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Saturday, February 14, 2009

John Lennon Museum Saitama


The John Lennon Museum closed on 30 September, 2010

John Lennon Museum Saitama
A couple of friends and I took advantage of the day off (National Foundation Day) to visit the John Lennon Museum in Saitama, about 45 minutes from Tokyo's Shinjuku district. We took the JR Saikyo Line to Akabane Station, and then changed to the JR Takatsuki Line to Saitama Shintoshin Station. It's only 3 minute's walk from the station.

The John Lennon Museum is housed in the very modern Saitama Super Arena, and shares the Arena's stylishness and spaciousness. Almost church-like in its atmosphere, the John Lennon Musuem is a meticuously detailed record of Lennon's life. The expertly presented displays take you on a fascinating tour through 9 phases of his existence, from "Childhood Memories," then "Rock and Roll," "The Beatles," "New York City," etc., culminating in "Househusband".

Did I say Lennon's life? Who could forget Yoko Ono? And this may as well be called the "John Lennon/Yoko Ono Museum" because of the almost inordinate amount of attention she gets - unsurprisingly, as the Museum was set up in 1980 (on what would have been Lennon's 60th birthday) with her co-operation, and most, if not all, of the memorabilia there belongs to her.

The Yoko Ono bias is so strong that her work and life even before she met Lennon gets a lot of coverage, while first wife Cynthia gets barely a mention.

Nevertheless, this in no way detracts from the Museum's excellence. It is professional to the nth degree, each of the multifarious displays demands attention, and the spaciousness and clean, modern lines of the Museum make it a pleasant space to be in. Perhaps most importantly, you don't have to be a Beatles - or Lennon, or Ono - fan to get something memorable out of it.

Read more about the John Lennon Museum here

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