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A Guide to Chiba’s Art Scene

An hour away from Tokyo is the prefecture of Chiba, spreading over the Kanto Plain and the Boso Peninsula in the east of Tokyo Bay. Most tourists only zip through the area on their way to or from Narita International Airport but Chiba is an underrated treasure trove of culture, scenic landscapes, and history.

  • While Chiba boasts some great surfing spots, magnificent mountains and beautiful natural scenery, visitors can expect to see a number of wonderful yet hidden museums that are a must see for any traveller. The museums in Chiba not only delve into the local culture and history but create a vibrant contemporary arts scene that is built and supported by the locals and also collaborates with many international institutions. Each place has its own distinct theme and collection that visitors from all over the world can explore and enjoy.

  • HOKI MUSEUM

    HOKI MUSEUM

    HOKI MUSEUM

    The collection of Hoki museum was assembled by Masao Hoki and is dedicated to realist paintings, the first of its kind in Japan. The gallery is nestled next to the beautiful park of Showa no Mori, another place to definitely visit while in Chiba. The collection includes more than 400 works by about 50 artists, from famous masters as well as young break-through artists. The museum itself is a work of art, with the galleries following a gentle curving path that encourages visitors to appreciate each individual painting. As it’s at a distance from Tokyo, you’ll be able to linger at each piece without the usual crush of tourists.

  • ICHIHARA LAKESIDE MUSEUM

    ICHIHARA LAKESIDE MUSEUM

    ICHIHARA LAKESIDE MUSEUM

    The Ichihara Lakeside Museum is a small but beautiful award winning gallery sitting in the middle of Chiba Prefecture. The museum has splendid sights inside and out housing a well curated collection of contemporary art as well as boasting views over the nearby Takataki Lake. The permanent exhibition changes four times a year and is taken from the Ichihara City Collection. The museum was a collaborative effort of the local community and takes advantage of the stunning natural scenery with a large sculpture garden and steps leading down to the lakeside. There’s also a great pizzeria nearby and it’s well worth a visit if you are spending the day in Chiba.

    ICHIHARA LAKESIDE MUSEUM

    ICHIHARA LAKESIDE MUSEUM

  • KANAYA MUSEUM

    KANAYA MUSEUM

    KANAYA MUSEUM

    Kanaya Museum sits between the sea and the holy mountain of Nokogiriyama where ancient gods reside. Nokogiriyama literally means “Saw Mountain” as its ridge ends in jagged edges. The museum itself is quite small but shelters works by Japanese master painters including the likes of Hokusai, who influenced European artists such as Van Gogh, and focuses on the historical research of the area. Its sculpture garden is surrounded by sloping green mountains. If you’re already in the area to hike in the mountains or use the famous Nokogiriyama Ropeway, this place is a charming place to stop and breathe in the history of Chiba.

    KANAYA MUSEUM

    KANAYA MUSEUM

    KANAYA MUSEUM

    KANAYA MUSEUM

    Chiba offers greats sites and attractions that are different from the usual tourist spots of Tokyo and Kyoto. It’s definitely worth a day trip just for its own unique experience.

    Hoki Museum
    Address
    Chiba Pref. Chibashi Midori-ku Asumigaokahigashi 3-15
    Phone
    0432051500
    Ichihara Lakeside Museum
    Address
    Chiba Pref. Ichiharashi Funyu 75-1
    Phone
    0436981525
  • Kanaya Art Museum
    Address
    Chiba Pref. Futtsushi Kanaya 2146-1
    Phone
    0439698111
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