Wakudennomori, where you can experience nature and art in Kyotango
In the midst of the natural surroundings of Tango, you can enjoy the rich food culture and beautiful art of Wakudennomori. WAKUDEN, a high-class Kyoto-based restaurant, opened in Tango. In 2007, under the guidance of Akira Miyawaki, a plant ecologist who has planted trees around the world and continues to protect the land, people gathered from local and all over Japan, along with employees, planted trees on vacant land, and the creation of the Wakuden Forest began. 30,000 trees of 56 species were planted and the forest grew. It has a lot to offer, Butterbur leaf, shiitake mushroom, mulberry seed, Japanese pepper, persimmon, and yuzu (Japanese citron), etc. Each season brings a different harvest. Once a month they hold a workshop entitled “School of the Soil” where you can enjoy the nature of the forest and taste the bounty of the forest. Inside the facility are “Wakuden’s Workshop”, “Mitsumasa Anno House in the Forest”, and “wakuden MORI”, the workshop restaurant.
“Mitsumasa Anno House in the Forest” is a museum that exhibits the works of Mitsumasa Anno, a painter collected by Aya Kuwamura, who runs Wakuden. Mitsumasa Anno is a painter who has worked as a picture book author, painter, designer, writer and educator in a variety of capacities. Visitors to the museum can enjoy the world of Mitsumasa Anno’s gentle, detailed watercolor paintings in pale tones.
Architect Tadao Ando designed this art museum to harmonize the atmosphere of Mitsumasa Ando’s watercolors with the environment of Wakudennomori. The approach to the museum (corridor) is an undressed concrete wall, a specialty of Tadao Ando. The openings, heights and angles of the corridor were designed to be in balance with the museum, the trees in the forest and the lawn in the garden. The museum is a minimal two-story structure with a total floor area of 420 square meters, featuring a jet black cedar planked exterior wall, deep keraba and minimal slit windows. The interior is a warm space with extensive use of Japanese linden plywood and the colors of the material, harmonizing with Anno’s work. The slit-shaped windows let in the greenery and soft light reminiscent of Anno’s work, allowing visitors to experience the sensation of appreciating a painting in the midst of nature.
At “wakuden MORI”, you can enjoy the taste of Wakuden, using ingredients from forests and foods from Kyotango, which is close to both the sea and mountains.
The name “MORI” is derived from the Italian word “mori,” which refers to the mulberry trees that are planted as a symbolic tree in Wakuden Forest. The triangular-roofed yellow building nestled in the forest was originally used as a food workshop for the production of Murasakino-Wakuden sweets and prepared foods. That workshop was renovated and the food of Kyotango and the ingredients harvested in Wakuden’s forest were used to make freshly prepared food that you can taste.
As you stroll around the park, you will see that the seedlings planted in the land, which started with soil preparation, have taken root and grown into a magnificent forest. The well-kept lawn is pleasant, the trees are bearing brightly colored fruit, birds are singing, and the time passes in a leisurely fashion.