What's that baby doing there? (Photo: Sherilyn Siy)

Trick Art Museum Kawagoe

Three dimensional art fun

What's that baby doing there? (Photo: Sherilyn Siy)
Sherilyn Siy   - 2 min read

My daughter first visited this museum on a field trip with her gakudo (after school program). She enjoyed it so much she cajoled us to go as a family on one of those calendar holidays. Social media photos of sidewalk and street artists and their amazing 3D drawings on completely flat ground have always piqued my curiosity. Viewing those photos from the correct angle, I've always wondered how they work.

The Trick Art Museum in Kawagoe is fairly small, housed within a two-story old-style Edo residence, but it is amazing how many works are packed into such a tight space. There is no order to how the scenes should be viewed, and in fact, we were encouraged to start where there were no other visitors.

My kids, aged 8 and 10 had a ball. This is one museum guaranteed not to give you the dreaded 'museum legs'. Visitors are invited to interact with and enter each three-dimensional world. We enjoyed first figuring out what the scene's intended effect should be, and then thinking of silly poses to strike. The fun continues way after we have left the museum as we marveled at the photos we took on what we knew were perfectly flat walls and floors, and shared these photos with friends.

The three dimensional worlds were created using stereoscopic, traditional perspective, and anamorphic techniques. From the "wrong" angle, the drawings appear distorted, but from the right angle and with the correct mirror or lens, and thanks to our human bias, magic happens.

Aside from the scenes, the museum is dotted with optical illusions and puzzles.

My daughter who visited this museum two years ago said that the scenes have changed since her last visit. If you are a fan of such art, it is worth checking in after a while to see if there are new art on display.

Admission costs ¥800 for adults and ¥500 for school aged children. Souvenir photos from this experience: Priceless.

Getting there

Trick Art Museum is located off the main road of the Kurazukuri Zone (Old Storehouse District). It is a 15 minute walk from Honkawagoe Station on the Seibu Shinjuku Line or a 20 minute walk from Kawagoe Station on the Tobu Tojo Line. Buses are available from either station and stops right at Kurazukuri Zone. The museum is a 3 minute walk from the bus stop.

Sherilyn Siy

Sherilyn Siy @sherilyn.siy

For Sherilyn Siy, Asia is home. Born in Hong Kong, Sherilyn spent time in the Philippines, China, and now lives in Japan. She speaks English, Filipino, Chinese (or putonghua), and Hokkien, her family's local dialect. Running is one of her favorite ways to explore Japan. She proudly finished the 2...