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Journeys in Japan – Shizuoka, Clematis no oka

Actually, it was just one day trip so this post is not rounding up everything there is to see in Shizuoka. This time, we visited just one place – one of the most fascinating open air art spaces in Japan called “Clematis no oka”. This is the type of museum I appreciate the most – you can walk, run, jump around, take pictures of everything you want,  stay there all day and just enjoy good weather, the smell of lush grass and flowers and most of all the beauty of art all around you.

The entrance to the park greeted us with this beautiful mosaic which immediately created a Chekhov-like story in my head of an old Odessa resort, summer romance going to an end and Koop island blues song playing on the background…

Then, we entered and art was all around us. Most of the installations were made by Giuliano Vangi – Italian sculptor from Florence. He likes working with iron and steel, creating beautiful sculptures with interesting meanings.

This one I call “lost in the woods”. I think this sculpture represents someone who has walked most of his life thinking it will never end and only now realizing that it is almost gone and mostly wasted on stuff that never mattered..

“The wall” was also interesting. You can create a thousand stories for this one with either good or bad endings. ^-^

The inside of the museum building was beautiful too. It was a rare place where taking pictures of everything you want was encouraged rather than reprimanded.

These are my favorite works. The first one is of a man with seagulls. Again, many stories pop up in mind, Hemingway’s “The old man and the sea” in particular.

Then, this one is funny because it looks like both the belittled Akakiy Akakievich from Gogol’s “Shinel” and the Russian president-to-be Putin. ^-^

This one was astonishing. From one side, it looks like a man on the right is kissing a woman on the lest. From the other side, it is the opposite – a man becomes a woman and a woman becomes a man. ^-^

In the Clematis garden, there were hidden caves covered in lush green grass from the outside but made of stone with beautiful statues inside. This one is author’s self-portrait I am guessing with his wife.

Clematis was not in bloom this time of year which explains no visitors (!!! we were literally alone in there) but there were plenty of autumn flowers including beautiful pond lilies and chrysanthemums.

This beautiful statue I named “Genesis upside down”. Adam is trying to eat from the forbidden tree to obtain the knowledge of the Universe whereas Eva is an innocent bystander. She is also wiser than Adam because she is already dressed in clothes whereas Adam is still naked and unaware of his nakedness. It could also be that Eva has already eaten from the forbidden tree and that is why she is dressed… But I like the first version better! No woman wants to be blamed for the sins of the humanity… ^-^

The park also had an English garden with traditional white benches

and a couple of nice Italian restaurants with open terraces and delicious food.

The clematis no oka complex has three museums and a huge forest park. We went to the two museums out of three and took a hike to the forest. It is a spectacular place to be during the Koyo “red leaf” season and of course during clematis blooming. The forest had an open air coliseum for stage performances, summer orchestra and various garden events. I will definitely go there again and I recommend this place to everyone who wants to spend the day in tranquility surrounded by nature and beautiful art.

At the end of our trip (by the way, my driving is improving. I have been driving the whole trip), we stopped at Enoshima to meet the sunset at the beach, just like in my Chekhov story. ^-^

One Comment Post a comment
  1. Jiye #

    Sooo beautiful!!!!!

    October 29, 2011

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