Hello, this is _hiroyuki.ta. This time, I toured from Tokyo to Utsukushigahara Kogen Art Museum in Nagano Prefecture on a Harley-Davidson FLSB Sports Glide. Nagano Prefecture is a touring spot rich in anime and movie sacred sites and specialty products. This time, we headed for the Utsukushigahara Kogen Art Museum, where you can enjoy the world of nature and art.
Route from Tokyo to Utsukushigahara Kogen Art Museum
Departing from central Tokyo, I took Route 22 Mukojima Line/Shuto Expressway 6/Route 6 from Hakozaki Minatobashi Dori and Hakozaki IC.
Via the Metropolitan Expressway No. 5 Ikebukuro Line/Route 5, proceed on the Kanetsu Expressway/Kanetsu Expressway and Joshin-Etsu Expressway to National Route 142/National Route 254 in Banno, Saku City, then take the Chubu-Odan Expressway/Nagano section at Saku Minami IC. go out.
Proceed along National Route 142 and Prefectural Route 178 to your destination in Takeishi-Kamihoniri, Ueda City. This route is approximately 240km and takes approximately 4 hours.
The charm of Utsukushigahara Kogen Art Museum
The Utsukushigahara Kogen Museum of Art is the highest outdoor sculpture museum in Japan, and was opened in 1981 as a sister museum to the Hakone Open Air Museum. Approximately 350 contemporary sculptures are permanently displayed on a vast site on the eastern slope of Mt. Ushibushi, which is 2000 meters above sea level. In the midst of nature, where the light and wind change every moment, the sculptures take on new expressions every moment. It is a free space where you can find your own way of enjoying it.
Utsukushigahara Kogen Art Museum has an indoor exhibition hall as well as an outdoor exhibition hall. In the indoor exhibition hall, permanent exhibitions and special exhibitions of paintings, sculptures, and other works from the museum’s collection are held. There are also sculptures such as the
Soap Ball Castle'' andMole Pipe” that children can freely enter and play with. The “Soap Bubble Castle” consists of a combination of pyramid-shaped capsules with a diameter of 1.42 meters, and is an enlarged version of the crystal structure of a diamond. This is a play sculpture work that allows children to experience the fun of creating natural shapes through play.
The Castle of Venus, located on the highest point of the museum, is an exhibition hall reminiscent of medieval castles in Europe. The museum exhibits six statues of Venus, centering on the most famous of ancient Greek sculptures, the Venus de Milo, as well as statues of David and Apollo. All of these pieces are replicas made in Carrara, Italy’s marble production area. From the rooftop, you can enjoy a 360-degree view of the Japanese Alps, Mt. Yatsugatake, Mt. Asama, and Mt. Fuji.
Highlights around Utsukushigahara Kogen Art Museum
If you come to the Utsukushigahara Kogen Art Museum, be sure to enjoy the surrounding nature and culture as well. At Utsukushigahara Plateau, flowers such as Astragalus azalea, Japanese azalea, and pine lily bloom from spring to autumn, and the entire outdoor exhibition area becomes a treasure trove of alpine plants. There are also horses and cows roaming freely in the pasture, and they come up close. The “Tower of Beauty”, located about a 15-minute walk from the museum, is an observatory that can be said to be a symbol of the Utsukushigahara Highlands. From here, you can see a panoramic view of mountains such as the Northern Alps, Southern Alps, and the Yatsugatake Mountain Range, as well as plains such as Lake Suwa and the Yatsugatake Plateau. After walking for another 35 minutes, you will arrive at “Ogatou”. “Ogatou” is the highest peak of the Utsukushigahara Plateau, with an altitude of 2034m. You can also see Mt. Fuji and Mt. Asama from here.
Near the Utsukushigahara Kogen Art Museum, there is also a sacred place for anime and movies. In Ueda City, there is the Jinnai House, which was the setting for Mamoru Hosoda’s film
Summer Wars.'' Many spots in Ueda City, including Ueda Station and the Ueda Castle ruins, are used as stages and models. Fujimi Town also has a place name that is the origin of the character name in Hayao Miyazaki's filmPrincess Mononoke.” It might be interesting to look for place names such as
Okkotonushi,''Koroku,” and “Eboshi.”
Nagano Prefecture is also rich in specialty products. In addition to apples, oyaki, and nozawana, there are a variety of other foods such as grapes, peaches, and Shinshu soba. The Utsukushigahara Kogen Art Museum sells many sweets and goods that you can easily take home. The “Shinshu Apple Pie” is especially recommended. There are plenty of juicy apples in the crispy pie crust. Best served warm with vanilla ice cream.
Motorcycle parking lot around Utsukushigahara Kogen Art Museum
The Utsukushigahara Kogen Art Museum has a free parking lot that can accommodate 800 cars as a roadside station Utsukushigahara Kogen. The bike storage area is located on the side with a good view of the parking lot. If you have an off-road vehicle, you can go further to the gravel area at the tip. However, the Venus Line is closed to traffic during the winter, so you can only visit it in three seasons.
This time, I toured from Tokyo to Utsukushigahara Kogen Art Museum in Nagano Prefecture. Utsukushigahara Kogen Art Museum is a touring spot where you can enjoy the world of nature and art. There are also sacred sites for anime and movies, as well as specialty products, in the surrounding area. Utsukushigahara Kogen Art Museum also has free parking. In this article, we introduced the route from Tokyo to Utsukushigahara Kogen Art Museum and the highlights. Nagano Prefecture is a great place for touring. Please come and visit us at least once.
On the way home from Utsukushigahara Kogen Art Museum
After leaving the Utsukushigahara Kogen Art Museum, I headed back home. On the way back, I headed towards Lake Suwa via Venus Line. Venus Line is a scenic road that runs through Nagano Prefecture. Along the way, we stopped at spots such as Lake Shirakaba and Kurumayama Plateau. At Lake Shirakaba, we took a break by the lake. Lake Shirakaba is a beautiful lake with a sparkling blue water surface. At Kurumayama Plateau, we saw flower fields and ranches. Kurumayama Plateau is a vast plateau filled with colorful flowers.
Once I got to Lake Suwa, I took the Chuo Expressway and headed back to Tokyo.
This time, I toured from Tokyo to Utsukushigahara Kogen Art Museum in Nagano Prefecture. I rode a Harley FLSB Sport Glide about 240km one way. Utsukushigahara Kogen Art Museum is a touring spot where you can enjoy the world of nature and art. There are also sacred sites for anime and movies, as well as specialty products, in the surrounding area. Utsukushigahara Kogen Art Museum also has free parking. In this article, we introduced the route from Tokyo to Utsukushigahara Kogen Art Museum and the highlights. Nagano Prefecture is a great place for touring. Please come and visit us at least once.