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Museums: The Hakone Open Air Museum

There are just a few things that are on my must do list when traveling; eating at some cool restaurants, visiting farmers and antique markets, and hitting a couple of museums. I find museum architecture quite interesting and how they interact with the surrounding environs. Urban museums have a different energy than those that sit on acreage featuring landscape art and outdoor sculpture gardens. I am partial to both, but when I find myself in a city on a rainy travel day, a museum is usually the perfect way to spend the day.

Aomori Museum of Art

Chikano-185 Yasuta, Aomori, 038-0021, Japan


The chalk-white walls of the Aomori Museum of Art stand out against a backdrop of striking green. The museum’s iconic centerpiece is the lovable Aomori Dog, a magnificent concrete statue standing 8.5 meters tall and created by Yoshitomo Nara.

The museum opened in 2006 with the goal of promoting the art of Aomori to the world. The museum’s architectural design is a masterpiece in its own right, inspired by excavations of the prehistoric Sannai-Maruyama archeological site nearby.

Bright neon signs adorning the exterior walls greet museum visitors, welcoming guests to peruse halls lined with the works of artistic luminaries such as Marc Chagall, Rembrandt, and Henri Matisse, as well as local Japanese artists. The exhibition space is uncluttered and sophisticated—an atmosphere ideal to discovering the thought-provoking pictograms, sculptures and drawings unique to the Aomori Museum of Art.

Source: Japan National Tourism Organization

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