春日遅遅〜spring day being long and balmy〜

久しぶり!Long time no (cyber) see! Today, I’m going to post some photos of the museums I visited in Nagano, Japan. I lived in the “snow wonderland” for a month and a half before going to Tokyo for a semester-long study abroad program. Now that I have different perspectives on living in different cities in Japan (Tokyo, Nagano, and Fukuoka), I am determined that Nagano is the best place to live like an American. There is so much more freedom, but less bureaucracy in Nagano than in Tokyo. I definitely felt less constrained and stressed in Nagano.

The two most well-known cities in Nagano Prefecture are probably Nagano city and Matsumoto city. The two pictures above and the four pictures below are taken at the Matsumoto City Museum of Art and The Japan Ukiyo-e Museum, respectively. Both are located in Matsumoto, and both are excellent museums to visit if you are in the area.

Unfortunately, I do not have many photos from the Matsumoto City Museum of Art, but it is seriously worth visiting given its awesome exhibitions and permanent collections (See: 草間彌生, Yayoi Kusama). As the museum website indicates, Matsumoto is a beautiful city to wander around either before or after your museum visit. I cannot recommend it enough.

Another museum worth visiting is the Japan Ukiyo-e Museum, located on the outer edge of Matsumoto. The Ukiyo-e Museum originated as a private collection of Sakai Nobuo, a wealthy businessman who collected over 100,000 ukiyo-e’s (Japanese woodblock prints that depict the picture of “buoyant and joyful, or floating world”). Here, you will see the original version of famous prints, such as The Great Wave off Kanagawa or the 36 views of Mount Fuji series. Not many people know about this hidden treasure; so you will be able to look at each piece slowly without much distraction. The architecture of the building is made with a lot of open spaces and intricate designs. The sun shining through the large window panes was a fantastic view for the cold but beautiful February.

The last picture is unfortunately the only picture I shot at the Nagano Prefectural Shinano Art Museum,  which boasts an impressive collection of paintings by Higashiyama Kai. The serene setting of the museum perfectly complements the soft and dreamy paintings of Higashiyama. I once asked a Japanese student who she thinks the most famous painter in Japan is. Without hesitation, she answered Higashiyama Kai. Go take a look at his masterpiece, 緑響く(echoes of the green).

Posted by Connie

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