Friday, July 22, 2011

Japanese Center in Krakow

by aleks

In medieval city of Krakow, Poland, across the Vistula River from the Wawel castle,  there is a center of Japanese art and culture.  Downstairs exhibition hall has photographs of Japanese Zen and Tea gardens + a small two tatami mats tea house.  Upstairs is filled with different items of Japanese culture - historical and contemporary:  from clothes, warrior sword and uniforms, through woodblock prints, books, dolls, ceramics to contemporary flowers.  I took some illegal photos (photos were allowed, but no flash - i tried to turn the flash function off, but it didn't work, and it flashed each time) - will post them as soon as I reunite with my computer....

The center has also a small gift shop where i bought a book of Basho's haiku in Polish and a restaurant, with surprisingly authentic Japanese food (I suppose some ingredients are hard to find or substitute).

here is the web address of manggha in Krakow, Poland, and a few pics stolen from the web:
Japanese Center manngha in Krakow, Poland
Wikipedia on manngha museum.

Distorted image of Wawel castle reflected in manngha window


  1. Thanks for the global perspective. Is there a large Japanese population in Krakow? Can't wait to hear your stories when you return. Safe journey!

  2. Great contrast between the handsome center and (distorted) reflection of the castle! Hope you bring home a menu...

  3. It gives me warm feeling to think of some (local) Japanese people working really hard to help the center authentic. Like many people here, I believe that learning other countries/cultures is the great first step to broaden one's horizon at any age.

    Thank you for introducing the Japanese Center in Krakow, Aleks!

  4. thanks Lynnda, Monzie and Keiko.

    i don't think there is any size-able Japanese population in krakow - Manggha Center of Japanese Art is a japanese art gallery created by Academy Award winning director Andrzej Wajda, who is crazy about things Japanese... the building takes entire city block.

    i have some pics of my own from the Japanese center, including window reflection of the castle with family characters - will post when jet-lag subsides...

    Keiko: i thought the center was quite authentic for a place thousands miles away from Japan... and is quite loved, and open to all cultures, too - while we were there it sponsored festival of international music, so we saw a german opera on the topic of ww2, and saw announcements for kronos string quartet performing the very next day!

    part 2 of the 'Japanese Center in krakow' coming soon:)..