Regions of Japan

Hokkaido Tohoku Hokuriku
  • Hokkaido
Sub-zero temperatures and the greatest of outdoor environments, complemented by sizzling soul food and warm-hearted welcomes. 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
  • Aomori
  • Akita
  • Iwate
  • Yamagata
  • Miyagi
  • Fukushima
Sleek apple-red and electric-green shinkansen whisk you up to a haven of fresh powder snow, fresh fruit and fearsome folk legends Fearsome festivals, fresh powder and vast fruit orchards—the rugged northern territory of Tohoku offers a fresh perspective on travel in Japan
Hokuriku Shinetsu
Hokuriku Shinetsu
  • Niigata
  • Toyama
  • Ishikawa
  • Fukui
  • Nagano
Mountains and sea meet in one of Japan's wildest regions, and the result is sheer beauty. Once largely inaccessible, Hokuriku is now reachable by shinkansen from Tokyo in a matter of hours An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare
  • Tokyo
  • Kanagawa
  • Chiba
  • Saitama
  • Ibaraki
  • Tochigi
  • Gunma
Characterized by the constant buzz of the world's most populous metropolitan area, the Kanto region is surprisingly green with an array of escapes that include mountainous getaways and subtropical islands Experience diversity at its fullest, from the neon of Tokyo to the ski slopes of Gunma, exotic wildlife of the Ogasawara Islands and cultural heritage of Kamakura
  • Yamanashi
  • Shizuoka
  • Gifu
  • Aichi
  • Mie
Served by the shinkansen line that connects Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka, the Tokai region provides plenty of interesting diversions and easy excursions Tokai means "eastern sea," and this region stretches east from Tokyo to Kyoto and includes blockbuster attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama
  • Kyoto
  • Osaka
  • Shiga
  • Hyogo
  • Nara
  • Wakayama
From raucous nights out to outdoor thrills to peaceful reverie, trying to categorize the Kansai region is a futile task The Kansai region is one of extreme contrasts—the neon lights of Osaka and glittering Kobe nightscape, the peaceful realms of Shiga, Wakayama and Nara, and the cultured refinement of Kyoto
  • Tottori
  • Shimane
  • Okayama
  • Hiroshima
  • Yamaguchi
Less-traveled and delightfully inaccessible at times, the Chugoku region is a reminder that the journey is sometimes more important than the destination Welcome to Japan's warm and friendly western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower
  • Tokushima
  • Kagawa
  • Ehime
  • Kochi
Providing the stage for literary classics, fevered dancing and natural wonders Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving
  • Fukuoka
  • Saga
  • Nagasaki
  • Oita
  • Kumamoto
  • Miyazaki
  • Kagoshima
Easily reached by land, sea and air, the dynamic Kyushu prefectures are bubbling with energy, culture and activity The southern island of Kyushu is home to volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky, succulent seafood, steaming hot springs and the country's hottest entrepreneurial town
  • Okinawa
Ruins and recreated castles of the Ryukyu kings nestle amid magnificent beaches in Okinawa, a diver's paradise teeming with an amazing array of coral and undersea life 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

Adachi Museum of Art 足立美術館

Famous for its gardens as well as its art

The Adachi Museum of Art is the brainchild of a local businessman who believed that a Japanese garden should be seen as a living painting, just like the other art. The museum realizes this concept through the artful juxtaposition of paintings by modern Japanese masters inside with the extensive gardens outside.

Don't Miss

  • Impressive artworks by the pioneers of Japanese art styles
  • The serenity of beautiful Japanese gardens
  • The ruins of a castle once considered one of the most impregnable in Japan

How to Get There

The Adachi Museum of Art is accessible by bus from Yasugi Station.

The museum is located in the countryside outside Matsue, but has a free shuttle bus to and from Yasugi Station, a 15-minute express train ride from Matsue or 24 minutes by local train.

Six living paintings

The museum’s 165,000 square meter garden is made up of six smaller gardens each in a different style that you can only view from inside the museum. The largest and most iconic of the gardens here is the White Gravel & Pine Garden, an immaculate landscape with a waterfall in the far distance behind the almost abstract contrast of green and white.

There is a moss garden, a pond garden, and a “dry garden”. The appearance and character of each garden changes dramatically with each of the four seasons. The windows, some expansive, some smaller, perfectly frame your views to create “living paintings.”

When it’s time for refreshment

There are two traditional tea houses for the tea ceremony, one a replica of the original at Katsura Imperial Villa near Kyoto, as well as two cafes where you can take a break and enjoy food and drink while enjoying the views. Cafe Midori looks out on the Dry Landscape Garden, and Cafe Taikan offers a view of the Pond Garden.

The art on the walls

The art on display also changes with the seasons, and is selected from the museum’s collection of more than 1,500 pieces by modern masters of traditional Japanese art.

The works of Yokoyama Taikan (1868-1958), credited as one of the founders of the Nihonga style of painting, are heavily represented. You will also see works by Takeuchi Seiho, Hashimoto Kansetsu, Sakakibara Shiho, and dozens more well-established Nihonga painters.

Folk art from major figures

A ceramics hall was built specifically to display the works of Kitaoji Rosanjin (1883-1959), known as a ceramicist, engraver, painter and calligrapher, and Kawai Kanjiro (1890-1966), born nearby in Yasugi and a key figure in the mingei Japanese folk arts movement.

A new annex displays about 200 works by younger, less-established Japanese artists, many of whom have won the Adachi Museum of Art Award, which was started in 1995 to recognize up-and-coming talent.

The ruins of a once-impregnable castle

Only two kilometers from the museum are the ruins of Gassantoda Castle, one of the top five mountaintop castles in Japan. The castle was dismantled when Horio Yoshiharu decided to relocate and build Matsue Castle as the center of his domain.

Climb up past fortified temples and the great stone walls of the battlements, to reach the very top, which soars over the valley. Here, you will realize why it was known as the most impregnable castle of its age.

A temple with a famous name but centuries older than its namesake

Not far from Yasugi, where the shuttle bus to the Adachi Museum starts and ends, is Kiyomizu Temple. Sharing the same name as the famous temple in Kyoto but centuries older, this mountain temple has the only three-story wooden pagoda in the region. From the top you can survey the surrounding forested countryside.

The temple offers several experiences conducted in English by reservation. A restaurant within the grounds serves shojin ryori, the traditional vegetarian cuisine of the Buddhist monks, and you can try your hand at Zen meditation or sutra copying.

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