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Adachi Landscape Garden Museum: Summer

No summer in Japan would be complete without visiting the requisite landscape garden.   You have so many places to choose from and so little time to decide which one is best.   There are 827 recognized gardens in Japan.   You could fly as far as Okinawa and bask in the glory of Shikina-en Gardens, a world heritage.    You could follow the throngs of visitors to Kyoto and relish in the beauty of Ryoan-ji Temple, considered by many a masterpiece garden.    I chose Adachi Museum of Art.   Awarded the best landscape garden  in the world  seven consecutive times.    

What better way to enjoy the waning days of summer than to be surrounded by neatly pruned shrubs and Japanese pines.   Bring on the green tea and your frothy matcha latte and come sit in the midst of one man's genius creation - Mr. Adachi Zenko.    Cultural landscape design is a Japanese tradition that has been passed down from one legendary monk to the next for centuries.   The beauty of such landscape gardens is how well two religions infuse aesthetic principles into its grand design.    The two principle religions are Buddhism and Shintoism.  

 From Okayama Station via the Yakumo you can either get off at Yonago Station, or continue on to Yasugi Station.   Both stations are about 15 minutes apart.   From Yasugi the free shuttle to the museum is more frequent and is about 15 minutes from station to museum.   If you take a taxi from Yasugi Station the fare will be 2310 yen.   That's about $25.00.   Admissions was 1100 yen plus an additional 500 yen for English audio assistance.   I highly recommend the English audio  5525.   

 Here you can sit and take in the beauty.   I sat here for about ten minutes relaxing and listening to the audio explanation.   You can snap pictures of the garden but not of the museum.

 This is the view I enjoyed with my matcha latte.   The views were soothing and relaxing.
Sitting in Silence




 Mr. Adachi Zenko believed that art should be a living thing, like his gardens.   Art and nature are two living things that should be infused and blended much like Shinto and Buddhism has been for centuries.
 Mr. Zenko's idea of a hanging scroll is actually a living scroll.   The framing in the backdrop evoke a scenery and is forever changing as people stroll along in its view.   This is the best example of a living hanging scroll, not just an ornate piece of fabric with ancient Japanese calligraphy written on it.

 My second tea time, and this time I was in another tearoom adjacent to the main hall.  Below is a Japanese summer confection made with milk and red azuki beans.  I was also served tea in a bowl.  That is on video.

Not only is this a masterpiece landscape garden, I have only spoon fed you a very small portion of this museum, but it has an impressive art gallery.   By Ito Shinsui.  
This depiction is a popular genre of Mr. Shinsui that evoke sensuality and passion with a summer theme.    I chose this painting because it reflects on the evolution of Japanese art, especially in regard to Nihonga, which means pure Japanese artistic expression.   No longer the thin unnatural lines of women, but more sensual, tender, and beautiful artistic expressions of Japanese women.   This changed the art world forever in Japan.   
Another very important note is that many of Mr. Yokoyama Taika's works are here also.  A legend then and now, this man refined and perfected the art of Nihonga.   I haven't posted any works of his on this post because I feel he deserves a separate post of himself.   Just note, that if you visit this museum spend at least 30 minutes studying his thoughts and artistic expression, and then spend some time studying Shinsui's art.   There are over a dozen artists whose works are on display, and they change every season.

The best time to visit Adachi Museum is in the summer!   Other people will tell you all seasons, but to be quite honest summer time is better.  The greenery and tea and the cicadas are a perfect setting for enjoying this amazing place.   

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