Adachi Museum of Art in Shimane

With over thousands of museums in the country, Japan’s thriving art scene is a source of excitement for art lovers who love spending their afternoons quietly perusing art. Among them, the Adachi Museum of Art in Yasugi, Shimane Prefecture, is especially not to be missed.    

Houses an award-winning garden 

Adachi Museum Of Art - the pond garden
Image credit: @tanyakahirokazu

Home to an immaculate and well-manicured garden, the Adachi Museum of Art is famously known for its exquisite outdoor space. Since 2003, it has consistently ranked 1st on Sukiya Living Magazine: A Journal of Japanese Gardening’s Japanese Garden Ranking poll. 

Adachi Museum Of Art - the pond garden
The Pond Garden.
credit: @yuki312ymgc

With its long-standing accolades, the garden in the museum is considered to be the best in the country. 

Adachi Museum Of Art- white gravel and pine garden
The Kikaku Waterfall can be seen from the museum.
Image credit: @huckleberryfinn111

Spanning 165,000sqm – the equivalent of roughly 30 football fields – the garden is made up of 5 sections in varied themes. 

Ranging from a moss to a dry landscape garden, the outdoor space was a passion project of the late founder, Adachi Zenko, who devoted his life to gardening until his passing in 1990. 

Adachi Museum Of Art
Image credit: @powder_snow_aki

Inspired by the idea that gardens are “living paintings” and a deep appreciation for Japanese art, the museum’s gardens – notably The White Gravel and Pine Garden – are constructed with the imagery of traditional Japanese paintings in mind. 

Adachi Museum Of Art - snowing in the pond garden
Image credit: @white100pr

Working in tandem with the existing backdrop, the manicured garden space blends in seamlessly with the surrounding landscape. 

Adachi Museum Of Art
Image credit: @shizuki7397

It was the founder’s intention and desire that visitors could fully immerse themselves in both the unsullied beauty of nature and the masterpieces by Japanese artists.  

Collection of “live paintings” & Japanese art

Adachi Museum Of Art - living framed paintingImage credit: @konatizu.ogaki

Paintings are typically timeless and unmoving. However, at the Adachi Museum of Art, visitors get to admire dynamic art pieces that vary in appearance each time they see it.    

Adachi Museum Of Art - living framed paintingImage credit: @sachiyo.f

Perfectly framed to offer a panoramic view of the outdoor space, the Living Framed Paintings are windows of varied sizes that peer out at the museum’s impeccable gardens. 

Adachi Museum Of Art - living hanging scroll
Living Hanging Scroll, a scroll-shaped opening that shows the garden’s landscape.
Image credit: @hikarukiyo

As the months pass by and the surrounding vegetation takes on stunning seasonal hues, the paintings take on a different face every day, making them truly alive. 

Adachi Museum Of Art - autumn leaves by yokoyama taikan
Autumn Leaves (1931) by Yokoyama Taikan.
Image credit: Adachi Museum of Art

Boasting over 1,500 works by modern and contemporary Japanese artists, the Adachi Museum of Art houses a splendid collection of paintings, ceramic works, wood carvings, and even dōga (童画; pictures for children). 

In particular, the museum is known for its vast collection of works by Yokoyama Taikan, a prominent figure in the art world who pioneered the painting techniques of nihonga (日本画; Japanese painting).

Enjoy tea prepared with a pure gold kettle

Adachi Museum Of Art - tea set
Image credit: @shirapome

After taking in the splendour of both art and nature, visitors are welcomed to take a break at the 2 cafes and 1 tea house found in the museum. 

All 3 shops available offer a view of the garden as an accompaniment to your refreshments. But Juraku-an, a traditional tea house, is particularly noteworthy for its Living Canvasesa pair of scroll-like windows that open into the serene garden.

Adachi Museum Of Art - jurakuanImage credit: @hiroo.rodeodrive

Admission into the space costs ¥1,000 (~USD7.51), and you’d be served a tea set that comprises a bite-sized traditional wagashi and matcha.  

Adachi Museum Of Art - jurakuanImage credit: @hiroo.rodeodrive

Be sure to look out for the traditional Japanese pure gold kettle, which is used to boil the hot water for tea brewing. It is said that the ornate kettle brings luck and longevity.

How to get to Adachi Museum of Art 

Adachi Museum Of Art - entranceImage credit: @yuka_ogawa

Though slightly out of the way from the city centre of Matsue, Adachi Museum of Art provides a free shuttle service for visitors. To make use of the free transport, take the train on the local Sanin Line from Matsue Station to Yasugi Station. A one-way ride costs ¥420 (~USD3.16) and takes approximately 22 minutes.

The shuttle buses come every 30 minutes and the schedule can be found here

Adachi Museum Of Art - entranceImage credit: @mumuzaochuan

For foreign travellers, there’s a special discount of ¥300 (~USD2.25) for admission tickets, so remember to bring along your passport. Note that the perks are subject to change without prior notice. 

Address: 320 Furukawacho, Yasugi, 692-0064 Shimane
Opening hours: 9am-5.30pm, Daily (Apr-Sep) | 9am-5pm, Daily (Oct-Mar)
Admission: ¥2,300 (~USD17.27) for adults, ¥1,800 (~USD13.52) for university students, ¥1,000 (~USD7.51) for high school students, ¥500 (~USD3.76) for elementary or junior high school students
Contact: 0854-28-7111 | Adachi Museum of Art Website

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Cover image adapted from (clockwise from left): @tanyakahirokazu, @yuki312ymgc and @shirapome

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