A museum where you can enjoy masterpieces from around the world〜The Otsuka Museum of Art

Do you like art?
If so, in Tokushima, Shikoku, there is an art museum where you can enjoy first-class art from around the world.

“The Otsuka Museum of Art” has collections of works by great Western artists such as Picasso, Renoir, Vermeer, and Leonardo de Vinci. However, there is no original work.
Why is that?

Girl with a Pearl Earring painted by Vermeer

Run by the Otsuka Group, which was born in Tokushima.

The museum is managed by the Otsuka Group, of which Otsuka Pharmaceutical, famous for Calorie Mate and Pocari Sweat, is a member.The Otsuka Group began its history in the Taisho era when it was founded as a pharmaceutical factory in Naruto, Tokushima Prefecture and has grown significantly since then.

The warehouses of “Otsuka Warehouse,” a group company, has big pictures of Pocari Sweat,Java tea etc…on them, and it has become a kind of landmark in Naruto City.

The artwork in the museum’s collection are “ceramic masterpieces” made on ceramic boards.
Using special technology by Otsuka Ohmi Toki, a Group company, the original paintings are reproduced on a large ceramic board in colors and sizes that are faithful to the original.

Otsuka Ohmi Toki

Sunflower painted by Van Gogh

Compared to paper, canvas, or clay walls, the colors do not deteriorate over time, and the size is reproduced at full scale, giving the viewer a sense of energy and realism as if he or she were looking at an actual masterpiece.It is this sincere wish of people around the world that led to the creation of the ceramic-board technology and ceramic-board masterpieces, he said.

Guernica by Pablo Picasso

A beautiful Hall modeled after the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican

Upon entering the museum, visitors are welcomed by a 41-meter-long escalator and 112 steps.
After going up these steps, the “Sistine Hall” appears.

The Sistine Chapel in the Vatican Palace in Rome has a decorative ceiling painting by Michelangelo.The Sistine Hall at the Museum is an exact replica of the Sistine Chapel. In the 2018 Kohaku Uta Gassen, popular Tokushima-born artist Yonezu Kenshi made a sensation by broadcasting live from here.

The viewing route is about 4 km

The viewing route is approximately 4 kilometers from the third basement level, where the Sistine Hall is located, to the second floor above ground. Therefore, I highly recommend using an audio guide that allows you to hear the story behind the paintings and the points of interest.There is a English version.

Cappella degli Scrovegni in Padua, Italy.The guide told me that when she visited here in Italy, she felt it was “just like the Otsuka Museum of Art.”

And if time permits, it is also recommended to take a tour of the museum with a volunteer art tour guide.Although the tour is given in Japanese, you can feel the “omotenashi” spirit of the volunteer guides, who have a deep knowledge of Western art and love this museum.

The woman who guided us that day had 18 years of experience as a guide. She guided us clearly through the histories and thechniques of the picutures while walking in the museum.

The mural “The Last Supper” inside the Church of Santa Maria della Grazie in Milan was extensively restored over a period of about 20 years, starting in 1979. Here, before and after restoration are reproduced in full-scale on ceramic boards and displayed side by side for comparison and appreciation.

After listening to the guide, the child was eagerly taking pictures in front of the painting.

As we walked through the museum, she explained the historical background of the paintings and the techniques used to create them in an easy-to-understand manner.She also shared her impressions of the original works she actually saw in Italy, which made the distant European country seem much closer to me.

What was impressive was that the children leaned forward and listened intently.
At the end of the 40-minute tour, participants applauded.

Water Lilies painted by Monet

about tour guide

Cafe menu named after famous paintings

The museum has three cafes and restaurants. One of these cafes, Cafe Vincent, named after Van Gogh’s first name, offers a menu named after Van Gogh’s works.This plate is modeled for his famous work “Sunflower.”This is the “Sunflower Salad and Seasonal Vegetable Soup with Bread” in the motif of his famous work “Sunflower.”The salad of roasted chicken and marinated colorful vegetables, with crispy roasted sunflower seeds as sunflowers and sprinkled with parmesan cheese, was a good, hearty, vegetable salad.

You can spend a whole day and have a lot of fun.

The Otsuka Museum of Art, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, has a permanent collection and does not change exhibits. However, there are many customers who come back repeatedly. One of the reasons is because the museum organizes seasonal events and offers themed ways to enjoy masterpieces.The public relations staff said, “We are trying to make it possible for visitors to enjoy not only viewing masterpieces but also experiencing them in various ways.”

To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the museum, all seven of Van Gogh’s “Sunflowers” in vases are reproduced in full size on ceramic boards and are on display.

For example, before the Corona pandemic, “art cosplay festivals” were popular because people could dress up in costumes of characters from famous paintings and have their pictures taken.By imitating masterpieces through art cosplay, they sometimes notice the painters’ attention to detail, such as standing position and composition.

A photo spot featuring Voticelli’s “Spring.”

The mother and daughter who were visiting from the Kansai region said they were inspired to visit the museum after seeing many posts about the Otsuka Museum of Art on Instagram. They smile, “I really enjoy this museum because there are so many paintings I know.

You can spend a whole day and have a lot of fun. Take your time and enjoy the world’s masterpieces. Remember to wear comfortable shoes.

Michelangelo’s “Holy Family”  is a picture I was happy to see again at this museum.  I first encountered this work at the Uffizi Museum in Florence and was very struck by the image of Maria as a muscular, strong mother.

Information about the museum


Musium guide

About Access
[the location]772-0012

65-1 Tosadomariura Fukuike, Naruto-cho, Naruto-shi, Tokushima

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