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Enjoy art and fine cuisine at the newly renovated Fukuoka Art Museum – Museum Highlights

Located within Ohori Park, the urban oasis which offers a quiet respite from the hustle and bustle of city life, is the Fukuoka Art Museum. The museum, which recently underwent a 2.5-year full-scale renovation project, was finally reopened to the public on March 21, 2019. 

In this article we will introduce the highlights of the new and improved Fukuoka Art Museum. The aim of the renovation project was to create a more open, accessible and comfortable space for all to enjoy, with improvements such as a newly added kids’ area, brand new café and first floor entrance directly from Ohori Park. 

Designed by the prominent modern Japanese architect Kunio Maekawa, the Fukuoka Art Museum first opened its doors in 1979. This year’s renovation project marked the museum’s first ever renovation since its opening, and many of the original aspects of Maekawa’s design were kept intact, such as its reddish-brown exterior walls, vaulted ceilings, as well as many original furnishings and clocks. 

One of the structure’s original walls was removed to create a brand-new entrance and café with an open, spacious feel.  

Inside the glass walls you will find a modern café space where you can enjoy a view of the clear, sparkling water over a light snack or drink. The café offers a varied menu including a selection of breads and coffee perfect for breakfast, a lunch menu consisting of sandwiches and more, as well as cakes, soft-serve ice cream, and even a selection of alcoholic beverages and hors d’oeuvres (take out also available). There is something for everyone at any time of the day. 

You can even try one of these delicious Ohori Cream Puffs!

Enjoy the fresh air as well as a panoramic view of the greenery and sparkling water of Ohori Park from the pleasant atmosphere of the open-air terrace – sure to become one of the city’s favorite spots! 

<Café Aquam>
Business hours:9:00am-7:00pm (last order 6:30pm)
Open 9:00am-8:00pm (last order 7:30pm) on Fridays and Saturdays from July through October.
*Open from 8:00am on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays for the duration of the Grand Reopening Exhibit (Saturday, March 23, 2019 through Sunday, May 26)
Closed:When art museum is closed

Also newly renovated is the museum restaurant Prunus, located on the second floor. Here you can enjoy a lunch menu consisting of Japanese and Western fare made using local ingredients as well as a varied dinner menu over a glass of wine while taking in the beautiful sunset or view of the city by night. In addition, thanks to the restaurant’s prime location, it offers stunning views of Ohori Park below, as well as the Fukuoka Tower and Yahuoku Dome. Sit back, relax and enjoy reflecting on the museum’s pieces together over a nice meal.

Here you will also find an open-air terrace, sure to become one of the city’s favorite date spots!

Managed by the Hotel Otani, the 1st floor café Aquam as well as the 2nd floor restaurant Prunus bring you top-notch cuisine straight to the art museum itself. Both the café and restaurant also remain open for business even after the museum closes and there is Wi-Fi available for customers.

<Restaurant Prunus>
Business hours:Weekdays 11:00am-8:30pm (last order 7:30pm)
Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays 9:30am-8:30pm (last order 7:30pm)
Closed:When art museum is closed

Just around the corner from the first floor café you will now find the museum shop, newly relocated from the second floor.

The museum shop has something new to offer each time you visit, from original merchandise inspired by collection items, replicas, exhibition picture books, merchandise crafted by local designers, traditional handcrafts such as Hakata dolls, Hakata-ori cloth, and Takatori ware, as well as various stationery items.

At the museum shop you can also find fukukaburineko. These are a particular kind of maneki-neko figurines seen wearing bags over their heads. These figurines represent a play on words which combines the expressions “fukuro wo kaburu” (literally, “to wear a bag on the head), “fuku wo kaburu” (meaning “to be lucky”), and “fukuokaburu” (or, “to be Fukuoka-esque”). This is a unique item you will only find in Fukuoka!

Also available for sale are unpainted Hakata dolls (Nakamura ningyo), which you can enjoy painting yourself! Painting Hakata dolls is fun for all ages, from children to adults.

There are also plenty of items which make great souvenirs or gifts.

The entire building has been specifically redesigned to create a facility that is readily accessible to all. Everything from the slope leading up to the entrance, the interior of the building, as well as the exhibit and plaque designs, and all other aspects of the facilities have been reconstructed following the principles of universal design.

Next we will introduce the exhibit rooms themselves. The building’s interior design has been completely redone, with each exhibit room uniform in color from the wall to the floor to the ceiling, with LED lights installed to allow for changing the color of each room. In addition, exhibition cases are constructed using ultra-transparent glass for a clear look at the exhibit items down to the very last detail. The exhibition space itself has been expanded in size to create additional space between each exhibit item, making it even easier for you to take your time to appreciate every last detail.  

Primarily white-based tones come together to create this bright, modern art space.

Anselm Kiefer “Melancholia”

Junnosuke Miyazaki “Wooden spheres display (1) Zahi”

Claude Viallat “Untitled”

Dark tones come together to create this painting exhibition space.

The antiquities exhibition space is created using even lower, more subdued lighting.

Takatori ware (Shirahatayama kiln) “Shallow cylindrical beveled tea cup with kakewake style glaze”

Zebu cattle shaped clay figurines – six pieces

Engraved karamono (Chinese origin) tea container “Hakata bunrin”

Top: Kongorikishi (closed-mouth “um” form). Bottom: Kongorikishi (open-mouthed “a” form)

Ranging from bright to dark, the lighting in each area is carefully selected to complement each piece of artwork. The statues pictured here (Top: Kongorikishi (closed-mouth “um” form). Bottom: Kongorikishi (open-mouthed “a” form) are illuminated with slightly lower lighting to replicate the appearance of how the statues would appear at a Buddhist temple.

Amitabha and the Twelve Divine Generals standing statues

In addition to the permanent exhibitions mentioned in this article, the museum also offers a number of different special exhibitions that change from time to time. Please see the museum’s official website for more details.

In order to ensure that the museum is a place that the whole family can enjoy the museum has also added a Kids’ Space as well as a nursing room that even dads can use!

Designed and created by Kurume-based artist Kanae Ohgi, this kids’ space is a place where kids can enjoy reading picture books and playing with toys. The walls are adorned with cushions inspired by pieces from the museum’s collections and by the landscapes of nearby Ohori Park and more – fun for the whole family!

And for guests with infants, not only is there a women’s nursing room but also a nursing room equipped with a sink and running water for both men and women, so both fathers and mothers can prepare formula for their little ones if needed.

In addition, the museum is equipped with touch-panel information kiosks where you can look up the different pieces from the museum’s collections. The museum also boasts clean, comfortable, fully accessible restrooms (universal design) as well as chairs located throughout the facilities so that you can take a rest and enjoy the artwork at your leisure.  

The Fukuoka Art Museum also boasts a unique Art Studio for the promotion of education as well as a variety of other programs, and has likewise created additional galleries where local artists can present their own work to the public, now for a total of six galleries.

Moreover, while use of the Museum Hall was once limited to the fine arts, it is now available for a wide variety of uses including cultural, artistic and academic events, in addition to film screenings, concerts and plays. 

At the building’s original entrance you will still find Yayoi Kusama’s “Pumpkin” there to greet you as usual.

The museum was renovated with the aim of creating a place that is accessible and enjoyable for both lifelong lovers of art and for those who have never once set foot in an art museum.

The new and improved Fukuoka Art Musuem is an even more accessible place where not only can you fully enjoy the beauty of the arts, but also have something to eat, soak up the beautiful scenery, and just take a break from everyday life – it makes a great date spot, too!

It’s the perfect place to come with friends, family, guests, that special someone, or even for a solo visit, so be sure to check out the newly renovated Fukuoka Art Musuem with its improved facilities and art collections.

Fukuoka Art Musuem
Address:1-6 Ohori Koen, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka-shi
Closed:Mondays/New year’s holidays
Opening hours:9:30am-5:30pm
※Last admission is 30 minutes prior to closing.

For inquiries: TEL:092-714-6051[switchboard]
Official website: https://www.fukuoka-art-museum.jp/

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