denchu art museum
the denchu art museum preserves and displays the work of hirakushi denchu, a master of modern sculpture, seeking to celebrate his achievements and to contribute to the development of local culture. it first opened in 1969 as the denchu-kan, before being registered under the museum law in 1973, when it was renamed the denchu art museum. in 1983, a new building was opened to commemorate the 30th anniversary of ibara's establishment as a city.
the collection of the museum focuses on works hirakushi gave to local elementary, junior and senior high schools, as well as works originally donated to the denchu-kan and remaining works and keepsakes donated by his family after his death. in addition, works of the artists of the japan art institute, who had strong connections with hirakushi, and the works of artists who won the hirakushi denchu prize are also on display.
the third floor features a re-creation of hirakushi's atelier in uenosakuragi-cho, tokyo, where he made many of his masterpieces, giving us a sense of the flavor of the times.
hanatori otsuka art museum
the core of this museum's display is a collection of 270 works, including sketches, by japanese artist kanashima keika, who was from kan-nabe-cho, hiroshima prefecture. in total, the museum holds around 500 pieces from representative modern japanese and western artists, including yokoyama taikan, hashimoto kansetsu, kodama kibo, maeda seison, ikeda yoson and umehara ryuzaburo, among others.
the museum is divided into exhibition halls no. 1 and no. 2, and the hanatori exhibition hall, with each hall featuring a separate theme, while the hanatori exhibition hall is designed as a multi-purpose space for tea ceremony parties, lectures, or other events.
the layout of the museum's japanese-style garden, hanatori-en, was designed and supervised by the master landscaper ueda sogen, the 15th head of the ueda soko school. it thus embodies the tasteful and intimate tranquility of the japanese tea ceremony, adding to the elegance of the museum's japanese-style buildings.
the ibara city cultural asset center, kodai mahoroba-kan, is designed to foster a deeper interest and respect for cultural assets. the majority of the first floor is taken up by the exhibition room, which displays archeological materials found within the city, grouped together by historical period, from the yayoi period to the kofun period). visitors can experience history first-hand, by touching the actual displays or copying a pattern from a dotaku (a bell-shaped bronze ware from the yayoi period).
the second floor houses a lecture room used to hold lectures or training sessions to educate citizens about cultural assets, as well as a work room where buried cultural items that have been excavated within the city are washed, assembled or reconstructed, so that they can be displayed to the public.
in addition, each month the cultural asset center holds lectures, including hands-on learning experiences, lectures on archeology, and cultural asset tours.
yoshii folk history museum
the yoshii folk history museum displays pottery, fossils, utensils and ancient manuscripts discovered in the village, allowing visitors to trace the history of yoshii through the ages.
a "sesshu corner" has been set up for those who come to learn more about sesshu and chogen-ji, plus special exhibitions are held twice a year, focusing on unique topics such as local people, history and industry.
bisei spaceguard center
the bisei spaceguard center includes an exhibition space dedicated to explaining the work of the japan spaceguard association.
the bisei spaceguard center is an observatory designed to monitor asteroids which may pass close to the earth, as well as space debris (space garbage) that may affect man-made development in space. in 2000, the bisei spaceguard center made headlines when it discovered the largest asteroid ever to close pass to the earth. it is believed this asteroid was roughly the same size as the one whose impact led to the extinction of the dinosaurs, but what was perhaps more shocking was that previously it was believed that every asteroid likely to pass near the earth had already been detected yet this discovery proved that some asteroids remain undetected.
while visitors cannot enter the spaceguard center itself, they can enter the exhibition space. a visit to the exhibition space is highly recommended to anyone visiting the bisei astronomical observatory.