Certainly Japan’s most famous artist, Katsushika Hokusai – more commonly referred to simply as Hokusai – spent some of his final years residing and painting in Obuse. Under the patronage of a wealthy local merchant, Takai Kozan, Hokusai produced his last great masterpiece – a great phoenix – which to this day adorns of the ceiling of Ganshoin Temple. As such, Obuse is synonymous with the famous artist and today is home to the Obuse Hokusai Museum. This small yet engaging museum profiles the life and work of Japan’s most celebrated artist – a man who is said to have produced more than 30,000 artworks during his lifetime and mastered multiple art-forms including ‘ukiyo-e’ woodblock prints.
The museum showcases that mastery with an ever-rotating exhibition schedule which endeavours to display a large amount of Hokusai’s work overtime. For devotees of his art or visitors wanting to familiarise themselves with why he is so renowned, two engaging videos play on-loop at the museum profiling his life, why he is so acclaimed, and his connection to Obuse. Once you have visited the museum, we also recommend heading to the nearby Takai Kozan Museum and Ganshoin Temple.