Hakone is one of the most sought-after destinations for both domestic and international travelers in Japan. Famous for its soothing hot springs and natural beauty, the region provides a rewarding experience in the heart of the Japanese countryside. While you may not think of an art exhibit when it comes to taking in nature, The Hakone Open-Air Museum allows travelers to do just that with a number of artistic sculptures and pieces set to the backdrop of Hakone's lush green hills and valleys.

Now there's more reason than ever to visit, since The Hakone Open-Air Museum (ranked 5th among all destinations for visitors traveling to Japan on Tripadvisor) is celebrating its 50th anniversary with the renewal and renovation of its popular Picasso Pavilion, and since you can also enjoy sculptures exhibited outside against the backdrop of the beautiful natural environment of Hakone.

Simply making your way from the museum entrance to the Picasso Pavilion is a fulfilling journey through art and nature in itself, as the path will show you how the museum truly is "open air" with a mixture of beautiful Japanese hydrangea and artistic sculptures.

Perhaps one of the main highlights of The Hakone Open-Air Museum is the "Symphonic Sculpture” by Gabriel Loire, an 18 meter tall lookout tower that features a spiral staircase that allows visitors to admire gorgeous the gorgeous stained glass artwork from the tower's interior.

The Picasso Pavilion may be the main attraction for a summer visit to the museum, as it was just reopened after being renovated for the first time in 35 years on July 27th. The official renewal was attended by the mayor of Hakone and the Spanish ambassador to Japan. The renewed exhibition focuses on Picasso's theme of "transformation of form" and displays 124 paintings and sculptures, including 103 of them by Picasso which show off a wide range of the artist’s technique and philosophy.

The exhibit is divided into three exhibit rooms, each centered around "Picasso’s Challenge", "Let’s do it again!", and "Transformation of Form". All three are united by a celebration of "form", derived from Picasso's creative inspiration of the attraction to form itself, as well as the excitement that comes from changes in form.

This is perhaps best observed in "Transformation of Form", where one can see that Picasso made constant "corrections" on his prints (seen here in "Jacqueline au Bandeau") as he continued to work on them. This gave them a unique charm of the entire transformation process of the piece being just as important and artistic point as the final product.

The interior facilities have also been redesigned, with a natural and bright atmosphere that suits the nature-rich Hakone. Not only have the new facilities introduced LED lighting, but the display glass used is now of the highest and most transparent quality, making you feel as if there is nothing in between you and the artwork on display.

This summer, why not punctuate your trip to the beautiful Hakone region with a visit to The Hakone Open-Air Museum and the rare chance to see such an impressive collection of artwork by one of the world's most famous artists?

For more details and access information, please check the official website below.

By - grape Japan editorial staff.

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