Strange Japanese Creatures: Shodoshima Yokai Museum (the Seto inland sea)

2019年 07月09日

In Japan, there are countless creatures called Yokai derived from folkloric story. These scary characters are mainly ghosts and goblins born of the imagination of the Japanese people for centuries. Today, in the shadow of society, Yokai continue to exist and remain deeply rooted in the culture.

Since 2011, a museum with hundreds of works of art of Yokai is open in Shodoshima Island of Kagawa Prefecture. This region of Japan is well known for these many imagined Yokai. Notably on another island, not far from Shodoshima, there is a cave where it is possible to find terrifying statues of these monsters. The museum dedicated to Yokai has been closed for some time, to carry out renovations, and has just reopened.

Only a 15-minute walk from Tonosho Harbor, the Yokai Art Museum is a great way to experience Japanese culture and the imagination of Japanese people. For example, in the past the Japanese used Yokai to express natural phenomena that they could neither understand nor explain.

If you go to the Yokai Art Museum do not forget your smartphone! English audio guides are available and can be used from your phone through the museum's application to create an extra ambiance by small sound effects.

The museum is divided into 5 different buildings creating a clean atmosphere for each party. The first describes mainly the history of Yokai. The second tells us adventures with giant monsters. The third, called mononoke-do, is comparable to a shop selling small sweets. At the bottom of this shop it is possible to find an exhibition of "Yokai of today". The fourth contains other more traditional works and perhaps even more frightening than the others. The fifth was done in collaboration with Taiwanese students. A little game is even proposed. With the help of your phone and camera you can try to find hidden Yokai!

Another museum

You are not in Japan? No problem. In the second arrondissement of Lyon, at the Confluence Museum, there is a temporary exhibition called Yokainoshima. This place gathers some works of Yokai. What you present the surface of the huge iceberg of folk Japanese creatures.

Click here to discover our guided tours around Shodoshima!

Click here to discover our free circuits around Shodoshima!

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