To fully appreciate the Adachi Museum of Art and its award-winning garden, it helps to know something about the man who was inspired to create it. Zenko Adachi was born and raised in Yasugi City, Shimane Prefecture and went on to build a prosperous company in Osaka from the ground up.
Later in life, after a successful business career, he returned to his native Shimane with the dream of opening a museum dedicated to the Japanese aesthetic and constructing a garden second to none in the nation. Mr Adachi painstakingly worked with landscapers to ensure that every aspect met with his approval. He had a personal love for the garden, beginning his day there with a light run around the grounds, often dressed in traditional kimono.
In 1970, the Adachi Museum of Art opened and for the following two decades Mr Adachi worked continuously to improve it, until near the end of his life he felt that he had accomplished his dream.
Today the museum displays fine examples of Japanese modern and contemporary art, much of which is inspired by traditional Japanese painting styles and themes. Besides the paintings, there is quite a collection of ceramics and woodcarvings.
If you have spare time after visiting the museum, you might consider taking a walk around Lake Nakaumi. It is just 10-15 minutes on foot from JR Yasugi Station. Hike up to Nagisa Shrine and watch the sunset from the cozy lagoon there. You may even meet the resident swans there. There is a free campground/barbecue area available as well but you have to make a reservation with the city in advance.
Enjoy the Adachi Museum of Art in Yasugi City and the wonderful garden that was created by its founder.
Access: Take the Super Yakumo Express train from JR Okayama Station to JR Yasugi Station. Take the free shuttle bus from Yasugi Station to the museum.
About the Area
Shimane Prefecture can be understood best by making a distinction between its eastern and western halves. The east is made up of the cities and towns near and around Lake Shinji and Lake Nakaumi.
The major municipalities include the cities of Yasugi, Matsue and Izumo. An area of exception that should also be in this category is the Oki Island Archipelago, which is 75-85 kilometers off the coast. The eastern region of Shimane has the largest population and is home to the prefectural capital, Matsue City.
Western Shimane Prefecture or more precisely the southwest, includes the cities of Masuda and Hamada as well as the Tsuwano Town on the border with Yamaguchi Prefecture. The western half of Shimane is characterized by its natural beauty from the hinterland to the coast.
The cultural bond that unites the entire prefecture can be found in the shared reverence for the history, myths and legends of the land. One example is the Kagura dance for the gods that is performed throughout Shimane in several variations.
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