Nestled in Nerima City lies the Chihiro Art Museum. Once the former home of its namesake, the museum is dedicated to the beautifully ephemeral brush work and art of children's book illustrator, Chihiro Iwasaki.
The Chihiro Iwasaki Memoiral Foundation, which runs the museum in Nerima, also oversees a similar museum in Azumino, Nagano. The museums have a strong touch of the humane and personal about them, making them to be impressively honest destinations. Chihiro Art Museum, Tokyo features several exhibitions throughout the year, not only of Chihiro's work but that of other artists as well.
Born in 1918, Chihiro Iwasaki was a popular artist in the 1950s whose watercolour paintings of flowers and children helped endear her to millions of fans from not only Japan but also from around the world. Her almost wistful style floats with depth and given her personal history where she lost her first husband to suicide and her family home to the air raids of World War II, this comes as no surprise.
Along with the ever changing three-room exhibition space, the Chihiro Art Museum is home to a recreation of her private studio where Chihiro did much of her work. Her personal theme of "peace and happiness for children' can be felt throughout the museum, infusing any visit with a sense of calm and wonder.
The first floor also houses a picture book-inspired cafe and Chiriho's garden. The second floor of the building is an indication of the museum's commitment to and respect for children with a library filled with around three thousand children's books, a play room for the kids and, for dads and usually mums, a much appreciated nursing room.
Please be sure to check the official website for holiday closing and exhibition times.