By Kelvin Ha: Hakone Open Art Museum is situated in the beautiful outskirts in Hakone, Kanagawa. Opened in 1969, the museum is the first open-air art museum in Japan. With a focus on sculptures, the 70,000 square-meter museum features over 100 pieces of local and international artwork.

Of the artwork, the museum has one of the world’s largest collections from English master sculptor Henry Moore (1898-1986). Moore is famously quoted saying, “There is no background to sculpture better than the sky, because you are contrasting solid forms with its opposite space.” Blending with the backdrop of the mountains in Hakone, Moore’s work allows one to truly experience the harmony between nature and art.

Yet another highlight of the museum is The Picasso Pavillion. Picasso became involved with ceramics at Vallauris studio in southern France after he was sixty-five. His style in ceramics blossoms from painting – featuring use of dynamic color as well as his touch of endless creativity. In addition, the museum features photo sets by David Douglas Duncan over the last 17 years of the artist’s life. The set provides another perspective in understanding this legendary artist.

Simply walking around the open space allows you to spend an afternoon easily. Tired, enjoy the specialty dishes crafted by the four cafes and restaurants within the Museum. Next time if you go to Japan, please pay a visit to this museum.

For more information, visit: http://www.hakone-oam.or.jp/english

Access:
It takes approximately ninety minutes to reach Hakone from Tokyo. Then from either JR Odawara Station or Odakyu Hakone Yumoto Station in Hakone, take the Hakone Tozan Line to Chokoku-no-Mori Station.

Here are some fun art works at the museum:
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Kelvin Ha, Class of 2016 at Babson College.