While Aomori Prefecture is a bit off the beaten track for many tourists, some of Japan’s
treasured gems can be found in this northern region! One of these is Towada Art Center,
which is among the most beloved of art museums in Japan.
The art center, comprised of the museum and an open-air art square, opened in the small city of Towada in 2008. It was conceptualized during a city-wide enterprise to blend works of art from around the world with the natural beauty and history of the local region. Towada Art Center boasts diverse exhibits inside, as well as bright and colorful installations around the grounds outside. A rooftop terrace provides lovely views of Towada, and the corridors of the museum itself are aesthetically pleasing works of architecture.
The streets surrounding Towada Art Center are festooned with installations referred to by locals as Sutorītofanichā, or street furniture, which can be used as artistic rest areas for shoppers in this central district of the city. As visitors approach the art center, they will see an iconic representation of Towada in the form of a large stallion embellished with flowers. Designed by Jeong Hwa Choi, this installation combines the colorful blossoms Towada is known for with the region’s long historical relationship with horses. Also visible in Art Square are the iconic colors and dots of renowned Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, in the form of an eight piece sculpture installation called, “Love Forever, Singing in Towada.”
Once inside, visitors are immersed in works of art from Japan and around the globe. The museum contains permanent displays by more than 30 modern artists, with many of the unique exhibit rooms containing singular works of art. Other exhibits are added on a rotational basis, so there is always something new and exciting to see! For fans of modern art and architecture, Towada Art Center is a distinctive and memorable place to visit.