Saturday, December 13, 2008
(The trick art museum, from the train platform.)
When you go to Takao-san (mount Takao), you first reach the small town of Takao, which is close to the larger city of Hachioji. Takao is "nestled in the hills" (which really means that the hills disrupt your line of sight, and you can't tell that you're surrounded by thousands of other buildings). The area has maintained a rustic feel, and most of the houses and shops here use a standard "Japanese" plaster wall and tile roof architecture.
The primary sights here are a handful of Japanese-style restaurants, a hotel that you can rent by the hour, and the trick art museum. I'd visited a similar trick art museum a few years previously, so I didn't mind that I didn't have time to visit this one on this trip. However, it's easy enough to reach Takao by train from Shinjuku, and it's only about $5 in fares each way.I may come back out in a few weeks on one of my off-days.
The trick art is pretty much what the name says. A very talented artist sets out to paint a hyper-realistic image (an animal, building or person) and adds shading and shadows to make the picture look three dimensional. Then, the idea is for you to position yourself just right and take a photo so it looks like you're within the painting. As an example, look at the photo here of the outside of the building, where it looks like two rock climbers are climbing into a crevice at the top of the building.
(Looking down towards the hotel and the trick art museum, from the foot of Takao-san.)