The Hakone Museum of Art (or Hakone bijutsukan in Japanese) is an ideal stop for photographers and people interested in Japanese culture and history. Most visitors to Hakone overlook the Hakone Museum of Art and go straight for the Hakone Open Air Museum, a popular modern art and sculpture museum. But, trust us, both are worth your while.
Japanese ceramics and earthenware
Located along the Hakone-Tozan Cable Car between Owakudani and Gora Stations, the main museum displays consist of historic earthenware and ceramics found in Japan that date back to prehistoric times up to the Edo Period (1603–1868). Museum goers can view small decorative plates and figurines, as well as large vases and pots once used for fermenting food.
Be sure to head to the second floor, where a large window overlooks the garden outside and the Hakone mountains in the distance. A museum shop on-site sells several Japanese handicrafts including Japanese cloth, wooden keepsake boxes, and ceramics.
The main highlights of the Hakone Museum of Art are the two traditional gardens on its grounds. Shinsenkyo is referred to as the moss garden and the second is a more secluded Japanese landscape garden called Sekirakuen. The moss garden is carpeted with 130 different varieties of soft moss, with a narrow stone trail winding through it. In the center of the moss garden is a teahouse where you can relax with a cup of matcha tea, peacefully accented by a neighboring koi pond and waterfall.
Woah, black eggs!
For your fill of traditional Japanese aesthetic, be sure to add the Hakone Museum of Art to your Hakone bucket list.