When it rains it pours in Misawa, so having options for indoor excursions such as museums keeps boredom at bay.
Shotokukan is located on the grounds of Komakko Land in Towada. It opened in June 2000 and contains almost 5,000 items and artwork relating to horses and their historic and cultural significance in Japan.
The museum consists of 8 sections or “houses” within the building. The first house is the Kihoku house which contains colored woodblock prints, a Nebuta Festival Float, sacred horses, historical records from the Michinoku region and other relics.
The Harness House displays a Muromachi Era saddle, Momoyama Era horse masks, bits, horse shoes and saddles.
The toy house has horse toys and stamps from Japan and other places worldwide. This was one of my favorite displays!
The Ex-Vote gallery displays votive tablets (the wooden ones found at Shinto Shrines) withhorses. There is a vending machine here which you can purchase souvenir tablets but it was empty when we went.
The Horse-Religion House displays horse deities, straw horses, stable monkeys, and paper offerings.
Special Exhibit house (1F) displays local historical materials, a horse riding and other simulators.
The museum also has a historical records house, another special exhibit house on the second floor and a folk-story house which boasts 3-D movies and storytelling in a farm house setting. It also has tea rooms and resting areas on the first and second floor. The one on the second floor has a fireplace and gives a great view of Komakko Land.
When you get to the parking lot at Komakko Land you will notice an outdoor amphitheater with a stage in the middle. I don’t know what kind of events are held here or when they are but it looks like it would be really nice. There is also another building (pictured) which has a ramen shop inside. On the opposite end of the amphitheater are these steps, you need to go up them to get to the museum. It’s also handicap accessible. Once inside the museum, there is a machine on your right where you can purchase tickets.
They also have horse rides for children here as well.
Directions to Komakko Land/ Shotokukan museum:
- Go out the POL gate
- stay on this road (straight) it is route 10 to Towada City
- This parallels the railroad tracks, turn right at the Y
- Go through 4 lights (this takes a while)
- Turn right at the first street after the 4th light.
- Go 1.4 km (7 streets) and turn left (you’ll see a brown sign with a golden horseshoe above white kanji.
- Go past a house with lots of apple trees at a strange intersection.
- Continue straight up the hill until you see the sign for the Towada Horse Museum on your left.
9:00am to 4:30pm. Museum guests are asked to enter the museum before 4pm. Closed on Mondays. If Monday is a national holiday, the museum will be open on that Monday and closed Tuesday.
Show Times of 3-D Hi-Definition Movie and Storytelling:
3D-movies are shown on weekdays, Sundays and holidays 10-1015,11-1115,12-1215,1330-1345,1430-1445 and 1530-1545.
Story telling (15 minutes)is available only on Sundays and holidays at 1115 and 1345. Storytelling on weekdays (groups only) can be made by appointment.
High School and University students ¥100
Elementary and Middle School students as well as children under 6 are free.
Group rates (20+ people): please buy your tickets at the ticket counter. Adults are ¥240 and University/High School students are ¥80.