This compact museum is a surprisingly expansive treat for visitors to this tranquil onsen retreat.
Akiu Onsen is a secluded little hot spring resort beloved by the people of Sendai, but steaming baths of natural spring water aren’t the only attraction in this natural getaway. The Sendai Kaleidoscope Art Museum is a unique spot to explore some hands-on art that’s fun for visitors of all ages.
To get to the Akiu Onsen area, travelers can either drive or take a Miyagi Kotsu bus from the No. 8 bus stop at Sendai Station. To get to the museum, get off the bus at Matsuba bus stop.
Once you get to the museum, get ready to see some colorful sights and take a whole lot of pictures! While there are a number of exhibitions, photos are only allowed in one of the many rooms, so I beelined for that area first thing! As a room full of designated photo spots, there are lots of kaleidoscopic mirror set ups and interactive works on display.
Turning the knobs in the mustachioed man’s hands, you can look into the back of his skull to watch the colors change. Creepy!
This projector kaleidoscope has a pretty cool setup where you can draw your own design. Moving around the little slide and watching it distort in all kinds of ways is pretty fun!
After using up all my shutterbug energy, I was able to really enjoy the zen bliss of all the other rooms, which show off kaleidoscopes of all shapes and sizes. From different turning mechanisms to colorful pieces of all kinds, there really is a lot of variety when it comes to kaleidoscope art!
Before leaving, you can even make a kaleidoscope of your own to take home with you! The museum offers a variety of kaleidoscope workshops ranging from 1,200 yen to 4,000 yen – the simplest ones let you arrange your favorite beads in a bottle for your viewing pleasure, while the fanciest ones up the ante a little!
See more of the museum in my video below. ↓
The Sendai Kaleidoscope Museum isn’t a big building, but it’s easy to get lost in the world of shifting colors and shapes. If you want to peek through each the kaleidoscopes on display, take lots of photos, and make your very own kaleidoscope, I recommend giving yourself a good three hours for this surprising little museum!
Sendai Kaleidoscope Art Museum (仙台万華鏡美術館)
1-2 Matsuba, Moniwa, Taihaku Ward, Sendai, Miyagi
Tickets: adults 900 yen | high school students 450 yen
Official Website (jp) | Discount coupons available on the homepage!
Name: Sendai Kaleidoscope Art Museum (仙台万華鏡美術館)
Station: Matsuba Bus Stop (松葉バス停)
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