The Takao Trick Art Museum The Takao Trick Art Museum

Image courtesy of Takao Trick Art Museum

The Takao Trick Art Museum


2022.05.31

NAVITIME TRAVEL EDITOR

The Takao Trick Art Museum

If there’s one thing people love, it’s being bamboozled by art. Paintings that create the illusion of actually existing objects or spaces, referred to as trompe-l’œil or “deceive the eye,” have been admired for thousands of years, but European Renaissance painters and their meticulous mastery of perspective took these techniques to new heights. Takao Trick Art Museum proudly upholds this beloved tradition in a way that encourages interaction and fun. High-tech art using drones and AI has its charms, but illusions made with nothing but paint and ingenuity will never go out of style.

  • 01

    Photography Encouraged!

    When you arrive at Takao Trick Art Museum, you’ll receive a quick briefing by a staff member on how to get the best out of the museum’s art (covering one eye often helps enhance the illusion) before being set free to find your way through a multi-chambered maze with an “Ancient Egypt” theme. Here you’ll find crumbling temples, yawning crocodiles, vast (or are they?) galleries, and much more.

    Unusually for a museum, the exhibits at Takao Trick Art Museum aren’t designed to be silently admired from a distance. Visitors are encouraged to get up close and have friends and family photograph them pulling open ancient doors, falling into bottomless pits . . . As long as you don’t damage anything or bother the other visitors, hamming it up for the camera is all part of the fun.

    Image courtesy of Takao Trick Art Museum

    Image courtesy of Takao Trick Art Museum

    After you’ve explored every part of the maze, it’s time to descend to the basement. This cavernous room is set up for classic “dangling from the Sphinx” and “leaping away from the lions” shots that can be taken from the handy photographer’s platform above. Next door to this is the “Pharaoh’s Garden,” which is a single huge illusory space designed to be viewed (and photographed!) from a single point near the entrance. Feed a giraffe, pet an elephant, cower from a lion, and then rest in a tree hollow in the corner. You’ll be surprised how quickly you forget that it’s all just paint on the walls.

    Image courtesy of Takao Trick Art Museum

    Image courtesy of Takao Trick Art Museum

  • 02

    Interactive Illusions

    Next is the upstairs area, where the “Ancient Egypt” theme is mostly abandoned to accommodate a grab-bag of interactive illusions. You’ll find all the old favorites here, from the “head on a table” illusion to forced-perspective rooms that throw relative sizes out of what. There’s a classic anamorphic illusion that can only be properly viewed using the helpfully supplied metal cylinder, and a relaxing starry kaleidoscope room for those whose brains need a break. Staff are always on hand to assist with photography, give advice . . . or step into the illusions to give you a surprise.

    Image courtesy of Takao Trick Art Museum

    Image courtesy of Takao Trick Art Museum

    Admission to the museum includes a free token for the drink machine outside, so once you’ve seen everything you can relax at the upstairs patio seating outside with a coffee, hot chocolate, or soft drink. This is your chance to decompress (and go through all the photos you took!) before returning to the real world.

  • 03

    Getting There

    The museum stands at the foot of Mount Takao – Tokyo’s popular mountain, to the west of the city. If arriving by train, you’ll want to get to Takaosanguchi Station at the end of the Keio Takao Line. If departing from Shinjuku Station on the Keio Line Special Express, this is a 53-minute trip. If you’re coming from a JR station, you can transfer from Takao Station on the JR Chuo Main Line. (Be sure not to take a non-express train from Shinjuku, as this will add half an hour to the journey.)

    Once you arrive at the station, the museum is visible from the exit, over to the left. Walk through the red torii gate, across the footbridge, and it’s right across the road.

    If you’re arriving by car, you’ll have to use one of the many private parking lots in the area, because the museum has no parking of its own. The smaller lots sometimes have discount museum entry coupons to share, so name-dropping the museum if you talk to an attendant might be worth your while.

    Image courtesy of Takao Trick Art Museum

    Image courtesy of Takao Trick Art Museum

  • 04

    Takao Trick Art Museum

    Admission:
    Adults: 1,330
    High School/Junior High School-age children: ¥1,020
    Elementary School-age children: ¥720
    Children not yet in school but age 4 and up: ¥510
    Younger children: Free


    http://www.trickart.jp/en/index.html

    1786 Takao, Hachioji, Tokyo
    (1 minute’s walk from Takaosanguchi Station, Keio Takao Line)
    Phone: 042 (667) 1081
    Hours: 10 AM to 6 PM

    Trick Art Museum
    place
    Tokyo Hachioujishi Takaomachi 1786
    phone
    0426612333
    opening-hour
    10:00-18:00
    View Allarrow

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