I’m often in awe of Japan’s beautiful gardens – they’re something that I seek out every time I visit a new part of the country. Earlier this year I visited Shimane Prefecture, and there was one particular spot that was high on my list of places I wanted to visit. The Adachi Museum of Art is known for showcasing pottery, contemporary paintings, and hanging scrolls amongst other works, but they’re most renowned for the art happening outdoors! Year after year, the gardens here win awards for being the best in Japan, and it’s not hard to see why. The founder of the Adachi Museum of Art, Zenko Adachi, was of the mindset that “the garden is also a picture”, and the grounds here deliver, looking picture perfect in every sense.
Award-winning Japanese gardens
I visited in the spring, and you can see the pops of pink on some of the azalea bushes that were already in bloom. The landscape here changes dramatically with the seasons – in the summer, the area is lush and green, but in the autumn months there are vibrant reds, yellows and oranges as the leaves change on the surrounding trees. In winter, the area can even occasionally be dusted with snow, so no matter the time of year you visit you’ll have something unique to view.
One thing that I have to mention is the sheer level of detail that the groundskeepers here go to in order to keep everything looking in tip-top condition. They lay down mats when they’re pruning the bushes (probably to make the cleanup easier!) and use so much precision that you’d think they were doing surgery.
Tea ceremony experience
Alongside the beautiful gardens and displays of fascinating artwork at the museum here, there are two teahouses, a cafe and a restaurant on site. Juraku-an (寿楽庵) is a modern take on the teahouse tradition, and instead of sitting on tatami mats on the floor, the teahouse has regular tables and chairs. If you’d like to go for the traditional approach though, head to Juryu-an (寿立庵). Here, you’ll be sitting seiza style on the floor, and will be guided through the tea ceremony process. The instructions are given in Japanese, but even if you’re not a master of the language you’ll be just fine by watching and copying each step.
One of the other pleasant things about a trip to the Juryu-an Teahouse is that you’re able to actually get out and walk amongst the teahouse gardens. The other gardens at the museum are strictly for your eyes only, so if you do want to get more up close with nature a trip here is just the ticket! Be sure to pop some slippers on that are provided for you!
Good news for foreigners!
Another great thing about the Adachi Museum of Art if you’re a foreign resident in Japan or an international passport holder is that you can get 50% off your admission price. Show your passport or your residence card, and voilà – big savings for you!
Adachi Museum of Art Information
- April through September: 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
- October through March: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Open every day
- Website: Adachi Museum of Art official website
- Address: 320 Furukawa-cho, Yasugi, Shimane Prefecture 692-0064
- Head to Yasugi Station on the JR Sanin Main Line, and from there, a free shuttle bus runs directly to the museum approximately every 20 minutes.
- Once you arrive at the museum, be sure to pick up a return shuttle bus ticket for your desired time slot.
- Adult: 2,300 yen
- University Student: 1,800 yen
- High School Students: 1,000 yen
- Elementary or Junior High Students: 500 yen
- Bring your foreign passport or residence card to get half price off your admission!