Ishikawa Prefectural Museum of Art (also called IPMA) was founded in 1959 and holds a fine art and crafts collection which includes many local cultural assets as well as many works by local artists and craftsmen. The collection spans five centuries and includes antiques from the Maeda family collection as well as modern works of art from the 20th century.
Seven spacious galleries display rare old pieces of kutani-yaki ceramics, Kaga lacquerware, yuzen dyed silk kimonos, Buddhist scrolls, screen paintings, swords, modern oil paintings, water colors, sculptures and more! The museum’s most famous items on permanent display are a colorful pair of 17th century ceramic incense burners shaped like male and female pheasants. They were made by a famous potter called Nonomura Ninsei and the male pheasant in particular is a designated National Treasure.
IPMA is just a short walk up the hill from the more famous 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, and is often overlooked by visitors to Kanazawa because there are simply so many museums to see here. It is however, an essential stop for art lovers as it gives such a wide ranging and impressive overview of the region’s cultural heritage.
Facilities & Services
On the 1st floor entrance level you will find an information desk, a souvenir shop, and a café. The ticket office for the museum is on the 2nd floor.
The souvenir shop sells art reproductions, picture postcards, telephone cards, envelopes, art books, and traditional craftworks such as lacquerware and washi paper.
The café is a branch of the French style bakery Le Musee de H and serves light meals in addition to a range of colorful cakes, tarts, and sweet pastries. It is open from 10.00 till 19.00, 365 days a year, even when the museum itself is closed.
Free audio guides are available for the museum galleries at the 2nd floor ticket office.
Six wheelchairs and five rollator walking aids are also available to borrow just inside the 1st floor entrance.
Free parking for museum visitors is available for 60 vehicles at the front of the museum.
Ishikawa Prefectural Museum of Art is located to the south of Kenrokuen Garden and is very close to both Ishikawa Prefectural History Museum and Ishikawa Prefectural Noh Theatre. To get there from Kanazawa Station take the Kenrokuen Shuttle bus from bus stop #6 at the east exit bus terminal and get off at the Prefectural Museum of Art / Seisonkaku bus stop. The journey takes 14 minutes for a flat fare of 200 yen. Here is a map of the location.
Open: 9.30 – 18.00 pm (Last entry at 17.30 pm)
Closed: 29th December – January 3rd and occasionally when preparing new exhibitions.
Adults: 360 yen
University students: 290 yen
High School students & younger: Free
Senior citizens (aged 65+): 290 yen
Separate fees are charged for special exhibitions
Article and original photos by Michael Lambe. All rights reserved.