This linear museum is located at a residential neighborhoods' edge in Chiba and is about one and a half hour from train ride away from Tokyo. With Toke station being the nearest transit hub. From here you can either take a 20-minute walk or hop on the bus from stop number three. The upside of the museum being located in a relatively remote area is that you can enjoy the art inside in peace as the museum is generally not too crowded.
"a museum that inspire those passing-by it to feel an unconscious desire to go inside and see what it contains." - Masao Hoki
For the images on display, you would definitely want to give yourself the time to appreciate them. Not only from a distance but more importantly, from up close to observe the meticulous details in each painting. Yes, painting. These realist images take at least six months to create and subtly differ from a picture taken with a camera. A camera takes a photo from a single focal point, whereas we as a human being have two lines of sight; our left and right eye. The artists capture this difference in the perception of depth, resulting in a three-dimension realism that simply cannot be captured within a photograph.
Besides the art inside, the building itself is a piece of art too. Sharp curved lines that overlap each other, creating an unobstructed 500 meters long gallery space that is divided over three floors, two of them below ground level. The most unique feature of the museum would be the 100meters long steel-structured gallery that cantilevers 30 meters from the main structure. Fulfilling the wish of the owner (Masao Hoki) to inspire those passing-by it to feel an unconscious desire to go inside and see what it contains.
Large recessed openings at either edge of the linear galleries and narrow window slit located at the base of the cantilevered metal box-shaped gallery, not only provide small peaks inside the museum but they also let indirect light deep into the space. Moreover, several interventions have been used throughout this space to further improve the experiences of its visitors. For example, the paintings are unconventionally hung by magnets, using the character of the museums' steel structure. Furthermore, barriers between art and the viewer are reduced as much as possible. There are no physical obstacles in front of the artwork, and the seating areas have ample room around them. Most notable might even be the rubber flooring spread throughout the museum to ease the half a kilometer of walk you have ahead of you.
At the end of your walk, you can enjoy the museums' Italian restaurant, café, wine cave, or on special occasions its chamber music concert hall, all of which are completely integrated within the museums' gallery space. The Showa-no-Mori Park, Chiba City's largest park next to the museum is also worth a visit. And if you can find spot elevated high enough within the park you might be able to view the museums' intersecting curves resembling the shape of a lens from above. A metaphor that fits the art on display perfectly.
name Hoki Museum
architects Nikken Sekkei
open from 10:00 to 17:30 (last admission at 17:00)
closed Tuesdays (Wednesday if Tuesday is a national holiday), December 26 to January 1
admission ￥1.800 for adults
￥1.300 for high school and university students
access 20-minute walk from Toke Station (south exit)
5-minute bus ride from Toke Station (south exit)
address 3-15 Asumigaokahigashi, Midori, Chiba 〒267-0067