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A Closer Look at Japan's Award-Winning Garden

22.11.2023 03:54 AM
A Closer Look at Japan's Award-Winning Garden
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A Closer Look at Japan's Award-Winning Garden

The Adachi Museum of Art in Japan's serene Shimane prefecture stands as a hidden gem, largely uncelebrated compared to the bustling gardens of Kyoto and Tokyo. Despite its international acclaim, the museum's traditional gardens remain relatively unknown, attracting attention for their serene beauty rather than colorful blooms.


Japanese gardens, unlike Western counterparts, emphasize the artistry of plants like moss, trees, and meticulously arranged rocks. They invite contemplation and imagination, employing a concept called "mitate," encouraging viewers to see beyond the literal and appreciate the garden's deeper nuances.

At the museum, the gardens are meticulously designed and regarded akin to paintings, meant to be admired rather than traversed. The building itself frames these natural artworks, with expansive windows drawing attention to the gardens' most captivating elements.


Apologies posted in both Japanese and English acknowledge the efforts of gardeners and maintenance workers, highlighting the human touch behind the gardens' seemingly effortless elegance.

Reaching the museum involves a journey to Shimane, one of Japan's least populous regions. Yet, this remoteness is part of the allure, as the gardens harmoniously integrate with the surrounding mountains, offering a unique sense of unity and tranquility.


Visitors arriving via local trains from Osaka or Tokyo experience a slower pace compared to Japan's high-speed trains. Upon arrival in Matsue, travelers can catch a local commuter train to Yasugi, followed by a free shuttle to the museum.

The museum's gift shops offer unique local specialties, from craft beer honoring local writers to soft-serve ice cream flavored with wild pears. These carefully curated items serve as distinctive souvenirs, echoing the museum's meticulous planning down to the smallest detail.


The Adachi Museum of Art stands as an oasis, contrasting with overtourism in other popular Japanese destinations like Mount Fuji, which faces challenges such as garbage and erosion due to excessive visitors.

Ultimately, the museum's allure lies not just in its pristine gardens but also in its tranquil setting and careful preservation of artistry, offering a serene escape from Japan's more bustling tourist spots.

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