The site of an abolished elementary school turned into a space for art.
Kiyoharu Art Village is an art colony established on the former site of an elementary school and dotted with museums, studios, restaurants, and more. In the distance, Mt. Kaikomagatake and the Yatsugatake Mountains stretch across one’s view. Walking beneath the wide-open sky, one can admire Yoshino cherry blossoms, experience paintings in an art museum, and take a little time to relax and be at peace. Kiyoharu Art Village opened in 1983. The village got its start when art dealer Yoshii Chozo built the Shirakaba Art Museum, a dream project of a loose group of Japanese art lovers and intellectuals called the Shirakaba-ha.
Renowned architects such as Yoshio Taniguchi, Tadao Ando, and Isoya Yoshida participated in its creation.
The Kiyoharu Shirakaba Art Museum was designed by Yoshio Taniguchi and opened in 1983. The village is dotted with other works by famous architects as well, including the Rouault Chapel by Taniguchi; the Museum of Light by Tadao Ando, where visitors can enjoy pieces illuminated with natural lighting alone; the studio of painter Ryuzaburo Umehara, which was created by master Japanese-style architect Isoya Yoshida and moved to the village grounds; and a portion of the original stairs from the Eiffel Tower, which were moved to the museum in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the tower’s completion.
And a teahouse like a treehouse, floating in the air!
One site visitors should be sure to check out in particular is the Tetsu teahouse, created by architectural historian Terunobu Fujimori. Can you believe it?! It’s a teahouse up a tree like a treehouse! Top Japanese artists also participated in its construction; modern artists Genpei Akasegawa, Shinbo Minami, and Joji Hayashi laid the iron roof and spread on the plaster of the walls. The central pillar of the teahouse is an 80 year old Japanese cypress, atop which the teahouse itself hovers four meters above the ground! The interior is just 5.6 m2, but visitors are encouraged to enjoy the teahouses expansive view.
- 2072 Nakamaru, Nagasaka-cho, Hokuto-shi, Yamanashi-ken
- 0551-32-4865 (Kiyoharu Shirakaba Art Museum)
- Opening hours
- 10:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. (last admission 4:30 P.M.)
- Mondays, New Year’s Eve and New Year period
- Kiyoharu Shirakaba Art Museum 800 yen; Museum of Light 500 yen
- JR Shinjuku Station is 30 minutes by shuttle bus from Haneda Airport. Nagasaka Station is about 2 hours by limited express train from JR Shinjuku Station. Kiyoharu Art Village is about 5 minutes by taxi from Nagasaka Station.