The beauty lies in the details, the Izumo Museum of Quilt Art
Review from Ms. Pydde Julia (from Germany)
The Izumo Museum of Quilt Art is not just a museum – it is a special experience. Located in the beautiful landscape of the countryside of Izumo, you can really feel the ancient Japan. The buildings in the surroundings of the museum and also the museum itself are built in the special style of the Izumo area. In the museum you can learn about this typical architecture and experience it firsthand. The exhibition inside this old family residence includes the work of Ms. Mutsuko Yawatagaki, a famous Japanese quilt artist.
The exhibitions change seasonally and every time they present other quilts in new arrangements and installations. Every display is thoroughly presented in traditional Japanese style, using Ikebana, ancient pottery and many other artworks. The quilts themselves are made of antique kimono fabrics, some of them more then 200 years old. While taking the tour through the exhibition, which is also held in English, you can see the beautiful mountain landscape of Izumo through the windows. Inside the museum you can enjoy Japanese green tea served with homemade traditional sweets in beautiful shapes, which change seasonally as well. After exploring the exhibition, the small museum shop is worth a visit. You can buy books or pamphlets about current or past exhibitions and it is also possible to buy handmade goods like wallets or other textiles made of ancient kimono. The Museum of Quilt Art is a bit far away from the main train stations, but a good way to go there is to take a taxi from JR Naoe station. It is really worth it to undertake this journey!
Review from Ms.Hong An Doan (from U.S.A)
The Izumo Museum of Quilt Art is a true gem of the Shimane Prefecture. It is hidden in the rural farmlands of Izumo-shi. Though getting to the museum may be a bit difficult for visitors, the effort is entirely worth it. To maintain the integrity and cultural richness of the quilts, the exhibit is displayed in a traditional Japanese home away from the city. It is the perfect location, which sets the atmosphere for visitors to really appreciate the beauty on display. In addition to the art within the Museum, visitors have the chance to admire the resident’s Japanese gardens and various ikebana arrangements. The museum is very foreigner friendly. English pamphlets are provided, along with some English support. The coordinators of the museum have put much consideration into each quilt and have highlighted each piece to the best of their ability. Many of the quilts are made from kimonos dating back two hundred years, and have been woven together with the utmost care. The museum also has a small gift shop where visitors can find many quilted souvenirs. Visitors may also enjoy green tea and the museum’s originally made sweets. Here, foreigners can truly get a dose of Japanese culture, appreciating traditional beauty and Japanese delicacies.
Review from Ms. Annaliese Marie (from USA)
The Izumo Museum of Quilt Art is a museum not like any other I’ve experienced. Besides having the distinction of being the only quilt art museum in Japan, the museum itself is located in a traditional 200 year old Japanese dwelling. The quilts are made from kimonos that date as far back as 200 years ago. The ikebana (beautiful flower arrangement), antique quilts, and the manner in which both are displayed in the setting of a traditional Japanese house are blended superbly.
I’m so glad I had this experience and highly recommend this museum to all as a way to introduce oneself to the world and art of quilts. Although I enjoy museums in general, I had not expected to love this venue as much as I did. Before visiting this museum, I never saw beauty in quilt works. However, breathtakingly beautiful, the quilts on display at the museum are not like any others I have ever seen. Displays of the quilts were artfully arranged and the historical significance within the quilts brought their stories to life. If you are able to visit this museum, I would advise you to sit down for some tea and completely enjoy the experience of being in such a remarkable venue holding such unique works of art. The gift shop also offers wonderful cards decorated with kimono fabric, a great way to send a piece of Japan back home to your family and friends.
Review from Mr. Andy Ly (from U.K
The Izumo Museum of Quilt Art – Not knowing much about quilt art, I was yet again pleasantly surprised by what was in store. Although a little far out from the centre of Matsue, the museum is a refurbished Japanese house and within it lies a beautiful selection of quilt compositions, accompanied by the strikingly delicate ikebana displays. The quilts themselves are made from 200-year old kimonos, which go hand-in-hand with the antique feel of the house that they are displayed in. While you are here, be sure to check out the gift shop; they have a number of postcards, greeting cards, purses and other items, each with a piece of kimono incorporated, so that every item has its own uniqueness and charm.
Review from Ms. Olga Isaeva ( from German)
The Izumo Museum of Quilt Art and afterwards this small mine town Oda were incredible. The concept of the Quilt Art museum lies in the presentation of Japanese aesthetics including not only the exhibits but also the space, where the subjects are shown. All the exhibits have their own unique story, because they are made out of old kimonos. The arrangement in this beautiful Japanese styled house increases the effect of each piece. This kind of mysterious, spiritual and at the same time pleasant atmosphere surrounds the whole place. The Japanese feeling of aesthetic appears for Europeans sometimes kind of strange and disharmonious. The beauty lies in the fragmentariness, unbalance and the idea of transience that is why the exhibitions are theme based, depending on each season.
The Izumo Museum of Quilt Art
330 Fukutomi, Hikawa-cho, Izumo
Nearest JR trains are 'JR Naoe Sta.
Please search your route with JR timetable and route finder, Jorudan by filling in ” Naoe” on the destination station blank.
From the station, 10 min by local bus , or 7 min by car from Izumo Airport
10:00-17:00 (*Closed : every Wednesdays, 3rd Sunday of every month)
Adult : 490 JPY / Elementary, Middle, Highschool student : 350 JPY
located in the very center of the Izumo plain, The Izumo Museum of Quilt Art was the first quilt museum to open in Japan. Our museum, a refubished two-hundred year-old mansion built in the traditional Izumo-style, houses a collection, which includes the work of Ms. Mutsuko Yawatagaki, one of the most renowned producers of Japanese-style quilting, ikebana (flower arrangements ), art works created from antique kimono fabrics, and four themed exhibitions per year, one for each season. The concept of our art museum, from its atmosphere to its design, is to pass on Izumo culture and the Japanese spirit to the next generation.
This report was written by six international students from Tokyo who went on a three days tour to Shimane Prefecture in 2013.