Adachi Art Museum 10

Adachi Art Museum

One of the most beautiful examples of Japanese gardens

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Adachi Art Museum is located in the Yasugi municipality, in the southeast suburb of Matsue, in Shimane Prefecture. Inaugurated in 1980, it honors modern art and especially Japanese ancestral know-how in terms of gardens, thanks to its outside green area, a splendid masterpiece.

Born from businessman Zenko Adachi’s (1899-1990) passion for his country's paintings, the museum includes a private collection of paintings and items belonging to modern and contemporary art. Three indoor rooms share four annual exhibitions. Contemplating these pieces is a quiet and serene activity: Only during Golden Week, at the beginning of May, does attendance increase.

However, the main interest of this visit is set in its outside park, surrounding almost the whole building. Classified as 3 stars by the Michelin Green Guide and elected as the most beautiful Japanese garden since 2003 by the American Journal of Japanese Gardens, from among 900 gardens, this garden is defined as a picturesque and alive piece of art.

The landscape changes colors throughout the year, following the seasons. However, the setting of plants, stones, and ponds has remained the same since its creation, also by Zenko Adachi, who got inspiration from one of his favorite artists, the painter Taikan Yokoyama (1868-1958).

Its total surface of 16.5 ha (40 ac) is meticulously maintained by 8 gardeners and 5 employees who were rigorously chosen. These people must know how to perfectly sweep the gravel and lawns to keep the garden constantly clean. Each of the employees is dedicated to a specific part.

To respect perfect harmony, growing plants or bushes are replaced by younger ones of the right size. A dedicated growing area exists for replacement. Moreover, the museum purchased part of the background mountain, always with the idea of precisely controlling the visual aspects.

The use of the same trees ensures simultaneous flowering in the fore and background. This specific style is called shakkei, where the surrounding natural landscape becomes part of the garden, giving it an additional deeper and broader frame.

Accessing this green area is forbidden to the public: It can be admired from behind huge windows and directly from the outside in several places. Photo enthusiasts can take their time to capture beautiful images without anyone in them. Six spaces make up the garden:

  • the dry landscape, which is the most famous
  • the moss garden
  • the pine and white gravel garden
  • the pond garden
  • Kikaku waterfall
  • the garden with the teahouse, Juryu-an, the only one possible to cross

To comfortably pursue the contemplation, Midori or Taikan cafes welcome visitors for a gourmet break in front of this gorgeous natural painting.

This article has been written after a tour organized and sponsored by the Tourist Information Center of Shimane Prefecture. Kanpai has been invited and guided but keeps a total freedom of editorial content.
⬇️ Further down this page, discover our visit guide in Adachi Art Museum and around.
By Kanpai Updated on March 29, 2023 Musée d'art Adachi