Okutama Town, Tokyo - Museums & Galleries: Surprises in the midst of a natural haven

Photo: Kentaro Ohno / CC0 1.0
Photo: Kentaro Ohno / CC0 1.0

Okutama Town, Tokyo - Museums & Galleries: Surprises in the midst of a natural haven

by Sleiman Azizi
Japan Travel

Overview

The stunning located Okutama Town is no stranger to natural beauty. Surrounded by western Tokyo's verdant environment, the town has the audacity to punch about above its weight with some directed art and science galleries that take full advantage of their locations. Here is an introduction to the museums and galleries of Okutama Town and how to reach them.

Nippara Furusato Museum

Sitting amidst the natural landscapes of the region is the Nippara Furusato Art Museum. The museum exhibits not only art works owned by the town but also the paintings of Saburo Kurata, a painter whose travels to over 50 countries inspired more than 2,000 creations.

A 30-minute no.21 bus ride from JR Okutama Station on the JR Ome Line.

Nippara Shinrinkan

The only one of its kind in Japan, the Nippara Shinrinkan is a forest museum dedicated to giant trees. An amazing structure in and of itself, the museum building feature not only video footage, pictures and visuals but also a guide on the art of 'tree watching'. Broadening its scope, the museum also looks at various fauna, including deer and serow.

A 3-minute walk from Higashi Nippara Bus Stop via a 35-minute bus ride from Okutama Station on the JR Ome Line.

Okutama Water & Green Friendship Hall

Overlooking Okutama Lake, the Okutama Water & Green Friendship Hall focuses on education, offering visitors the chance to learn about the history of the nearby Ogochi Dam. More than the exhibits themselves, it is clearly the immediate natural surroundings that offer the most direct appeal.

A 16-minute no.10 or 15 bus ride from JR Okutama Station on the JR Ome Line.

Seseragi no Sato Museum

Beautifully located amongst the rolling hills and verdant forests of the region, Seseragi no Sato Museum is a relocated Edo period house. Exhibiting local works by people connected to the town over 4-5 annual exhibitions, this beautiful building sits right by the Tama River, offering an ambience perfect for contemplation.

A 3-minute drive or a 20-minute walk from Mitake Station on the JR Ome Line.

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