the Hakone Open Air Museum up in the volcanic mountains of Japan is definitely one of the most amazing art museums I've ever seen. It was almost all outdoors and was full of some pretty fabulous art.
it covered a HUGE area and we spent almost five hours walking around the grounds and enjoying it all.
This was a semi ugly dull looking tower from the outside- but the inside and views from the top were astonishing.
gramps and metta spaghetta from up top!
cell phone panoramas.
you walk up a spiral staircase surrounded by stained glass.
and exit to these views. pretty amazing, huh??
there was a giant building dedicated to the works of Picasso. I had no idea that picasso had such range in his forms of art. There was sculpture, pottery, painting, glass, and more. they wouldn't let us take any pictures inside :)
Zeb is the teeny little guy down by the statue.
Having the museum outside made it VERY child friendly. It was so nice to let them run around and not worry about being loud!
this picture isn't mine- It's from the website- but it gives good perspective of statues and sculptures dotting the lawns and grounds. we could have spent several more hours!
there was a volcanic hot spring foot bath where you could sit and relax.
metta and nannie annie befriended a cute little Japanese family at the foot bath! Hiro and Rika were the little kids' names. We saw them several more times throughout the day and they were so excited every time!
here's a nifty shiny ball hanging in the sky! That's me in the center with my camera. the rest of the fam is there, too.
there were also several AMAZING places for our kids to play. there's nothing better than functional and fun art!
is there a fancy pants art museum in the states anywhere that is this child friendly?! We did LOVE the toledo art museum and their family center- but it was separate from the art exhibits.
the hakone museum lets you PLAY on the art!
you can see zeb and Ike making a beeline for this structure!
little kid play heaven. I would have gone up if I hadn't been afraid of getting stuck somewhere inside!
another geometric play structure.
and finally- the most amazing piece of artwork I've ever seen. EVER. in my LIFE!
the giant handknit playground.
the colors were so fabulous.
the whole thing was GINORMOUS! so big I can't describe it.
japan is a little bit of camera enthusiast heaven. I want to take so many pictures I don't know what to do with myself.
and something like this- with the array of colors- the magnitude- and simply the originality of it all- mesmerized me.
I just wanted to stay all day and look at it.
the WORST part of my day was coming to the realization that I was NOT allowed inside. ages 12 and under ONLY. WHAT?! I was devastated.
I sent my camera in with Zeb to try adn get some pictures of the inside! my phone camera didn't do the inside justice.
look how much fun! I want to go back and sneak inside.
the entrance holes were pretty small, though.
I really might get stuck.
we lucked out with the place almost empty! our kids got the entire thing to themselves for quite some time.
our entire day was pretty great. hakone is one of my favorite places in Japan so far!