Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art

Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art (HMOCA) is housed in one of Hiroshima’s nicest buildings, located in the pleasant Hijiyama hilltop park which offers good views over the city. Interesting sculptures and statues are dotted around the outside of the museum that can be viewed without paying entry. Inside there are two main galleries, one for special exhibits and the other displays items from the museum’s own collection, displayed on rotation along various themes.

The museum seeks collections from around the world which represent trends in modern art since WWII, express a relationship with Hiroshima and promote excellent young artists.

When it opened in 1989, the Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art was the first public art museum in Japan devoted exclusively to contemporary art.

The museum has a large collection of painting, photography, video, sculptural and installation works by both established and emerging Japanese artists, displayed on rotation in seasonal exhibitions organized around various themes. There are also special exhibitions of works of major international and domestic artists throughout the year that, depending on your viewpoint, range from the frivolous to the sublime.

Every three years there is an exhibition of work by the recipient of the Hiroshima Art Prize, established by the City of Hiroshima, which recognizes the achievements of artists who have contributed to the peace of humanity in the field of contemporary art, and through contemporary art aim to appeal to the wider world and the spread the “Spirit of Hiroshima”. Recipients of the award include Yoko Ono, Cai Guo-Qiang, Shirin Neshat, Daniel Libeskind, and Issey Miyake.

The building itself, designed by Kisho Kurokawa, who studied under Kenzo Tange and was one of the leaders of the Metabolist Movement in the 1960s, is one of which local people are quite proud. The design incorporates classical colonnades, an ancient Greek agora meeting space and evokes the feeling of a Japanese storehouse (kura), and as the museum website describes it, “the building rises from its foundations the natural fabric of stone gives way to man-made tiles and aluminum, reflecting the development of civilization from the past to the future along the stream of time.”

While the architectural motifs are quite clear when the museum is viewed from the air, its hilltop location makes it difficult to get a complete view of the building when right next to it. However, it is the way that the museum incorporates the surrounding park that makes this such a recommendable place to visit. There are 17 sculptures dotted around the outside of the building around which you can wander free of charge; including Henry Moore’s bronze “Arch” that frames an excellent view out over the city.

Hijiyama Park is a particularly pretty during the cherry blossom season, when hundreds of people picnic under the cherry trees alongside the winding park trails. At the museum, there is a cafe featuring local coffee roasters, bakeries, fruit shops and farmers for their ingredients (bilingual English-Japanese menu). The museum shop has a small collection of interesting souvenirs or gifts for art lovers.

Click here for details of current and upcoming exhibitions.

Opening hours: 10:00-17:00 (last admission 16:30) Open until 19:00 from April 1-4, May 3 and November 3

Mondays (unless Monday is a national holiday, in which case
the museum will be closed on the next ordinary day.)
December 27 – January 1 and January 4


Permanent Collection
Adults: ¥350 (¥250)
College Students: ¥250 (¥150)
High School Students: ¥150 (¥100)
Prices in ( ) rate for groups over 30 Persons

Membership (April to March each year)

Adult: 3,300 JPY
College: 2,400 JPY
High School and Senior*: 1,650 JPY
*Over 65 years old

Membership gives you 10% off at the cafe and discounts at affiliate museums in Hiroshima and around Japan. More information here.

Free Admission Days:

  • Culture Day (November 3): Regular and special exhibitions
  • Hello Collection Day – free on the 3rd Sunday of the Month
  • Children’s Day (May 5): Regular and special exhibitions (under 18s)

There are baby changing facilities and the whole facility is barrier-free (wheelchair and baby stroller accessible). All art has at least the name of the artists and title displayed in English although not all exhibitions have all the details translated, there is usually a basic extra explanation in English available from the information desk. The new workshop and multipurpose space is very child friendly. There is free parking in 120 spaces around the park (9-19). If parking is full, you can park at the Danbara Shopping Center and use the Skywalk escalator up to the park to get 3 hours of free parking (show your parking ticket when you buy your museum ticket).

Address: 1-1 Hijiyama Koen, Minami-ku, Hiroshima 732-0815
Telephone: (082)264-1121
URL: www.hiroshima-moca.jp/

By streetcar from Hiroshima Station Line 5, get off at “Hijiyama-shita” Streetcar Stop. There is also access by “SkyWalk” from next to the Danbara department store (on the other side of the tunnel from the city center). The Meipuru-pu ORANGE route sightseeing loop bus also stops in front of the “Hiroshima city museum of contemporary art” & walk up the hill about 100 meters. There is also Peacecle Bicycle Sharing dock about 100 meters from the museum and you can buy a 1-day pass to use the bicycles at the museum shop. It takes about 10 minutes in a taxi from Hiroshima station, or you can walk to the museum in about 25 minutes.


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Paul Walsh

Paul arrived in Hiroshima "for a few months" back in 1996. He is the co-founder of GetHiroshima.com and loves running in the mountains.