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"Kimonos on the Carmel" Top 5 Page for this destination Culture Tip by gilabrand

Culture, Haifa: 5 reviews and 6 photos



On the top of Mt. Carmel, sandwiched between the hotels and pretty much eclipsed by them, is a museum devoted entirely to Japanese art. The building itself is low-slung, and partly obscured by shrubbery. A polished wooden walkway on the side of the building leads up to the entrance, hidden from the street by graceful stalks of bamboo.

So why is there a Japanese museum in Haifa? It all began with a German Jew named Felix Tikotin (his family probably came from the town of Tikocyn on the Polish Russian border), who studied architecture in Munich and fell in love with Japanese art after a visit to…Paris. From that moment on, he became a collector. In April 1927, he opened a gallery of Japanese art in Berlin. In 1932, his private collection was exhibited in Copenhagen. When the show was over, he went to Denmark to help pack up, only to find that the whole collection had been shipped off to Holland by a friend for fear that it would be confiscated by the Nazis, who had just come to power.

Tikotin followed his collection and settled in Amsterdam, where he married and had two daughters. When the Germans invaded Holland, they went into hiding and the collection was stolen. But love is love… After the war, he went back to collecting Japanese art. In 1950, the Dutch police caught a bunch of thieves trying to smuggle Japanese art across the border. The authorities turned to him as an expert – and he discovered it was his own collection.

After visiting Israel in 1956, Tikotin made up his mind that this is where his valuable collection of 7,000 Japanese artworks - prints, miniature carvings, manuscripts, antique swords, painted screens, tea bowls, kimonos, etc. – should be. The mayor of Haifa, Abba Khoushy, liked the idea and an exhibition hall was built, incorporating various features of Japanese architecture.

I am not the world’s greatest fan of Japanese art, but I did enjoy a stroll around the museum. The netsuke (see my next tip) are particularly charming.

Address: 89 Hanassi St., next to the Dan Carmel Hotel
Directions: Opening hours: Mon., Wed., Thurs. - 10 to 4 p.m.; Fri. - 10 to 1 p.m.; Sat. - 10 to 3 p.m.; Sun. - closed
Phone: 04-8383554

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Jul 24, 2005
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Comments (1)

  • Nov 11, 2013 at 1:41 AM

    I tried to visit this one but I had only a few minutes before the tour at the gardens start, and then we were too far to climb up again :)


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