garden, architecture, art

The Odawara Art Foundation Enoura Observatory culture

an outdoor art museum that blends in nature.

The Enoura Observatory is an art appreciation facility established by contemporary artist Hiroshi Sugimoto in Odawara, Kanagawa Prefecture. It was built by collecting the gallery building, tea room and garden for the purpose of going back to the origins of art and re-examining it. This is a great place to visit for those who love art, architecture and cultural heritage.

To get to the Enoura Observatory, get off the train at Neffugawa Station, which stops on the way from Odawara to Atami. Nebukawa Station is a rare example of an unmanned station, and it takes about an hour to get there from the Tokyo metropolitan area.

A five-minute bus ride up the mountain from the station will bring you to the Enoura Observatory, which suddenly appears on a hill with a view of the sea and greenery below. On the premises, there is a vast art space created by Hiroshi Sugimoto. As you stroll around the site, you may feel as if you have been immersed in the world of art before you know it.

Summer Solstice Light-Worship 100-Meter Gallery

The gallery is located 100 meters above sea level. Beyond the glass walls, Sagami Bay stretches out, and on a clear day, you will suddenly find the bright blue color of the bay loses its borders to the sky. You will feel as if you are walking down a corridor leading to the sea

Bamboo forest area

After the gallery, you will enter the bamboo forest area. The bamboo forest area offers visitors a chance to enjoy the natural rustle of nature, the scent of the salt wind, and many works of art with a sense of harmony and warmth.

Winter Solstice Light-Worship Tunnel is like a tunnel, with bright light shining on the other side of the square tunnel. On the morning of the winter solstice, the sunlight rising from Sagami Bay shining through the 70-meter-long tunnel is a work of art. Once inside, there is a light well in the middle of the tunnel, and shimmering pieces of optical glass for lighting are paved in it.

After passing through the well, you can see the view of Sagami Bay while the light at the entrance to the Winter Solstice Light-Worship Tunnel had obscured it. You will be amazed at how the shape of the Winters Solstice Light-Worship Tunnel, which is cut into a square, can change its appearance to such an extent depending on the way it is presented. It reflects nature as it is, yet is meticulously calculated.

The Meigetumon Area

In the Meigetsumon area, numerous gardens including stone garden, which can be described unique to Japan, are spread out. The stones used in the facility are mainly old ones and materials collected nearby as well. Walking along the cobblestones and stone walls reminiscent of castles makes you feel your spin is stretched before you know it.

The highlight of the area is the view of Sagami Bay from the stone stage. You can clearly see the contrast between the inorganic ground with a strong presence of stones, and the sky and the sea with the power of nature.

The Enoura Observatory is a space that can be called an aggregate of Japanese art, as it is home to not only modern art but also pre-modern art. The lush greenery of the bamboo forest stretching high in the sky and the greenery reflected in the tsukubai, which is located in the garden of the tea house, is another attraction of Enoura Observatory.

Due to the influence of the new coronavirus, Enoura Observatory is now open by appointment only for the time being. Please note that same-day tickets that used to be issued on the day of the visit are no longer available. If you want to visit Enoura Observatory, be sure to make a reservation on the internet.

Auther:Mamiko Kusano

CREAZIONE Co.Ltd. Director
From Tokyo
2006 Established CREAZIONE Co. Ltd. I mainly work on branding, digital branding, space design, and furniture design.