Saitama, Japan â€¦ June 1, 2006 â€¦ The John Lennon Museum unveiled its first public lounge today. The exhibition facility, dedicated to the former Beatle, by his widow Yoko Ono, opened on October 9, 2000 â€“ on what would have been Johnâ€™s 60th birthday — in Saitama, Japan, just 40 minutes/15 miles north of Tokyo. The 2200 square foot lounge provides casual and comfortable modern couches, desks and chairs, along with seven CD listening booths and three DVD watching booths. All the furniture has been created by the Taisei design- construction corporation, which also designed and constructed the building itself.
Now, after walking through the museumâ€™s nine intensive exhibition rooms or â€œzones,â€ the John Lennon Theater, and the final â€œMessage From Johnâ€ room, visitors can relax and take in a more personal John Lennon experience, listening to his music, watching his performances, and thumbing through multi-lingual reference books, guides and magazines. The museum lounge can accommodate up to 40 guests at time, and is located in vacant space formerly occupied by the museum cafÃ©.Â There is a large horizontal photograph on the wall in front of the sofas. The picture is a Lennon family photo taken during a summer vacation in the Japan Alps resort town of Karuizawa.
The creation of the lounge is in line with a continuous trend in Japanese museums. Notes, Mr. Hisataka Hirgaochi, President the Americas of the Japan National Tourist Organization, â€œMany
Japanese museums have already installed lounges to allow patrons to more comfortably appreciate their art or music.Â Japan has a long, long history of meditative appreciation of not only the arts but of course nature — like Japanese gardens, ikebana (flower arrangement) and tea ceremony. The Japanese are very keen on words like â€œhealing,â€ â€œrelaxation,â€ etc. In recent years, visiting a museumâ€™s lounge to relax and further explore the art has become a kind of â€˜healing experienceâ€™ for the Japanese.â€
The John Lennon Museum brings Lennonâ€™s life and work into the 21st century, and introduces younger generations, who were born after his lifetime, to him and his music first-hand. Real Lennon artifacts â€“ including furniture he used (even a bathtub!), eyeglasses he wore, and instruments he played are on display.Â
A special exhibition for 2006: The World John Lennon Saw â€“ Imagine, will open on July 22, and run through December 28 in the Fifth Floor Event Room. The exhibition will introduce the â€œbirth of Imagine,” the â€œinfluence of Imagine,” on not John himself but other musicians, dignitaries and visionaries.
The John Lennon Museum is located within the Saitama Super Arena at: 8 Shin-Toshin, Chuo-ku, Saitama City
Hours: 11am â€“ 6pm (entrance closes at 5:30pm), Wednesday through Monday (closed on Tuesday)
Admissions: \1,500 for adults, \1,000 for students, \500 for children
The Japan National Tourist Organization, a key member of the Visit Japan Campaign, is a public-private partnership under the auspices of Japanâ€™s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, with the mission to encourage international travel to Japan and support Japanese travel suppliers.Â For more information on travel to Japan visit: www.japantravelinfo.com.