It’s all about teeth

Ha Art “Heart” Museum

takamatsu city, kagawa prefecture, visitwestjapan
Photographer | Takuma Kimura

 

Everything you ever wanted to know about teeth and a little bit more is waiting for your discovery at the Ha Art Museum in Takamatsu City. “Ha” means tooth in Japanese and when you say it together with the English word “art,” you get something that sounds like “heart.” This play on words from two languages has in effect, given the museum two names.

Nestled on the spectacular Seto Inland Sea coastline of Aji-jo, from a distance the museum could easily be mistaken for a resort hotel. The swimming beach at the ground level and the boats anchored offshore add to its vacation get-away feel.

Ha Art Museum’s coastal location means that it is fairly isolated and secluded, with only one steep private road in. It takes you to the visitor’s parking area, which like everything on this cliffside, has a sea view.

You can enjoy this vista from the comfort of one of the “hand chairs” along the parking lot’s lookout point. There is also a large dish at this spot with two oversized bubble making rings. Once you start making long bubbles that arc in the air like a rainbow or huge spheres that seem to go up in the sky forever, you’ll find it difficult to stop.

Right on the cliff’s edge is is what is heralded as the toilet with the best view in Japan. It has an extremely wide window that looks out onto the water without obstruction. It’s very clean with a kitsch style to it that is surprising pleasant.

As you walk down the path that leads to the entrance of the museum you will see dozens of sculptures arranged on the hillside. There is a decidedly teeth motif, which is capped off by murals of a tooth fairy on two walls leading to the front door.

The museum’s entrance is actually on the fourth floor, and this is where the cafe, the main art gallery and the gift shop are located.

The third floor is home to an exhibit of over 200 classic cameras, some of which date back to 1910. It also has an international mask display and a kids play area.

Perhaps the most fascinating section of the museum is on the second floor because it is there that you can see the true meaning behind the “ha” or tooth in the museum’s name. Its founder and Takamatsu native, Hiroki Wada, is also the founder of the nationally prominent Wada Precision Dental Laboratories.

This level of the museum details the international history of dental technology, in particular the evolution of dentures and implants. The showstopper is a massive clear cube containing around 5000 used dentures donated by satisfied users from around the country. Estimated to have cost about 3 million dollars all in total, you begin to understand how important they must have been to their owners.

The Ha Art “Heart” Museum is a truly unique place with an eclectic mix of exhibits, a cafe, a great view and friendly staff.

About the Area

Takamatsu City is the commercial center of Shikoku and has a urban feel that is befitting to the title. Its lovely boulevards and well-developed port area create an ambiance that is truly cosmopolitan.

Must-see spots for visitors include, Ritsurin Garden, Takamatsu Castle, the central shopping arcade and the port area art installations.

Yakuri Station is the entry point to the Yashima district of Takamatsu City, which is well-known for its temple near the summit of the unique and iconic table top-shaped Mt. Yashima. The vista from the mountain is highly-prized and well worth the effort to get there. However, to best appreciate its entire shape, the view from Sunport Takamatsu Symbol Tower is recommended.

Yashima is notable for its eateries, many of which serve the renowned local specialty, udon noodles.

 

Access: Take the Marine Liner from JR Okayama Station to JR Takamatsu Station. Walk for about 7 minutes to Kotoden Takamatsu Chikko Station. Take the Nagao Line from Kotoden Chikko Station to Kotoden Kawara-machi Station. Take the Shido Line from Kotoden Kawara-machi Station to Kotoden Yakuri Station.

Cancellation Policy

1) Detailed tour information & conditions will be given after application is made; please read and confirm the final itinerary before the departure date.
2) Reservations: Fill out the application contact form; application is complete upon payment. Reservations accepted by phone, mail, fax, online, or other communicative methods. The contract is not valid at time of reservation; the customer will be asked to submit an application form and payment within 3 days from time of reservation. If application form and payment are not submitted within the term, the reservation shall be considered void.
3) Items not included in tour price: Transportation costs not included in itinerary, optional tour fees, excess baggage fees, any fees of a personal nature (phone bills, meal costs, etc.) Items excluded from the tour will be stated in the tour information.
4) Cancellation fees: When the application is cancelled by the customer or when payment has not been made by the specified date, Ryobi Tours shall receive a percentage of the per person tour fee as a cancellation fee, or a penalty fee. Differences in room charges that result from one person in a group cancelling shall be charged to the participating person(s).

Cancellation Date Up to 21 days prior 20-8 days prior 7-2 days prior Day prior to start of tour Day of tour After start of tour/non-participation with no contact
Cancellation Fee No charge 20% of tour fee 30% of tour fee 40% of tour fee 50% of tour fee 100% of tour fee