Ikaho is a little village in Gunma, the next prefecture over from where I live. It’s about an hour’s drive from here and up in the mountains!! I went there this past Wednesday with Kazu and Miki on a little road trip to see the mountains (duh) the Takehisa Yumeji museum, the Chin-po-kan (which was unfortunately closed) and the Venus museum (which was kind of entertaining, but unfortunately there was a creepy dude there…)
So, to get to this little lake, we drove up these super narrow and windy roads up these huuuge mountains. The best part was the melody road, when we drove over the bumps on the pavement, the vibrations made a song!! So cool! On our way back, Miki swerved into the opposite lane to see if it worked the same backwards, but it didn’t. I wish they would have had the melody road both ways!! So cool!!
After checking out the absolutely SPECTACULAR view, we went back down into the little town and had some udon & soba before going to the Takehisa Yumeji museum. I don’t know if the guys enjoyed the museum as much as I did. I first found out about Takehisa when I was studying at Kansai Gaidai. I saw some of his prints at a shop in Kyoto and I ended up getting postcards to send back home. He was kind of a painting renegade, as he basically did his own thing, yet still incorporated some traditional techniques. He also was a printmaker (he designed some really fantastic prints for yukata fabric) and commercial artist (like.. newspaper illustrations) as well. In any case, I like his style, despite the fact that most of the women he paints all have really sad looks on their faces. Sad, but beautiful.
Woman w/ black cat © Takehisa Yumeji
So after that, we tried to go to the chin-po-kan… but it was closed !! >.< We drove down the hill for a while, and we came across a similar (but definitely not the same) kind of museum… and we ended up going in. It was interesting, but I guess the chin-po-kan would have involved more laughing. We came back to town after that and went to see the cherry blossoms (photos from which are in my previous entry), got some foods, and then hit up an izakaya to end the day.
Anyway. I had a great time. Great views, gorgeous art, and with good people. As per the usual, more photos are on the Facebook!