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Photo By: Nizo Yamamoto Art Museum
Region
Kyushu
Island
Kyushu
Largest City
Nagasaki
Population
1,516,536

Nizo Yamamoto Art Museum

For fans of Studio Ghibli’s films, visit the museum dedicated to one of the studio’s most influential art directors.

By Elizabeth Sok

For fans of Studio Ghibli’s films, be sure to make the trek out to the Goto Islands off the coast of Nagasaki Prefecture. There, you’ll find the museum dedicated to the work of Yamamoto Nizo, one of the studio’s most influential art directors, as well as the beautiful nature that inspired him.

A Biography of Yamamoto Nizo

Nizo Yamamoto Art Museum

Photo by: Nizo Yamamoto Art Museum Learn about the man behind the films.

Born in 1953 on the Goto Islands, Yamamoto studied architecture as a high school student in Gifu and moved to Tokyo for art school. During his studies, he also worked in the animation world. After watching the hugely popular 1970s anime series, Heidi, Girl of the Alps, Yamamoto set his sights on working with Miyazaki Hayao and Takahata Isao, two key members of the team. A decade later, he managed to earn a spot on one of Studio Ghibli’s earliest films, Laputa: Castle in the Sky, as an art director. Following this, he also worked on other Ghibli projects, most notably Grave of the Fireflies, Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away. After working on Spirited Away, Yamamoto continued to put his talents towards celebrated works of animation, such as The Girl Who Leapt Through Time. While he passed away in the summer of 2023, he was able to see the opening of a museum featuring his work in Goto.

The Museum

Nizo Yamamoto Art Museum

Photo by: Nizo Yamamoto Art Museum Showcases the work of Yamamoto past and present.

Opened in 2018 in a renovated samurai residence dating back to the late-Edo period, the Nizo Yamamoto Art Museum showcases the work of Yamamoto past and present. As you enter the building, you’ll be treated to an introduction to the artist beginning with his early life and education. Continuing deeper into the museum, visitors will be able to explore as many as four exhibition rooms, a workshop and a room showcasing his 100 views of Goto.

Highlights

Nizo Yamamoto Art Museum

Photo by: Nizo Yamamoto Art Museum You’ll feel like you’ve been carried away with the billowy masses.

Although taking photographs in most of the museum is prohibited, there are a few spaces where you’ll be able to snap some shots. The Room of a Sky with Clouds immerses visitors in a blue sky populated with big fluffy clouds. Here, you’ll feel like you’ve been carried away with the billowy masses as you sit on the sofa watching select short animations created by Yamamoto. Head on over to the recreated atelier to pore over the artist’s workspace, complete with his desk covered with paints and other art supplies. On the screen in the room, you can watch him working away on a project.

Things To Know

HOURS AND FEES

The museum is open from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. and is closed on Mondays and Dec. 29 – Jan. 3. If Monday is a national holiday, the museum will be open and closed the following weekday.

Admission for adults and college students is ¥40 and for elementary, junior and high school students entrance is ¥200.

How To Get There

Address

By boat

From Fukue Port Terminal, walk for about 10 minutes to the museum. 

Where To Stay

Guest House Goto Times
  • 10-6 Egawamachi, Goto-shi, Nagasaki, 853-0006 Japan
  • ¥4,600 - ¥19,000
  • 5/5 (8 reviews)
  • 0.8 km
Goto Con-kana Kingdom Winery & Resort
  • 2413 Kamiozucho, Goto-shi, Nagasaki, 853-0013 Japan
  • ¥9,000 - ¥28,000
  • 3.3 km
Goto Retreat Ray by Onko Chishin (Fukue Island)
  • 2877 Kamisakiyamacho, Goto-shi, Nagasaki, 853-0023 Japan
  • ¥59,202 - ¥251,966
  • 4.45/5 (11 reviews)
  • 5.3 km
Colorit Goto Islands
  • 546-2 Hamacho, Goto-shi, Nagasaki, 853-0026 Japan
  • ¥22,644 - ¥105,560
  • 4.66/5 (56 reviews)
  • 5.3 km
Okune (Goto, Fukuejima)
  • 1566 Okuracho, Goto-shi, Nagasaki, 853-0053 Japan
  • ¥46,000 - ¥46,000
  • 5.9 km

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