The Adachi Museum is one of those pearls you find in the Japanese countryside.  Easily reachable from Matsue, it is certainly worth a visit if you are interested in Japanese gardens and art, in that order.

Founded in 1980 by Adachi Zenko, a self-made merchant millionaire, garden and art lover as well as philosopher, Adachi Zenko started collecting Japanese art as soon as he could afford to. Today, the museum has the most important collection of Yokoyama Taikan’s paintings, as well as paintings by about 30 artists such as Sakakibara Shiho, Tomioka Tessai, Uemura Shoen and Terashima Shimei. There is also a charming section of art for children by six popular artists illustrating stories and fables.

But the main attraction is the garden.  In true Japanese fashion, this is a landscape garden, where every stone, every bush and even the angle of the tree planting has been given detailed thought.  One of the gardens has a planting of pines that would be bent by the wind in a natural setting.  So, too, here in the protected garden. As a counterpoint to the sharp pine needles, the ground cover is soft moss.

The garden has been voted Japan’s best garden by the American Journal for Japanese Gardens for eight years running (2003-2008). Most of it can only be viewed through large panorama windows or, at best, from enclosed outdoor areas. An excellent place for contemplation and meditation, if it weren’t for the many visitors!

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