Okuma Art Museum

Japanese name: Okuma Bijutsukan (大熊美術館)

I never expected to find during my travels in Japan a little Denmark nestled in the woods of Azumino. This museum boosts a surprising large collection of porcelain plates from Denmark. Not only does it have plates actually from the Dutch Royal Family, but it also holds a complete collection of Danish Christmas plates, originally made for the Danish Royalty starting in 1895. It is said that the collection rivals that of any even in Denmark itself.

The blue and white Christmas plates, each with a unique Christmas scene, have the year it was made engraved upon the rim. Browsing through the entire gallery, it is fun to search for the plate from the year you were born. Instead of a normal admittance ticket, visitors will receive a beautiful postcard featuring one of the museum’s Christmas plates. For those who can afford it, you may even buy some of some of the historic plates from the museum.

Next door to the museum, there is a small café which serves pastries and cakes upon the same beautiful plates found in the museum. I thought about enjoying a nice sweet during my visit to the museum, but what would happen if someone scratches it?

Museum Hotaka Hot Springs Area
10 min taxi ride from JR Hotaka Station
20 min drive from the Azumino Interchange
7403-10 Hotaka Ariake
Adults: ¥800
Elementary & Junior High School Students: ¥500
9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Wednesdays (The museum may also close for exhibition changes.)