Sagawa Art Museum: The Embodiment of the Spirit of Japanese Art on the Edge of Lake Biwa

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  • Sagawa Art Museum is popularly known as the “Floating Museum” due to being situated in the surrounding waters of Lake Biwa. It consists of three major halls with the aim of promoting and developing art and culture through the works of three famous artists – Sato Churyo, Hirayama Ikuo, and Raku Kichizaemon. The place holds many exhibitions several times a year which is visited by both adults and children who also enjoy separate activities such as museum concerts and tea parties.


    The Artists

    The museum features outstanding artists’ works which truly embodies the spirit of Japanese art. Hirayama Ikuo is a Japanese nihonga painter who is popular for “Silk Road” painting. Sato Churyo is an artist who spent most of his time in Hokkaido and became a popular sculptor who primarily used bronze in his art. Raku Kichizaemon focused most of his works on tea bowls, tea jars, and water jars which were ceramic in nature. The three of them showcased their skills by following their own independent concepts.

    The Different Concepts


    The museum was opened in Japan on March 22, 1998. It houses several permanent collections and some temporary exhibitions. The works of the three greatest artists can be classified into different concepts: Prayer for Peace (Hirayama Ikuo), Bronze Poetry (Sato Churyo), and “Shuhari” (Raku Kichizaemon) which is the three stages of learning an art or technique.


    Enter the world of Hirayama by exploring his space in the museum which approximately exhibits 50 of his works presented under soft lighting.


    Sato Churyo’s concept is all about warm scenes seen with a gentle gaze. Around 40 sculptures and sketches can be seen in his collection. His subject is mostly depicting women and children.

    Raku’s works center on individuality. His section is composed of an exhibition room for his bronze artworks and a tea ceremony room.

    The museum is an ideal destination for educational reasons. Opening hours are from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 pm. with late admission at 4:30 p.m. It is closed on Mondays and New Year holidays. When Monday falls on a public holiday, the museum will be closed the following day. Adult fee is 1,000 yen, while the senior high school and university student fee is 600 yen. Admission is free for elementary students and disabled persons (please present your disability certificate).


    Get to know a few things or more about Japanese art while appreciating the beauty of Lake Biwa all in one go at the Sagawa Art Museum!

    Sagawa Art Museum’s Website

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