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Shiga Museum of Art|Access, visitor information, highlights, cafes and lunch information.

Updated: Jan 11

About the Shiga Museum of Art

Photo:Yosuke Ohtake

The Shiga Museum of Art was established in 1984 as the Museum of Modern Art, Shiga. Having its first director, a woman, as the 'first public art museum director' attracted a lot of attention at the time.

After a temporary closure due to renovation work, the museum reopened under a new name in 2021 and hosts exhibitions in a variety of genres. A café and a kids' space have also been established, making it a more accessible spot for visitors.


Located in the Biwako Cultural Park, surrounded by rich nature, Shiga Museum of Art aims to be a 'living room in the park' and an 'art museum like a living room', and is a popular place for the citizens of the prefecture to relax and enjoy themselves.



Access and visitor information for Shiga Museum of Art

Address

1740-1, Seta Minami-Okayamachi, Otsu, Shiga 520-2122

Tel

077-543-2111

Access from the nearest station

From Seta Station on the JR Biwako Line, transfer to a local bus and get off at the Prefectural Library and Art Museum or Cultural Zone, then walk approximately 5 minutes from the bus stop to the museum in Biwako Cultural Park.

Opening hours

9:30-17:00 (admission by 16:30).

Closed

Mondays ( if Monday is a public holiday, the museum will be open and closed the following day), temporary closures due to exhibition changes, etc.

Admission

540 yen for adults (430 yen for groups), 320 yen for high school and university students (260 yen for groups).

Fees for permanent exhibitions. Fees for temporary exhibitions vary according to the exhibition. 

Facilities

wheelchairs (2), writing machines and universal toilets available in the museum, Kids' space and family room (with private booths, nappy-changing table, sink and water heater), family toilets. Stroller available for rent.


Note

Disabled assistance dogs (guide dogs, hearing dogs, service dogs, etc.) are allowed in the museum, Closed from 21 December 2023 until around April 2024 due to renovation work.


Official Website




Highlights of Shiga Museum of Art


Collections

The collection includes modern Japanese paintings, mainly by artists active in the Japan Art Institute, works by artists related to Shiga Prefecture, and contemporary post-war American and Japanese art. The collection comprises 2,545 works (as of October 2023).

Among them are works by the Japanese painter OGURA Yuki (1895-2000, born in Otsu City), who studied under YASUDA Yukihiko and later became the first female president of the Japan Art Institute, and the dyeing and weaving artist SHIMURA Fukumi (1924-, born in Omihachiman City), whose collection is among the largest in Japan.

In addition to the important cultural property 'Omi Meisho Zu' (Muromachi era), the museum is also known for its collection of contemporary art works mainly from post-war America and Japan, such as Mark Rothko and SHIRAGA Kazuo, as well as works of Art Brut, which has been highly acclaimed overseas in recent years.


Art Brut can be translated as 'raw art', but a strict definition is considered difficult. It was proposed by the French painter Jean Dubuffet in the 1940s as a concept to describe the unique expressions created by people without an artistic education, based on their own convictions. Art Brut also includes forms created in welfare facilities. In Shiga Prefecture, there is the Omi Gakuen, an institution for children with disabilities founded by ITOGA Kazuo, famous for his words "Let these children be the light of the world", and others, where plastic arts activities using high-quality clay from Shiga Prefecture began. Since then, modelling activities, mainly by people with intellectual disabilities, have been actively developed in many welfare facilities in the prefecture.


Based on this background of active involvement in plastic arts activities in welfare institutions, Shiga Prefecture has led the nation in collecting and exhibiting works that give an overview of the characteristics and appeal of Art Brut, mainly in Japan. At present, the Museum of Fine Arts, Shiga has a collection of over 700 Art Brut works, mainly paintings and ceramics.



Architecture (of buildings)

Nikken Sekkei Ltd. designed the Shiga Prefectural Art Museum. KOSUMI Toru, who played a central role in the design of the museum, was also involved in the design of the Ariyoshien West Wing (now the SEN-OKU HAKUKOKAN MUSEUM) and the Kurayoshi Museum in addition to the Shiga Prefectural Museum of Art. At the time of the renovation, an Osaka-based creative unit called 「graf」 was in charge of design supervision and interior design, focusing on the area around the entrance, known as the "welcome zone.


The exterior walls are made of Shigaraki porcelain tiles manufactured in Shigaraki, Koka City, Shiga Prefecture, and the information signs are made of Shigaraki porcelain created by NOTA & design, a company that designs, produces, and sells all types of life tiles in Shigaraki. The Japanese garden adjacent to the north side was designed by landscape architect and environmental designer ITO Kunie.




Representative Past Exhibits

The museum has held special exhibitions of artists associated with Shiga Prefecture who are the core of the collection, such as OGURA Yuki and SHIURA Fukumi, and has also introduced postwar American art such as Neo-Dada and Pop Art.

In recent years, the museum has also frequently held special exhibitions featuring works of Art Brut.


Main Exhibitions

Yuyuyu - Ogura Yukame Exhibition: People, Flowers, Spirit" (2002)

Shimura Fukumi's Silk Weaving" (2004)

Art Brut from the abcd Collection, Paris" (2008)

The 25th Anniversary Collection+ American High: The 20th Century of American Art" (2009)

Signs of Life: Shiga and Art Brut" (2015)




Museum Shop

The museum store and cafe "Kolmio in the museum" is located on the right as soon as you enter the museum. The store offers exhibition-related goods, catalogs, postcards by artists in the museum collection, and a variety of other items that will tickle your intellectual curiosity.

“Kolmio" means "triangle" in Finnish, and the store's name is derived from the Omi merchant's philosophy of "sampo yoshi (good for the buyer, good for the seller, and good for the world).


Opening hours: Same as the museum's opening hours

Closed: Same as the museum's regular closing days



Cafe & Restaurant Information

At "shop&cafe Kolmio in the museum," visitors can enjoy seasonal snacks. The menu includes a variety of original confections and baton sandwiches created by IWASA Noboru, the fifth owner of the long-established Japanese confectionery in Shiga Prefecture, "Okashiji Shiroheiroho," as well as original drinks for each exhibition and each season.


Opening hours: Same as the museum's opening hours

Closed: Same as the museum's regular closing days





Recommended Spots around The Museum of Art, Shiga


Biwako Cultural Park


Biwako Bunka Koen (Biwako Cultural Park), which surrounds the Museum of Art, Shiga, is located on a hilly area overlooking Lake Biwa and Mount Hiei. The park, which spans approximately 43 hectares, is rich in nature and is visited by many people every day, making it a popular place for relaxation and recreation. Around the museum, there are various cultural facilities such as the Shiga Prefectural Library, Excavated Cultural Properties Center, and the Yusho-an authentic tea house. This is a spot that can be enjoyed by both adults and children. Seasonal events such as making postcards for summer and Christmas wreaths are also popular.



Nagara Crafts Pavilion (Mitsuhashi Setsuko Art Museum)


Nagara Crafts Pavilion (Mitsuhashi Setsuko Art Museum), located in Otsu City, has a creative space where classes are held to enjoy painting, ceramics, and other creative activities, and an exhibition room where paintings by MITSUHASHI Setsuko, a painter associated with Nagara, are exhibited. MITSUHASHI Setsuko, known as a painter who died young, painted wildflowers in her early years, Indian portraits in her middle years, and many legendary paintings in her later years. Her masterpiece "Hanaori Touge" features a flower-selling girl from an Omi folk tale, and its deep colors and more than 20 varieties of wildflowers are remarkable. The trip from the Shiga Prefectural Museum of Art to theNagara Crafts Pavilion (Mitsuhashi Setsuko Art Museum) takes about 30 minutes by car.

Address

1-1 Koseki-cho, Otsu-shi, Otsu 520-0035

Tel

077-523-5101

Access from the nearest station

20-minute walk from JR Otsu Station, 10-minute walk from Keihan Kami Sakae-cho

Opening hours

9:00 - 17:00 (last admission by 16:30)

Closed

Mondays (or the following day if Monday is a national holiday), the day following a national holiday (open on Sundays), year-end and New Year holidays (December 27 - January 5)

Admission

Adults 330 yen (260 yen for groups), University and high school students 240 yen (190 yen for groups), Junior high school and elementary school students 160 yen (130 yen for groups), City residents 65 years and older 160 yen (130 yen for groups)

Facilities

Parking available (no entry for large vehicles)

Notes

Cautions for access, Overseas Visitors support, etc.

Official Web site




Otsu City Museum of History

※Permanent galleries will be closed from November 20, 2023 to January 9, 2024 for renovation.

※Scheduled to be temporarily closed from December 18, 2023 to January 5, 2024.



The Otsu City Museum of History, established in 1990, is popularly known as "Otsu Rekihaku"by the citizens. The museum has exhibited and conducted research on the history and culture of Otsu and Omi, and has housed a variety of documents from the Paleolithic Age to the present day. The museum's permanent collection includes thematic and chronological exhibits, as well as special exhibitions held several times a year that cover a variety of themes while incorporating the latest research and findings. It takes about 30 minutes by car from the Shiga Prefectural Museum of Art to the Otsu City Museum of History.

Address

2-2 Goryo-cho, Otsu-shi, Shiga

Tel

077-521-2100

Access from the nearest station

5-minute walk from Otsu Shiyakusho-mae (former station name: Bessho) Station on the Keihan Electric Railway Ishiyamazaka Main Line, 15-minute walk from Otsukyo Station on the JR Kosei Line

Opening hours

9:00 - 17:00 (last admission by 16:30)

Closed

Mondays (open on national holidays and alternate holidays, closed the following day), the day after national holidays (open on Saturdays and Sundays), year-end and New Year holidays (December 27 through January 5), museum inspections (scheduled for several days in the middle and end of June each year), and other times when the museum is temporarily closed for business reasons.

Admission

General 330 yen (260 yen for groups), University and high school students 240 yen (190 yen for groups), Junior high school and elementary school students 160 yen (130 yen for groups), City residents 65 years and older 160 yen (130 yen for groups) *This is the admission fee for the permanent collection. Fees for special exhibitions vary depending on the exhibition.

Note

Cautions for access, Overseas visitors support, etc.

Guide dogs, assistance dogs, and hearing dogs are allowed to enter the museum with visitors. Permanent exhibition rooms are closed from November 20, 2023 to January 9, 2024 for renovation; temporary closure scheduled from December 18, 2023 to January 5, 2024.

Official Web site


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