Japan // Around Tokyo //

Pola Museum of Art and Sengokuhara

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If volcanic activity and a cable car isn’t your thing, once you get to Gōra you can transfer to the bus bound for the splendid Pola Museum of Art (ポーラ美術館). This diverse and eclectic collection of Western art and glasswork (predominantly French Impressionists and Ecole de Paris artists) includes some outstanding pieces by the likes of Renoir, Monet, Picasso, Van Gogh, Cézanne and Gallé; there’s also a fine selection of Japanese paintings and ceramics. Everything is displayed in modern galleries in a stunning building that blends beautifully with the surrounding forest, with an on-site café and restaurant.

Continuing north on the same bus, you soon reach the pleasant village of SENGOKUHARA (仙石原), another possible place to stay the night. Several museums here aim to cater to the rarefied tastes of Japanese women. Perhaps the most interesting – and certainly the most beautifully situated – of these is the Lalique Museum Hakone (箱根ラリック美術館), dedicated to the delicate glass pieces of the French artist René Lalique.