air Museum (箱根彫刻の森美術館) is recommended to all lovers of art and nature. Explore hundreds of modern sculptures embedded in beautiful natural landscape, and enjoy the refreshing and perfectly clear Hakone air!
The museum hosts a collection of modern sculptures from both Japanese and international artists, including many interactive pieces that are fun for both adults and children. The Symphonic Sculpture, for instance, is a large tower that can be entered and explored from within, consisting of a large staircase surrounded by a stained-glass encasement, leading up to a balcony with a breathtaking view of the Hakone mountains. For children, there is also an extensive playground area to keep the kids energised and in good spirits, as well as various “play sculptures” throughout the grounds.
You can walk amongst the outdoors sculptures, through small wooded areas, a koi pond, and other beautiful natural landscapes. The sculptures blend beautifully with the landscape, often fused into it seamlessly. Some sculptures are located amongst trees, in ponds, or scattered about the hills and fields. Take some time to explore every nook and cranny of the outdoor museum space in order to fully experience all that it has to offer. Many of the sculptures are humorous and light-hearted, making for excellent photo opportunities!
Aside from the outdoors collections, there are also plenty of indoor exhibits, both temporary and permanent. Most notable is the Picasso collection, where you will find two floors of paintings, photography, sculpture, and sketches from the notorious Spanish painter. Throughout the year the museum also offers plenty of art workshops for children and adults alike, although these workshops are not offered in English.
If your feet get worn out from the walking, you will find solace in knowing that there is a free ashi-yu, a small onsen hot spring for your feet, available for you to take a dip in. The warm water is decorated with local fruits to provide extra benefits to your skin and wary feet. There are also a few dining options on site, including Bella Foresta, a buffet-style restaurant, and The Hakone Open-Air Museum Café. A sizeable museum store offering a variety of products featuring the art works housed at the museum.