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Regions of Japan

Hokkaido Tohoku Hokuriku
Shinetsu
Kanto Tokai Kansai Chugoku Shikoku Kyushu Okinawa Islands SAPPORO TOKYO NAGOYA OSAKA FUKUOKA FURANO KUSHIRO AOMORI SENDAI FUKUSHIMA NIKKO HAKONE SADO TAKAYAMA KANAZAWA ISE KYOTO NARA HIROSHIMA NAGASAKI KAGOSHIMA NAHA
Hokkaido
Hokkaido
  • Hokkaido
Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush
Tohoku
Tohoku
  • Aomori
  • Akita
  • Iwate
  • Yamagata
  • Miyagi
  • Fukushima
Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan
Hokuriku Shinetsu
Hokuriku Shinetsu
  • Niigata
  • Toyama
  • Ishikawa
  • Fukui
  • Nagano
An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare
Kanto
Kanto
  • Tokyo
  • Kanagawa
  • Chiba
  • Saitama
  • Ibaraki
  • Tochigi
  • Gunma
Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife
Tokai
Tokai
  • Yamanashi
  • Shizuoka
  • Gifu
  • Aichi
  • Mie
Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan
Kansai
Kansai
  • Kyoto
  • Osaka
  • Shiga
  • Hyogo
  • Nara
  • Wakayama
The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara
Chugoku
Chugoku
  • Tottori
  • Shimane
  • Okayama
  • Hiroshima
  • Yamaguchi
Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower
Shikoku
Shikoku
  • Tokushima
  • Kagawa
  • Ehime
  • Kochi
Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving
Kyushu
Kyushu
  • Fukuoka
  • Saga
  • Nagasaki
  • Oita
  • Kumamoto
  • Miyazaki
  • Kagoshima
The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky
Okinawa
Okinawa
  • Okinawa
Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings

Art & Design

Utsukushigahara Open-Air Museum 美ヶ原高原美術館

City meets country, bubble-era style

On the Utsukushigahara Highland above Matsumoto, looking out across the central Nagano plains to the Northern Alps lies this larger-than-life sculpture garden. Visit for a one-of-a-kind juxtaposition of nature and modern art.

How to Get There

Utsukushigahara Open-Air Museum is accessible by bus or by car.

Daily buses run through the summer from the Matsumoto Bus Terminal in front of Matsumoto Station, taking about one hour and 40 minutes.

In spring and fall, you'll need a car. The museum is closed mid-November to late April. Driving is the most convenient way to get there, regardless of the season.

Take in the beauty of the highlands

Utsukushigahara. The "Beautiful Fields." Rising 2000 meters above central Nagano, this highland has long captured the imaginations of the people below. In summer, over 200 varieties of wildflowers come into bloom. From its highest point at Ogato, there's a panoramic view of the Japan Alps, Mt. Asama, Yatsugatake, and the iconic Mt. Fuji to the south. Easy hiking trails link the different parts of the highland, all with stunning views.

Stunning art

Walk through the gates, and you'll be greeted by a four-meter bronze thumb rising from the lawn. Nearby, a decapitated angel spreads her wings. Legless, headless zebra torsos bound up a hill. Colossal abstracts of twisting metal. A vermillion helicopter and dragonfly hybrid. A massive rhinoceros. A screaming Viking head. A replica of Thebes.

Journey to Get All Together on the Verge of Hyperreality

350 of these outdoor sculptures occupy 40,000 meters of one of Utsukushigahara Highlands' most scenic spots. This museum without walls wants you to "enjoy the conversation with contemporary art amid the great beauty" of nature. Established in 1981 at the height of Japanese economic dominance during the Bubble Era, it remains a fascinating testament to the heady spaces Japan found itself in at the time. Wander the grounds, admire the stunning view of the Alps and the summer profusion of flowers, and wonder what hyperreality you've stepped into.

Museum facilities

The museum's scarlet roofed main building has gallery and event spaces, a restaurant, a shopping area, and a kids' sculpture playroom.

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