Hakusasonso Hashimoto Kansetsu Garden & Museum 白沙村荘 橋本関雪記念館
Hakusasonso Hashimoto Kansetsu Garden & Museum, Kyoto
Hakusasonso Hashimoto Kansetsu Garden & Museum very near Ginkakuji Temple in the southern Higashiyama district of Kyoto, is the former home, studio and garden of Hashimoto Kansetsu (1883-1945), a distinguished painter in the nihonga style. Hashimoto was born in Kobe but made his home in Kyoto. The property is the largest artist's residence in Japan.
The Hakusasonso Garden was built over a period of 32 years from 1913-1945 on land that was previously rice fields.
The large site includes stone lanterns and other stone work such as Buddha statues, water basins, pillars and small pagodas from the Heian, Kamakura and Momoyama periods of Japanese history collected by the artist during his lifetime from such places as Kunisaki in Kyushu.
The garden is ideal for strolling and remains lovely in all seasons being planted with pine, plum, cherry and maple trees along with bushes of azalea and hydrangea.
Paths of stepping stones lead through mossy, thatched gates over small bridges and among the over 30 pieces of historic stonework.
The buildings at the Hakusasonso including the main house (Zuibeisan), a tea house (Isuitei Keijakuan), a rustic arbor overlooking a pond (Nyohoutei), the artists main studio (Zonkoro) where Hashimoto painted in a room with light reflecting from the small lake outside and even a small, personal temple.
Hashimoto Kansetsu Museum
Built in 2014, the three modern concrete and wood buildings, that make up the Hashimoto Kansetsu Museum have separate themes.
Museum I contains Japanese paintings and the Hashimoto's personal art collection of both Asian and western paintings including gilded byobu folding screens, calligraphy scrolls and shodo utensils such as ink brushes and heavy jade Chinese printing stamps.
Museum II on the second floor exhibits the Japanese paintings and sketches of the artist. Many of the paintings and drawings depict animals or are derived from the Chinese classics. Monkeys, weasels, cats, horses, pheasants and swans - even a preying mantis are all subjects. The entrance to Museum II has a small shop selling books, prints and postcards of the work. There are excellent views of Daimonji and the Higashiyama mountains from the veranda on the second floor.
Museum III has a revolving collection and may be showing ceramics, glassware or painting. The Museum also features temporary exhibitions of the work of both Japanese and international artists.
Restaurants at Hakusasonso
Restaurant Hashimoto serves a choice of Japanese food a la carte or set full-course, traditional kaiseki meals. The restaurant is just to the right of the entrance gate.
Tel: 075 771 0461; Hours: 11am-5pm
Noanoa is a western style restaurant and cafe serving Italian food with outdoor seating in a garden setting.
Tel: 075 771 4010; Hours: 11am-9pm
Access - how to get to the Hakusasonso Hashimoto Kansetsu Garden & Museum
Hakusasonso Hashimoto Kansetsu Garden & Museum
Jodoji Ishibashi-cho 37
Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8406
Tel: 075 751 0446
Admission: adults 1300 yen; students 500 yen
Hashimoto Kansetsu Garden & Museum is best reached by bus.
Kyoto city buses #5 and Raku bus #100 depart from Kyoto Station; from Shijo Kawaramachi Station on the Hankyu Line take bus #32; Get off the #32 and #100 buses at the Ginkakuji-mae stop. From Demachiyanagi Station buses #17 and #203 go to the nearby Ginkakuji-michi stop at the junction of Shirakawa and Imadegawa, which is where the #5 bus also stops.
Hakusasonso Hashimoto Kansetsu Garden & Museum is close to Philosopher's Path, where some of the cherry trees that line the picturesque stream were planted by Hashimoto and his wife, Ginkakuji, Honen-in and Anrakuji temples.
For a full listing of Kyoto Museums & Art Galleries click here