File #15
Alta Mira Museum of Art

3-17 Shin-Wakaura, Wakayama
TEL.073-447-9170 (16:00pm~) / 090-7108-1964
Open daily 16:00-22:00
Parking available
Admission free

In this installment, I'd like to present a special introduction of a site that happens to be near my home in Wakayama. Originally conceived by the Osaka native Hirose Shigeyuki as a gallery to showcase the paintings of Balinese artists, the Alta Mira Museum of Art is housed in a deserted three-storey building in Shin-Wakaura which Hirose refurbished himself. It opened on May 3, 2000. Proclaimed a "night museum," Alta Mira's hours run from late afternoon to late at night. The majority of the visitors come mainly through word of mouth and are more likely to be from Osaka or even further away than from the local area. Once inside, you come face-to-face with white walls and pictures from exotic places that make it very hard to believe that you are still in Japan. Outside the windows is an expansive view of the sea. It is truly romantic! One of the original conditions of the rental agreement was that Hirose would have to leave the building on the request on the owner. And now, at last, that day is drawing near. After a short extension on the initial limit, it looks as if the museum will be closing at the end of September.

Hirose decided to write a script about the artists of Shin-Wakaura, who he came to know after opening the museum, and the interesting episodes involving them, and make it into a movie. The story is set in summer, so filming has to be finished very soon. At the moment, every day is being spent on filming.

After hearing about the limited time left for Alta Mira, a drama troupe gave a tent performance in March and in April we also gave a live performance. The place has so much charm that you can't help but want to do something there. And now, I hope to tell as many people as possible about the museum.
For those of you who haven't been, no matter how far away you live, I hope you will pay the place a visit before it disappears.