Spend a day spotting artworks and strolling along the gentle hills and lush lawns at this peaceful garden gallery on a scenic railway route.
The Hakone Open Air Museum (Hakone Chōkoku No Mori Bijutsukan) encompasses a sprawling hillside, its carefully placed sculptures responding to the stunning surroundings of mountains and green valleys. Discover the museum’s eclectic collection of sculptures, which includes artworks by Japanese and Western artists from the 19th and 20th centuries. Check out the Picasso Pavilion while the kids explore the fun-filled playground.
Enter the sculpture park via the dark entryway tunnel, which evokes a passage into a secret garden. You’ll see a variety of sculptural artworks interacting with the contours of the surrounding landscape. Don’t miss works by Auguste Rodin, Henry Moore and Jean Miró set against the green mountains of the Hakone region. The museum also features a collection of indoor galleries that display permanent collections and temporary exhibitions, many of which illustrate contemporary and historical innovations in sculpture. Check out the Picasso Pavilion, which houses about 300 works. This excellent collection spans the modern master’s paintings, prints, ceramics, glass arts and tapestries.
Pack a picnic and enjoy a relaxed lunch on the lawns as you take in the stunning surrounding views. Kids will love the sculptural indoor playground, which incorporates geometric shapes and patterns. Many of the outdoor sculptures are also interactive and suitable for children.
After exploring the gardens, enjoy a snack or meal. Choose from the on-site café, buffet-style restaurant or Hong Kong-style dim sum restaurant. The Hakone Open Air Museum Shop offers a wide selection of souvenirs. The museum’s outdoor footbath is the perfect spot to spend some time while you wait for the train to your next destination.
The Hakone Open Air Museum is located nearby the Chokoku No Mori Station on the scenic Hakone Tozan Railway. The museum is open daily and Hakone Free Pass holders receive discounted admission. Combine your trip with a ride on the Hakone-Tozan Cablecar, which departs from nearby Gora or a visit to some local hot springs (onsen).