Kumamoto Art Galleries and Museums

ByJustin Hanus
Jun 28, 2023

Kumamoto Art Galleries and Museums

Located in the central Kyushu region in Japan, Kumamoto prefecture is rich with its unique history and culture. There are spaces both large and small where you can bask in fine art and learn about historical events that have shaped the area. If you’re looking for an afternoon getting to grips with the heritage of Kumamoto, head along to these spaces.

Contemporary Art Museum Kumamoto (CAMK)

One of Kumamoto’s most renowned cultural spaces, the CAMK opened in 2002 in the heart of the city center opposite a busy shopping arcade. It’s not that large but packs quite a lot into its parameters, including various galleries, children’s areas, and community spaces. The attractive main gallery space hosts various special exhibitions and events. There are permanent works on display by revered Japanese artists such as Yayoi Kusama and Tatsuo Miyajima. You can access most spaces free of charge, although special exhibitions and events usually come with a small fee.

Website: https://www.camk.jp/english/

Kumamoto Prefectural Art Museum

This facility is positioned within the grounds of Kumamoto Castle, so it is relatively easy to squeeze in alongside a castle visit. It contains various artworks and artifacts from ancient Japan to the modern era. The museum is split into three main sections: local art from Kumamoto, Japanese art, and Western art. The local section features various works by Kumamoto’s famed Chimei Hamada alongside a collection from the Hosowaka clan that ruled parts of Kumamoto for many years.

Website: Kumamoto Prefectural Art Museum

Kumamoto Prefectural Traditional Crafts Center

This handicraft emporium is ideal for perusing and/or buying some traditionally crafted Japanese objects. You can find a range of great souvenirs made from wood, bamboo, ceramics, cloth, and more. However, objects aren’t cheap, so check your bank balance before planning a visit! The center is located not too far from Kumamoto Castle. Many classes take place on-site, for example, bamboo basket-making workshops, if you fancy trying to create something.

Website: http://kumamoto-kougeikan.jp/ (Japanese)

Kumamoto City Museum

Another centrally-located space, the Kumamoto City Museum, has three floors dedicated to local history, natural history, and a planetarium. The museum opened in 1956 and reopened in 2018 after a major renovation. The local history zone is an eye-opener, taking you from the Paleolithic period to the present day, while the planetarium hosts many events and workshops. The general admission fee is 400 yen.

Website: https://kumamoto-city-museum.jp/282/284

Shimada Museum of Arts

If you’re fascinated by Japanese military history, this small museum that opened in 1977 in the western ward of Shimazaki is worth a visit. It’s based on historian Shimada Matomi’s personal collection and traces Kumamoto’s Samurai past back several centuries via a range of artifacts.

Website: https://www.shimada-museum.net/eng.html

MK Products, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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