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    Museum Love

    Wednesday, July 7, 2010

    One of the greatest things about living in a large city like Tokyo is the exposure to all of its cultural and historical treasures.

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    Shrines, museums, top-rated restaurants, parks, national holidays and celebrations, opera and movie houses, the Emperor's Palace. Tokyo exists as if it's its own little planet.

    This little city-world we live in keeps us marvelling at all it continues to offer.

    Being that Tokyo is also mecca for so many other cultures, it's able to play host to other national treasures and share them with the people.

    Here is a prime example:

    For one more month, 115 pieces of art from the Musée d’Orsay will be on display at Tokyo's National Art Center. The pieces? Paintings and portraits from the Post-Impressionism Period.

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    This period is a personal favorite, and when I learned that it was available for public viewing, I scheduled a day to take the children to the museum so we could drink in these beautiful works of art.

    When the day finally came, it was a 20 minute into Roppongi, and eldest informed me I was close to skipping as the modern glass structure came into view.

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    What can I say? Masterpieces kick-start my heart.

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    The ticket line moved quickly, and we were off. Unsurprisingly, there was a big "NO PHOTOGRAPHY" sign at the entrance to every gallery. This is standard for Museums. I wasn't unprepared.

    We decided to have some fun taking pictures of this very uniquely put-together house of art instead.

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    Every floor had a gift shop, every floor had a cafe. It was perfect melding of the culinary and visual arts.

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    As we moved along the wooden walkways, people crossed back and forth between exhibits and food, shopping and quietly talking.

    If you can't tell by eldest's expression, she'd just received a guide to a Japanese silver exhibit. "Can you read what this says?"

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    We toured a few of the galleries along the walkway, but kept a steady eye on the main attraction further down.

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    I'll confess. I totally took this picture from outside one of the exhibits. Me and rules don't always go well together, and this was just one case where I had to break them.

    Goodness knew I wouldn't get any other chances.

    Don't worry. I wasn't the crazy American lady with her two kids in tow trying to avoid being caught. Nor did I receive an exasperated, "Mom did you really just take a picture when they said not to?" from my daughter.

    That was someone else entirely.

    Thankfully eldest completely forgot and forgave my shenanigans once we entered the Post-Impressionism exhibit.

    After studying artists such as Cézanne, Monet, and Picasso at school, she was near speechless upon seeing the real things. I won't lie, it was a madhouse in the gallery, and the wee one wasn't too crazy about the people constantly invading his personal bubble. But the Japanese were incredibly gracious; ushering us to the front of the crowds so we could have a front row seat.

    Eldest was completely awestruck. I remember how it felt the first time I walked into the Louvre and experienced that breathless, heart-pounding feeling-knowing I was in the presence of something truly special. Something almost magical.

    Art has that affect upon me, and apparantly, upon eldest as well.

    She had the best time as we walked through the gallery.

    Due to the number of people milling through it, things were pretty loud, but eldest was able to see her favorite artists and marvel over them.

    Van Gogh's Starry Night

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    Degas The Dancing Lesson

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    Dennis's Procession Under the Trees

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    They were all there. So was this beauty-a favorite of mine-which for an instant had me wanting to dash home to watch "The Thomas Crown Affair".

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    Love, love, love Monet's Houses of Parliment.

    We had such a great visit to the Art Center, and happily, are venturing out with a new friend, Meg, to another museum today.

    It's called the Ghibli Museum.

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    This is a very unique museum. It focuses on anime, including Miyazaki's masterpiece films "Spirited Away"

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    and "My Nieghbor Totoro".

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    I'll be honest. I haven't seen either, but anime is a huge part of Japanese culture, and these films-and the museum-are very child friendly.

    We may be loafing around at the moment,

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    but soon...we'll be off!

    Toddles, all!

    2 Responses to “
    Museum Love

    Ruth said...

    I am so starting a wish list of places I would like to see when I get to visit.

    The Southern Lady said...

    Never fear, Ruth! We'll show you the great sights and all there is to see.