(Odawara, Kanagawa, Japan)()(Architecture Hunting)2023-03-23

Enoura Observatory

Gallery complex and architecture park with views of Sagami Bay, showing the works of its designer, artist Hiroshi Sugimoto.

Contemporary artist Hiroshi Sugimoto established the Odawara Art Foundation in 2009 in order to foster the advancement of Japanese culture while adopting an international perspective, by producing and promoting theater, from classical theater arts to avant-garde stage art; conserving and exhibiting art objects and other items; conveying traditional performing arts to younger generations; and promoting arts and culture in a manner that transcends historical periods and genres.

Nestled against the sheer outer rim of the Hakone Mountains and overlooking Sagami Bay, the Enoura district of Odawara City is a precious piece of Japan’s natural heritage, with a landscape of remarkable beauty preserved in unspoiled condition. This is the site of the Odawara Art Foundation’s Enoura Observatory, which opened to the public from October 2017.


In the history of humanity, art was born at the same time as human consciousness. Art, from its very inception, has been intertwined with religion, serving to explain the mysteries of world we live in. Painting, sculpture, music, and theater: over the years and into the new millennium, throughout numerous transformations, these arts have been passed down to our generation. Now it is our time to reconsider how humanity is to engage with the world. By looking back at the history of art, we can gain important insights into how we have dealt with this world in the past and consider the path humanity must take for the future.

Odawara Art Foundation was formed to assist in the reconsideration of history. We do this by producing and promoting classical theater arts and avant-garde stage art; by holding public exhibitions of objects d'art and other items from the Sugimoto Collection and other sources; and by carrying out research into art of all genres and periods, from prehistory to contemporary, architecture to performance art.

By promoting the spread of the artistic culture of Japan through performances, exhibitions, and research, Odawara Art Foundation offers a chance to take another look at how humans and nature interact. Once the world was steeped in mystery, but now with our access to knowledge about so many things, we need to seek out new horizons for human awareness.


Hiroshi Sugimoto

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