Trip Planner: Asia / Japan / Chubu / Koshinetsu / Nagano Prefecture / Ueda / Utsukushigahara Openair Museum
Utsukushigahara Openair Museum Reviews
We came here after hiking the Utsukushigara Highlands (the hike starts from behind the Museum, with a lovely boardwalk toward the highlands). Entry to the Art Museum is JPY1000. We made a mistake... more »
A large park on a mountaintop with lots of modern art sculptures that make for an enjoyable mountain destination day trip. The sculpture art is a mishmosh of all sorts of themes and styles but it... more »
There is a decent building which contain something like a indoor playground (with artistic design) for kids to play and parents can take some rest there.
Great place for a day out. It's quite a long drive from Matsumoto, noticeably further than the other side (Oh-ga-tou) of the Utsukushigahara highland with the TV antennas, where you should go if you just want to hike around the mountain top and enjoy the views. The gallery though is wonderful, a gloriously decadent money-is-no-object Bubble-era project that is easily worth the 1000 yen adult entry fee. It has I guess 250 outdoor sculptures, mostly biased toward the abstract, spread across a lovely highland area that takes two-three hours to walk around at a leisurely photo-taking pace. The artists may not be so famous, but the sheer scale of the pieces, like the huge dangling silver ball office toy, more than makes up for that. This is Bubble money in action! Along with the economic downturn, the harshness of the winter climate here has taken its toll, making the place a bit run down, but it is still well worth a visit. To see the pieces, to enjoy the views (go on a nice day and take a coat in case its windy), and to contemplate on Japan during the Bubble. The gallery must make huge losses, so go while it is still open. You will learn much more about Japan from this than the (hopeless) Ukiyo-e Museum in Matsumoto. For people with kids, there is a covered children's area conveniently near the entrance. It should cheer them up if they are grumpy from the long drive up.
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