Koji Kinutani Tenku Art Museum is a novel conceptual art museum where everyone can enjoy fine arts. It is located on the 27th floor of the Umeda Sky Building. It focuses mainly on the works of Koji Kinutani, renowned for his frescoes. The vibrant and vivid artworks are easy to understand and appreciated by absolute laymen as well, creating a space that everyone can enjoy regardless of their knowledge of fine arts. On top of traditional artworks there are installations that can only be enjoyed with special 3D glasses, creating a 3D illusion and bringing the pictures to life. See the gods of thunder and wind approaching you or marvel at a 3d flower that you could swear you could feel, the works on display here revolutionize the definition of “art”. There is also a workshop space called Tenku Gallery, from where you can marvel at the stunning sunset on top of trying your hand at creating your own fresco. When the workshop is not held the space is used as a free drawing corner with drawing supplies freely available.
The museum is constantly trying out various new technologies and artforms, so you can for example enjoy a virtual 3D tour of the atelier of Kinutani Koji. Inside the museum you can also find a cozy cafe to enjoy a little break. The combination of the charming cafe design employing the works of Kinutani Koji with top notch coffee from Bali is truly worth the visit. The local museum shop offers a wide selection of original goods inspired by the works of Kinutani Koji to commemorate your visit.
Enjoy the energetic works in 3D!
The works of Kinutani Koji are best described as energetic due to his use of fresh vibrant colors and techniques. Here you can literally immerse yourself into his works and charge up on energy. The first zone you will enter is the Symbol Zone with one of the most famous works of the master on display. The installation in this zone was created as a celebration of registration of Mt Fuji as a World Heritage Site and consists of a child holding a flower and riding a dragon as they celebrate the registration of Mt. Fuji. Beyond this zone are the blue an red zones, with the blue representing they sky and the red zone symbolizing Japan. Every six months the exhibits on display are rotated from the collection of 55 works. Some of them are hidden in the carpets as well, so be on the lookout for them!
The 3D exhibit features artwork depicting Fujin and Raijin, the gods of winds and thunder, who were also selected as the main motif of Nagano Winter Olympics. The impressive painting leaps at you from the 3 meters tall and 14 meters wide 180 degree round screen. This unique way to experience the amazing works of Kinutani Koji is extremely popular among the visitors. In the VR corner the author himself will introduce you to the museum and the concepts behind it, as well as his Tokyo atelier. It’s your chance for an up close and personal experience with the otherwise reclusive painter, an opportunity of a lifetime.
Try your hands at a fresco at the workshop
After you have marveled at the frescos in the museum it’s your turn to give them a shot. The workshops are held on a regular basis and offer you a chance to paint your very own on a 10x21cm brick covered with plaster. As the plaster and the brick have different absorbing properties it is quite a different experience than for example painting on canvas or paper.
Once drawn and fully dried (may take a full day) the picture may last for more than a century. The experience itself takes approximately two hours. The raw materials are available on site, however please be aware that you must bring your own brush, palette, dust cloth and newspaper. Please also note that the workshop is reservation only, with 2000 yen per adult, 1600 yen per junior and senior high school student and 1500 yen for elementary school students. However the proverbial fruits of your work will last you a lifetime and it is not uncommon for visitors to actually build their fresco brick into a wall back home. As a bonus there is a special lecture and exhibition before the start of the workshop, so you are bound to get more than your money’s worth. During the times when the workshop is not available there are sketchbooks and crayons available in the workshop space that you can use freely to give your inner artists a means to express themselves.
A marvelous sunset from the gallery
Most galleries don’t permit taking pictures inside them, however the Tenku Museum allows photography. And for a good reason as the view from Umeda Sky Building all the way to Yodo River is truly stunning. The windows of the museum are oriented west, so you can enjoy a magnificent sunset from here. The cloud-themed carpets hide three iconic symbols of Osaka so be sure to find them all. Once you’ve paid the entrance fee you can even leave the premises and come back later for the sunset. The times of sunset are on display so it is easy to plan your schedule accordingly. As the sunset view from the observatory deck attracts countless visitors it may be packed if you come back at the last minute, however in that case the sunset can also be observed from the museum on the 27th floor. Even then you can see as far as Awajima Island or the Akashi Strait. The whole interior is air conditioned so you can enjoy the view regardless of the weather outside. On the weekends the museum is open until 20:00 so you can enjoy not only the sunset, but also the impressive nightly cityscape of Osaka.
Located on the premises of the spacious Tenku Museum floor with an excellent view is also the Tenku Cafe. The interior is designed predominantly in the main colors of the museum exhibitions, namely red, blue and green, incorporating both the unique artworks as well as the stunning view from the museum.
The chairs and cushions are designed and made in Italy, whilst the tables are a proud creation of Japanese craftsmanship. Counter seats and tables are arranged to face the stunning scenery behind the windows, with colorful bottles lining the cafe walls.
The cafe is quite particular about the menu as well, with Italian sodas and various colorful citrus fruit drinks resembling the colors used in the artist's most prominent painting.
Coffee lovers will definitely enjoy a cup of God Mountain coffee straight from Bali, however there are also many other refreshments in store for those who prefer non caffeinated beverages. The God Mountain coffee belongs to the Typica variety, quite rare among the Arab coffee varieties. It is renowned for being quite delicate and difficult to cultivate, thus being quite rare and highly sought after by coffee lovers.
Italian beers and two different types of Calzone are also on offer, giving the cafe a slightly stronger Italian feeling to it. For those with a sweet tooth there are also muffins, petit gateau and other delicious desserts available to enjoy along with the breathtaking view of Osaka.
In the vicinity
The museum is located in the Umeda Sky Building, one of the best areas for sightseeing in Osaka. Among them, the observatory floor on the 39th and 40th floors are a must see, just like the amazing 360 degree unobstructed view of Osaka. There is also a special tour available with a meal included, that will take you to areas otherwise not accessible by unauthorized personnel. The building itself is designed in a retro style replicating the atmosphere of old streets of Osaka. With an abundance of stores and restaurants it is a great location to visit. Below the building is a green zone, created in the image of local forests so you can take a break amidst the lush green scenery.
The area surrounding Umeda Sky Building is home to the Hankyu, Hanshin flagship stores, Grand Front Osaka, Kids Plaza and many more famous spots.
Among them the Hankyu Mall is famous for being the local mecca of fashion, whether the newest apparel, sweets or cosmetics.
Hanshin Mall on the other hand has stronger ties to the local area, with such shops as a special store with goods of the locally beloved Hanshin Tigers baseball team, but also restaurants and other shops of various genres. Grand Front Osaka is a contemporary stylish mall with a wide range of stores of all genres. In its vicinity you can also find the Yodobashi Umeda store carrying all sorts of home appliances and electronics.
Venue Name: Kinutani Koji Tenku Art Museum
Business Hours: 10-18, until 20:00 on Fri・Sat・days before public holidays
Regular Closing Days: Tuesday
Phone Number: 06-6440-3760
Address: 〒531-6023 Osaka, Kita Ward, Oyodonaka 1-Chome 1 Umeda Sky Building 27th floor
Access: 7 minute walk from JR Osaka Station, 9 minutes from Umeda Station (Hankyu, subway lines)
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