The One about the Chihiro Art Museum in Nerima

One of Japan’s famous artist and illustrators, Chihiro Iwasaki is best known for her water-color artwork which promote peace and happiness for children.

Before I get into the museum, let me first introduce you to some of Iwasaki’s artwork:

As you can see, Chihiro Iwasaki had a distinctive style and she learned from Saburosuke Okada, artist and professor of the Tokyo School of Fine Arts at the age of 14.  By the age of 18, she was learning how to draw Japanese calligraphy with inkstick and an inkbrush.

Chihiro had gone through tragedy.  In 1939, she was arranged to a man in Machuria, who died of suicide two years later.  And in World War II, her family’s home was destroyed by air raids.

When she moved back to Tokyo, she became a writer and illustrator for “Jimmin Shimbun” and in 1949, working for children’s book publishing company, Doshinsha.

And her book “Okaasan no Hanashi” (The Story of a Mother) became her first children’s work which earned her a Minister of Education Prize.  She remarried and with her new husband, had a child named Takeshi, who became a model for her illustrations.

And in 1952, she had a home build in Nerima, Tokyo which would become the Chihiro Art Museum Tokyo after her death (the other museum is the Chihiro Art Museum Azumino in Nagano) and are both run by the Chihiro Iwasaki Memorial Foundation.

And her books have been published worldwide, including in English.

The Chihiro Art Museum was established in 1977 to commemorate Chihiro Iwasaki and there was no denying that Iwasaki had many devoted fans and they wanted a place to access her art.  And one best than create a museum for her and a way for people to purchase her artwork via postcards and books.  The museum also features original artwork from significant children’s book artists and over 2 million people have visited the museum thus far.

Download the Chihiro Art Museum Booklet in English

The Chihiro Art Museum is one of those locations that to get to it, you’re going to have to walk.  It’s not close to any train station, but you can probably get there by taxi but I found it more economical and peaceful to walk there.  Granted, where I was coming from was nearly an hour walk to get to this area.  But I was up to it as I wanted to experience Nerima, Tokyo on foot.

It’s important to note that like most museums, there are no cameras allowed inside.

The cost is Y800 for adults, Y700 for Seniors and high school and children can go inside for free.  Disabled guests and one care provider can get in for half price.  Visually impaired guests can beet in for free.

The museum is opened Tuesdays through Sunday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and inside is a cafe and reception area.  Also, a video room can be found inside the museum.

The main sections are three exhibit rooms, Chihiro’s garden and Chihiro’s Atelier. Also, a library and play room for children and a nursing room is also on the second floor.

And while I found the exhibit room to be very cool, my favorite section was Chihiro Iwasaki’s atelier which is a room which was restored to showcase how Chihiro’s room looked when she painted while living at the location.

But a lot of souvenirs can be purchased at the museum as nearly every artwork by Chihiro are sold as postcards and other merchandise plus also many of her books as well.

If you happen to be going to Nerima, definitely visit the Chihiro Art Museum.  It’s definitely worth visiting!