Kyoto City KYOCERA Museum of Art

March 27, 2020

by Yuki Ifuku and Yumeka Goto

The Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art is the one of the most historical buildings and iconic places in Kyoto City. In March 2020; however, it is going to change its name to the Kyoto City KYOCERA Museum of Art, and the museum is going to be repaired, and the old building is going to be demolished. This museum is one of the public museums representing Kyoto Prefecture (Kyoto Province), located in Okazaki Park in Kyoto. The Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art was the oldest public museum in Japan and this museum represented the imperial crown style. For these reasons, it is very important, and we can feel the history of Kyoto.

The History of The Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art

The Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art opened in 1933; however, it started making building plans to celebrate the enthronement ceremony of the Emperor Showa at the Kyoto Imperial Palace in 1928, so it was initially called the Showa Imperial Coronation Art Museum of Kyoto. Then the name was changed to The Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art in 1952. It is the second public museum in Japan after the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum. This building style was called “imperial crown style”. This eastern and Japanese eclectic architectural style started in Japan in the 1930s. It is identified by established Japanese styles of roofs on top of a Western style of building. The main building remains even after being repaired. This museum also shares as a rental hall, and they built an annex to hold more exhibitions. The main exhibitions are permanent collections, various public exhibitions, and college graduation exhibitions. Also, this museum holds a large-scale exhibition that is organized by a newspaper company. As a museum, it has many collections. For example, there are about 3200 collections mainly from 1868, and thereafter, to the 1990s, of Japanese paintings, Western paintings, and arts and crafts.

The New Museum of Art: The Kyoto City KYOCERA Museum of Art

 The Kyoto City KYOCERA Museum of Art will be renewed and reopened on March 21st, 2020. It was designed by Jun Aoki, an architect and the new museum director. Focusing on modern art of Kyoto, it stores about 3600 different kinds of art such as traditional Japanese paintings, Western paintings, sculptures and traditional crafts. Specifically, there are four significant changes. First, Jun Aoki repaired some of the old parts and sections of the museum. Second, he exhibited a range and diversity of art. Third, he expanded the space for exhibitions. Lastly, there are many other notable points. He also created “Kyocera Square”. This area functions as an exhibition stage; for example, holding various kinds of events. Also, people will now enter the museum through this area. Traditionally, people entered through the main door, but the entrance method will change. Visitors will pass through the new entrance, which is made of glass. The main building was repaired and was left the same as much as possible and the functionality of the facility was updated. Also, Mr. Aoki built a new building to exhibit modern art called the Higashiyama Cube. The museum also has additional facilities; for example, a café called Enfuse and a shop called Art Lab Kyoto. In addition, the number of photographs allowed in the museum will increase and there will be more visitors who are likely to come. Moreover, you will be able to rent an exhibition space in the new museum for parties, workshops and meetings.

Exhibition Schedule in 2020

・「Art of Kyoto, Dream of 250 years」(March 21st –December 6th) ・「RURI NO JYOUDO」in Higashiyama Cube (March 21st-June 14th) ・「The Doraemon Exhibition Kyoto 2020」(July 4th-August 30th) ・「 ANDY WARHOL KYOTO/Andy・Warhol・Kyoto」(September 19th-January 3rd, 2021)

Conclusion

The Kyoto City KYOCERA Museum of Art is known as a national gallery that is representative of the Kansai area in Japan, and it has a long history. In the future, it will continue to develop and to change with the times. Recently, even though most students don’t seem to go to this museum, it is worth taking a visit there. Also, the Tokyo Olympics will be held in 2020, and many foreigners will come to Japan, and to Kyoto, so the museum will welcome a growing number of visitors more than ever.

Address of the Kyoto City Kyocera Museum of Art

124, Okazaki Saishiyou Jichou Saikyou Ku, Kyoto

Access

Train→It takes 8 minutes from the Tozai Subway Line

Bus→ City Bus Routes 5, 100, 110 from Kyoto Station

City Bus Routes 5, 46 from Kyoto Kawaramachi Station

City Bus Route 5 from Sanjo Station

Opening Time:

10:00〜18:00

Closed Days:

Every Monday (Open Holidays)

Year-End and New Year (December 28th to January 2nd)

Admission Fee

Adults: 1500 yen

University/High school students: 1100 yen

Children below Junior high school: free

TEL: 075-761-0444  

Teamlab in Shimogamo Shrine

By Akari Higashino & Natsumi Nishimura

There are many shrines in Kyoto. One of the most famous shrines is Shimogamo Shrine. We will introduce you to a special event there that you can definitely enjoy.

Simogamo Shrine

It is officially called “Kamomioya Shrine”. Kyoto is built around the Kamogawa River. It is called “Shimogamo Shrine” because it is a shrine that sits on the Kamogawa River. Both the east and west main shrines are designated as national treasures. Shimogamo Shrine is very old and there is a record that the shrine was renovated in 90 B.C. and there is a theory that it was there before that. Excavations have revealed a lot of earthenware from the Jomon Period (14,000 – 1000 B.C.) and the remains of residences from the Yayoi Period (1000 B. C. – 300 A.D.) In addition, festivals, shrines, dedications and sacred treasures are recorded in the biography and history books. In 698 of “Shokunihongi”, there is an article that an order was issued to guard the shrine because there were many spectators gathered at the festival. From this, we can see that this shrine had a big and a grand festival held before the Nara Period (710 – 794).

The Highlights of the Shrine

Walk! Walk!

There are some highlights of shrine precinct. First, the Aioinoyashiro has the god of marriage. Aioinoyashiro is part of Shimogamo. It is said that Aioinoyashiro is the place where you can get love power. The sacred tree is there. This tree is actually two branches tied together in the middle, so this is said to be giving us godlike power. The procedure for worship is easy for us. At the first, you write your wishes on the Ema, which is a board for that purpose. Second, you go to in front of Aoinoyashiro, and if you are female, you go around twice toward the right. However, a man goes around toward the left. Final, you dedicate your Ema. Your love will go well. The second highlight is Kawai Shrine in the Shimogamo Shrine. Kawai shrine is dedicated to the god of beauty. The procedure for worship is to make up your cosmetics on an Ema shaped hand mirror. You can draw your favorite face, so you will enjoy drawing, and you will be beautiful.

Summer Event

Spheres
Forest

Shimogamo Shrine has a special event in summer. This event’s name is “Digitized Forest at the World Heritage Site of Shimogamo Shrine –Art by TeamLab- “. TeamLab is an organization that conducts an art project. The Digitized Forest means a forest remains a forest and become an art. This is the concept of event. Teamlab event in Shimogamo Shrine has been held since 2017. There are some artworks displayed at this event. First art is “Walk, Walk, Walk – Tadasu Forest at Shimogamo Shrine. This is like a projection mapping, and portrait people keep walking along the river in the forest. The characters of a work keep walking endlessly and facing various events. The visitors also follow them. This work is drawn in real time by a computer program. We can’t see the same portraits of people, images are forever changing. Second, “Floating, Resonating Spheres- Shimogamo Shrine.” This art features many bright floating spheres. These spheres change as if breathing and ring a beautiful sound. These seem to be breathing slowly. The spheres are touched by people, and they change color with the light and make a special sound. Third, “Resonating Forest and Autonomous Resonating Life-Tadasu Forest at Shimogamo Shrine”. This is a work of many ovoids and trees lighting on the road. The ovoids are pushed by people, and change color. Fourth, Autonomous Resonating Life on the Water –Mitarashi Pond at Shimogamo Shrine. This work is spheres floating on the surface of the water. The light reflected from the water’s surface is very beautiful. Finally, “Forest of Autonomous Resonating Life”. This work is a space filled with ovoids. People will surely be more conscious of their existence than usual from encountering these ovoids. All of them are wonderful works. This event will be enjoyable, regardless of age or sex. You should visit there once a year. Let’s have a fantastic time!

Conclusion

Shimogamo Shrine is a traditional and very famous shrine in Kyoto. In addition, there is special event which is such a fascinating event in summer. Of course, you can enjoy it anytime, but if you attend the event, you can enjoy it more. You should visit Simogamo Shrine if you go to Kyoto.

Access

From Kyoto Station to Shimogamo Shrine-mae (or Aioinomori) by city bus. It takes about 30 minutes. 59 Izumikawacho, Shimogamo, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, 606-0807 No regular holiday The opening hours 6:30 a.m. to 17:00 p.m.

Club Metro

Club Metro – Metro Daigaku

By: Keita Kitagawa, Miho Hosotani, Takuma Osawa

Club Metro was opened in 1990, and celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2010, now making it one of Japan’s oldest clubs on the club circuit. Since its opening, Club Metro has focused on the music media, and the dream and things that artists try to communicate through their art. Of course, it is not always easy to build a club culture, especially in Japan, and without the customer’s empathy, this could not be realized.

Today, in contrast to Japanese society in the past, we can gain a certain understanding and sense of value about “Club Culture” or “Subculture”. Since its 14th anniversary, all Metro staff have been in step with a new experiment to include exposure to art, movies, literature, and even Maiko culture. Through this, Metro hopes to open up a ”space” to transmit a wider vision.

Besides music, the main function of Club Metro is to serve as a meeting place for lecturers and researchers. It is a place where you should not feel bound by the outside world and where you can enjoy a variety of entertainment forms as well as original performances.

In the spirit of philanthropy, they also host many charity and community events, such as:

7th of July 2013,

Drums 4 Drums: 

A Fundraising Event in Aid of People in Rural Kenya

Drum and Dance performances, DJs, Great food and good friends.This was a fundraising event to help women and kids in rural Kenya, who have to make long trips just to get water for their families every day. All proceeds from the day were donated to help purchase Q-Drums, a rollable water drum that can easily transport up to 50 litres of water at a time. Please check out these cool drums on the Kopernik website. http://kopernik.info/

April 28th, 2013

Across the Universe:  An international party

 The purpose of this party was to expand friendship and respect among as many people as possible, as we are all of the same community of human beings. Many Kyoto University of Foreign Studies international students attended along with Japanese students.

 The main music played was 70’s and 80’s disco, R&B classics, soul, black music style…etc.  A DADAKAKA concert and DJ entertainment from DRAGON EARTH by Japa-Jamaican brothers: Dragon (Alex Tatzuma) and Earth (Hieroglyphic I poetry) was the highlight of this gig.  In fact, they are the Club Metro owner’s sons, and Alex is a Kyoto University of Foreign Studies student!  Besides all this, the event offered an international youth fashion show corner, where international students dressed up in their home country’s fashion and walked the runway to hip-hop sounds.

 

It is possible to reserve this place for concerts, parties for old boys’ or girls’ associations, or for the after party of wedding.

Students Party

  • Price Plan:

It costs ¥ 60,000 (5.5hours) More than 5 bands / groups (¥10,000)

¥500 (one drink minimum)

(It is possible to extend the time period if you pay an additional fee, but for every 30 minutes of extra time taken, a fee of ¥5,000 will be charged)

* If you want to select this plan, you will need to produce a current student ID card.

  • Equipment Rental

Guitar amps×2 / Bass amp×1

Microphones×10, DJ set ,/ Mixer and lighting effects.

Drum kit ¥3,000

 

Private Party

  • Price Plan:

It costs ¥80,0005.5hours More than 5 bands / groups (¥10,000)

Free Drink plan 3,0003hours

Buffet plan 1,0004-5dishes

Buffet plan 1,5004-5 dishes + hors d’oeuvre + dessert/fruit

  • Equipment Rental

Guitar amps×2 / Bass amp×1

Microphones×10, DJ set / Mixer and lighting effects.

Drum kit ¥3,000

Gallery Space 

It is also possible to rent the space as a gallery for exhibiting photos ,paintings, art work ,posters and so on, and …. Its FREE!!!

 

Access to Club Metro

  • By Kyoto City Bus and Kyoto Subway:

From Kyoto Station subway station take the Karasuma line train to Marutamachi Station.  Next, take a 204 City bus eastbound to the Marutamachi /Kawabata stop , and take a short walk to Club Metro.

  • By trains:

From JR Kyoto Station, take the Nara line train to Tofukuji Station and change to the Keihan line.  Next, take the Keihan line train northbound and get off at Jinguu Marutamachi Station . Club Metro can be found at exit #2.

References:

http://www.metro.ne.jp/ Club Metro Web Site (last visit on 10th January, 2014)  

Interview with Alex Tazsuma, Club Metro owner’s son and Kyoto University of Foreign Studies student (On 2nd January, 2014)

The Miho Museum

by Kana Matsumoto and Satoko Nasu

Miho Museum Tunnel

The Miho Museum is located in the southern area of Shiga Prefecture, which is next to Kyoto, and it is surrounded by rich nature. It exhibits a private collection of Asian and European antiques gathered by Mihoko Koyama, who was the leader of new religious group called ‘Shinji Shumeikai’. In the museum there are more than 2,000 works of various origins, such as pieces from Greece, Rome, Egypt, the Near and Middle East, Gandhara, China, and Japan. At any given time, around 250 pieces are exhibited in the museum.

The History of The Miho Museum

Inside The Tunnel

Mrs. Koyama loved to collect tea ceremony tools due to the influence of her parents. She gradually hoped to open a gallery to exhibit them. She asked Ieoh Ming Pei, a great architect famous for the East Hall of The National Gallery in Washington and the ‘Glass Pyramid’ in the Louvre, to design her museum. He proposed the idea that it is better to display not only the works of tea untensils, but also many different things. Therefore, Mrs. Koyama traveled around the world to gather various antiquities when Mr. Pei started to build the musuem’s unique architecture. The Miho Museum was finally completed in 1997. Its construction is very unique because 80% of the buildings are buried in the ground to harmonize with the environment and the surrounding view. Pei respects the thinking of the Japanese people and their culture and traditions. He said, “I think you can see a very conscious attempt on my part to make the silhouette of the building comfortable in the natural landscape.”(Miho Museum) Mr. Pei thought the Shigaraki Mountains were the most suitable place to set up the museum. In addition, the location is close to the headquarters of the Shinji Shumeikai group.

Visitors From Around The World

The Main Building

According to the museum, 120,000 tourists visit the Miho Museum each year, and surprisingly more than 10% of them are from foreign countries. Yet even some people from Shiga prefecture do not know about the museum. A marketing campaign for The Miho Museum was conducted for a whole year leading up to the anniversary of the establishment. Many influential government officials in Japan were involved the campaign and helped to spread awareness of the museum all over the world. In addition, a documentary video about The Miho Museum was made and broadcasted by The Discovery Channel in various languages. The press agent we interviewed said this video includes an interview with Mr. Pei and shows the process of constructing the museum. Since then, awareness of the museum has increased amongst foreign tourists by word of mouth.

Why Does The Miho Museum Attract So Many Visitors?

Great Interior Design

The Miho Museum is held in high regard around the world. There are three reasons for this.

1. The Unique Architectural Design of I.M. Pei.

The first thing that surprises visitors is the design of the museum. The theme of design is Shangri-La. It is said that the construction of The Miho Museum is the recreation of an old Chinese story in which a man loses his way and eventually ends up discovering the wonderful Shangri-La. Indeed, through the mystic tunnel and bridge to the main hall, a different world unfolds before your eyes. It’s like a real Shangri-La, harmonized well with nature off from the urban area and surrounded by magnificent mountains. In fact Mr. Pei strongly wanted to respect Japanese people’s heart and tradition, which values the harmony of buildings with landscapes. Those constructions are the results of his mind. What is more, the inside of the buildings will also surprise you. Natural light is streamed down from the uniquely designed roofs, while softly-colored walls of limestone offer warmth and relaxation. Everything was carefully designed with consideration of visitors in mind. In addition, the museum offers great facilities for storing and exhibiting art under the best possible conditions. For this reason, visitors can enjoy viewing art during any season of the year.

2. Great Displays Bring Happiness to Visitors

Beautiful Interior Passage

In the museum, there are many selected exhibits from around the world. They vary from Japanese arts such as tea utensils, Buddhist art, ceramic, lacquerware and Yamato-e paintings of the ancient arts of the world, such as Egypt, West Asia, Greece, Rome, South Asia, China, Persia, and so on. There are a many rare pieces of art each having long histories; all of them displayed beautifully. And they also seem to have a strong presence, as if they were sending some special message to us. In fact, all of the displays were carefully gathered by Mrs. Koyama based on the idea of making people happy and being influenced by beautiful things. Visitors will surely feel a great sense of satisfaction and happiness to encounter these great collections.

3. Great Hospitality

The service by the museum staffs is another wonderful feature of this museum. In the interview with the press agent of the Miho museum, she seemed to be very proud of the services the Miho offers to visitors as well as its architecture and art collection. The museum staff have made several great efforts to increase visitor satisfaction. First, they serve visitors from foreign countries with staff members who can speak foreign languages such as English, Chinese, and so on. Thanks to this service, the museum has become popular among foreigners. In addition, the restaurant in the museum serves meals which are made of all organic ingredients. They try to make people’s heart and body refreshed and fully satisfied. Of course, all staff members are sure to maintain a polite and courteous demeanor toward each visitor. Such great hospitality definitely helps to make people satisfied and happy.

Access

Take the JR Biwako line from Kyoto Station to Ishiyama Station ( 230 yen, 15 min.). At the south gate of Ishiyama station, take the Teisan bus number 150 to the Miho museum ( 800 yen, 50 min.). It takes just over an hour in total from Kyoto.

Address
300, Tashiro Momodani, Shigaraki, Shiga

Contact
Tel. +81 (0)748 82 3411
E-mail: information@miho.jp

Hours
10:00 to 17:00 (Admission until 16:00)

1,000 yen for adults; 800 yen for high school and college students; 300 yen for elementary school students.