Friday, December 1, 2017

Enoura Observatory - A Place to Experience

There is no one word that can aptly define the place.  Hiroshi Sugimoto's Enoura Observatory is a place to experience. 

About 90 minutes away from Tokyo, the Observatory stands on a quiet hill in Odawara overlooking Sagami Bay.  The sea is stunningly blue despite the proximity to the metropolis.

Odawara is known for sea products, has a castle, and many people pass by the station when visiting Hakone, but the city had almost no connection to art.  Sugimoto chose this place because the sea of Odawara was the origin of his childhood memory.

There are several architectures and exhibits meticulously placed in the large land, often based on astronomy.  At dawn on the summer solstice day, the sun penetrates straight through the glass and stone "100-meter gallery, " along which the artist's "Seascape" series is exhibited. 

There is also a tunnel that faces direct to winter solstice sunrise.  And you can see the natural seascape at the end of the tunnel.

In the garden around the Roman theater, you will find authentic artifacts from different periods and various areas of the world.  They seem so natural like having stood there since long time ago that you may just pass by, but each has a history behind it. 

The artist built the observatory as a place to go back to the ancient times when people observed the stars in order to know where they are, which was the origin of art. 

It is a place to experience.  Advance reservation is required to visit.  Why don't you take a day trip from Tokyo and travel back in time?