Museums don’t often get featured on Tokyo Fox as I generally find it difficult to truly appreciate them. There are always exceptions though and one such example is this art museum up in Saitama which was brought to my attention as it exhibits a prototype of one of the Nakagin capsules from the famed architectural wonder tower block in Ginza. Little did I know but the museum building was also a fine piece of modern architecture.
Just a short 10 minute walk from Kita Urawa Station on the Keihin–Tōhoku Line is the Museum of Modern Art Saitama (9-30-1 Tokiwa, Urawa-ku, Saitama) which is more commonly abbreviated to MOMAS. It is located in the heart of the fairly spacious Kitaurawa Park and has been around since November 1982.
This art museum was designed by architect Kurokawa Kisho and the bronze reclining figure in front of it was the work of Fernando Botero who seemed to have something of a fascination with the larger than average female form.
The entrance area is a glass building within the awe-inspiring grid-like construction and I tried my best to get some arty shots.
With entry costing just 200 yen there was never really any debate about whether it was worth going in or not. We went in and I went through the usual motions of half-heartedly looking at the framed artwork without really taking anything in. It features a mix of artwork from modern Western masters and contemporary Japanese artists.
Our ticket also entitled us to enter a special outside area containing a few modern art exhibits as well as a different view of the main building’s artistic creation.
Just beyond that are some steps with three human-like statues (the creation of Mitsuo Shigemura) dotted around but ultimately there are no doors that can be used by the public at the top. With the high walls on either side though it does create a slightly eerie atmosphere.
Back inside and just past the ubiquitous Japanese souvenir shop is a stylish red lips sofa design. There is a restaurant pretty much next to this exhibit.
There’s a load more artwork downstairs but I didn’t take too much interest in it. I was far more engrossed by the decor of the place.
To the side of the museum is a musical fountain water feature called ‘In The Wind‘ and this saxophone is very much a symbol of the park.
The main reason for me wanting to go to this museum was actually to see something which was in the connecting garden behind the building. It might look like a toilet block from distance but the white building is actually a prototype of one of the apartments from the Nakagin Capsule Tower in Ginza. More details of that, and how its appearance was faked in ‘The Wolverine‘ (2013) can be read here.
Museums are usually all about what’s inside but in my opinion MOMAS is one where the most interesting sights are external and free to all who visit this part of Saitama.
Click here to read ‘Get Up Close With A Nakagin Capsule Tower Block Prototype At This Museum Just North Of Tokyo’
Click here to read ‘The Lion, The Bridge & The Watergate – A Cycle Ride Up Into Saitama Prefecture’
Click here to read ‘TF Top 10……Alternative Sights In Saitama Prefecture’
Click here to read ‘Watching Urawa Reds vs Arsenal In The Saitama Challenge Cup Final’
Bonus: MOMAS wasn’t the only museum we’ve been to recently as my wife and I were invited to attend a special exhibition at the Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum (5-21-9 Shirokanedai, Minato-ku) a few months ago.
Click here to read ‘Tokyo Museum Grutto Pass’