Otsuka Museum of Art

Japan Museums: Otsuka Museum, Naruto, Tokushima

Otsuka Museum of Art 大塚国際美術館

Otsuka Museum of Art, possibly the most renowned art museum in Japan, cost businessman Masahito Otsuka, of Pocari Sweat fame, over $400m to build.

Otsuka Museum of Art, Tokushima Prefecture.
A life size copy of the The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci at the Otsuka Museum. It's a copy of the controversial restoration completed in 1999. On the opposite wall is a copy of the badly damaged, almost invisible original before the restoration.

The Otsuka Museum of Art, located in Naruto, not too far from Tokushima city in Shikoku, has a vast collection of artwork, including over 1,000 accurate replicas of everything from western paintings to murals.

This includes reproductions of the entire halls of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican in Rome and the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua.

The museum also has a rather cute robot named 'Mr Art', who can guide visitors around the galleries and provides a little information about the various pieces.

Otsuka Museum of Art, Tokushima Prefecture.
Otsuka Museum of Art, Naruto, Tokushima Prefecture
Otsuka Museum of Art, Tokushima Prefecture.
Otsuka Museum of Art, Naruto, Tokushima Prefecture

Otsuka Museum of Art History Exhibits

The Otsuka Museum of Art History has the largest exhibition space in Japan with a total floor area of 29,412 square meters arranged over three basement floors and two floors above ground. The museum was constructed to commemorate the Otsuka Pharmaceutical Group's 75th anniversary and opened in 1998.

The over 1,000 paintings are reproduced on ceramic boards made by a subsidiary company of Otsuka.

Otsuka Museum of Art, Tokushima Prefecture.
Displaying paintings that reflect the complete history of Western Art, a small selection of modern paintings from the late 20th century including Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Bridget Riley, Mark Rothko, etc
Otsuka Museum of Art, Tokushima Prefecture.
Guernica, probably the most well-known painting by Pablo Picasso. The ceramic panels that make up the larger paintings and murals at the Otsuka Museum of Art become visible as you get closer to them, and combined with the glossy surface texture make clear that these are copies and not originals

The replicas are arranged in chronological order beginning with Antiquity - The Middle Ages on B3F. This floor includes the reproduction of the ceiling of The Sistine Chapel.

The Renaissance - Baroque period is on B2F and includes Monet's masterpiece "Water Lilies."

The Baroque - Modern period is next on B1F with such paintings as Van Gogh's Sunflowers and The Scream by Edvard Munch.

The 1F contains works grouped as the 20th Century & Thematic Section including Picasso's Guernica in the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid.

The 2F also contains works in the 20th Century & Thematic Section with Self-Portraits by Rembrandt and the Portrait de Mademoiselle Chanel by Marie Laurencin in the Musée de l'Orangerie in Paris.

Otsuka Museum of Art, Tokushima Prefecture.
Otsuka Museum of Art, Naruto, Tokushima Prefecture
Otsuka Museum of Art, Tokushima Prefecture.
Otsuka Museum of Art, Naruto, Tokushima Prefecture

The Otsuka Museum of Art also offers a museum shop, cafe and restaurant.

Otsuka Museum of Art Access

Otsuka Museum of Art
Naruto Park, Naruto-cho
Naruto-shi, Tokushima 772-0053
Tel: 088 687 3737

Hours: 9.30am-5pm (last entry at 4pm); closed on Monday unless Monday is a public holiday.

Admission: Adults 3,240 yen; Elementary, Junior High School and High School students 540 yen; university students 2,160 yen. (Slightly cheaper tickets can be purchased in advance at Lawson convenience stores).

Otsuka Museum of Art is accessible by local Tokushima bus from the Kosoku Narito bus stop. Get off at the Naruto Kohen bus stop. See here for details. A taxi from Kosoku Narito bus stop would be around 2,200 yen.

Highway buses from Tokyo, Osaka, Kobe, Kyoto and Nagoya usually stop at the Kosoku Narito bus stop during the day.

Other buses go to the Otsuka Museum Of Art from Tokushima Station (about 55 minutes; 690 yen) and Naruto Station (15 minutes; 270 yen).

Otsuka Museum of Art, Tokushima Prefecture.
An outdoor patio with water lily pond on a terrace at Otsuka Museum of Art. Right next door are several of the Monet Water Lily murals.
Otsuka Museum of Art, Tokushima Prefecture.
Replicas of some of Monet's Nympheas, murals of water lilies. The originals are housed in purpose-built oval galleries at the Musee de L'Orangerie in Paris where they are displayed in diffuse natural light as the artist intended

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