Translated by Lester Somera
Visit The Pola Museum Of Art In Hakone! Promenade And Restaurant Guide
In addition to art exhibits featuring 19th-century French impressionist paintings, the Pola Museum of Art in Hakone also offers wonderful nature walks, elegant restaurants and an exquisite menu inspired by works of art!
Written by Reiya Horii
Where Nature and Art Coexist: Hakone’s Pola Museum of Art
Two and a half hours from Tokyo by train, Hakone is a popular hot spring resort area with abundant natural beauty, and is home to the Pola Museum of Art. In 2002, the museum opened Sengokuhara, an exhibit themed around the concept of the beauty of changing seasons coexisting together with art.
Our Visit the Pola Museum of Art In Hakone! Installations And Exhibits article talked about the installations at the Pola Museum of Art and other essential information. This article will cover the promenade and restaurants connected to the museum, so you can have an even better time there.
A Promenade Surrounded by Green Forests
The Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, which contains the Pola Museum of Art, opened a promenade that surrounds the buildings in July 2013. Inside the forest, the ambient temperature is said to drop up to three to four degrees, and cool breezes blow through the promenade.
Open hours: 10:00 -16:30 (Until 16:00 in the winter)
*Closed when the art museum is closed
*Be aware that hours differ from those of the art museum (9:00~17:00)
This national park possesses valuable forests that afford it a score of 8 on the 10-point regional nature index. When walking through the promenade, you can see colorful flora, as well as wild birds and other small animals.
There are also carvings scattered throughout the park interior, in addition to the plants, trees and flowers. You can have a totally different experience from your time at the art exhibits by looking around at the pieces decorating the natural landscape.
As you walk through the promenade, surrounded by trees, you can look at the art around you and spend some time in self-reflection.
Elegance Only Found in an Art Museum
The Pola Museum of Art has the restaurant Array located near the first floor entrance, and the cafe Tune on the basement level. We’ll take a look at the lunch menu offered at Array, perfect for taking a break during your art appreciation time.
Hours at Array: 11:00 - 16:00
Hours at Tune: 10:00 - 16:30
The interior is surrounded at the edge by large glass windows, so that you can see out into the sky and trees in the park. The restaurant takes in plenty of natural light, creating a relaxed atmosphere.
In addition to the seats inside, there is terrace seating, and you can enjoy your lunch outdoors on pleasant days, inhaling the fresh air.
Let’s take a look at the most popular menu items at Array.
Themed Installation Course Menu (2810 yen with tax)
The restaurant Array has limited-time menu items that fit with the themes of the current installation. These items, designed by the curator and chef up to three months in advance, incorporate the artist’s preferred ingredients and items that embody their works. When we went, the restaurant was offering “A Dining Table of Beauty,” a menu item made to go along with the “Modern Beauty Exhibit,” which featured items said to be good for beauty and health.
Array Europa Menu (2380 yen with tax)
Other than the limited-edition courses, the restaurant also has European-style courses. The lunch course has three main dishes for you to choose from: a Japanese fish dish, a breaded and fried herb chicken, and beef stew (an extra 220 yen with tax). The lunch includes vegetable soup, salad, rice or bread and coffee or tea.
The restaurant also has gozen sets (*1) and rice bowls as well, so you can order these if you want Japanese food. The photo here is of futami gozen - salmon chirashizushi and sea bream cooked in miso and yuzu citrus - for 1940 yen (with tax). There are also other low-calorie healthy options, original seafood curry and more.
*1 Gozen: a polite word for a meal, and at restaurants, it generally refers to a gorgeous and extravagant Japanese meal that features five to ten dishes.
"Water Lilies" - A Recommended Dessert (920 yen with tax)
Made to evoke Claude Monet’s representative work “Water Lilies”, this lychee jelly, which has just the right amount of sweetness, contains colorful fruit and edible flowers floating on the surface. Both its appearance and taste are superb. Sparkling wine is poured on top as a finishing touch, and it looks as though Monet's “Water Lilies” has appeared before your very eyes.
When you visit the Pola Museum of Art, make it a point to enjoy more than just the exhibits - check out the natural scenery and the delicious food to create even greater memories of your trip.
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