A Museum Dedicated To Stone Faces

 | Grace Higgins
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In Japan, you can find many things that may seem and look odd to western culture but about two hours northwest of Tokyo you may find one of the oddest. In a place called Chichibu, there is a museum dedicated to collecting stones that appear to look like faces.

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It is called the Chinsekikan and that would translate roughly to the hall of curious rocks, and it houses over 1700 rocks that look oddly similar to human faces. It houses any sort of rock with a human face on it, even celebrity lookalikes such as famous Elvis Presley. And they even have, just as should be expected in the arcade gamer world of Japan, a video game character that looks like E.T., Donkey Kong and even Nemo.

The museum is currently run and owned by Yoshiko Hayama, the wife of the original owner who started it all with his personal rock collection. An avid and energetic collector, the late Shozo Hayama spent 50 years searching and adding rocks with faces to his huge collection. He loved the art of any kind where the artist was nature itself.

With a collection so huge, it is quite normal for some of the displays to not even have names! So one regular occurrence is for visitors to be asked to name some of the rocks. So if you have ever wanted to be the proud namer of some famous rock art created by mother nature herself, the Chichibu Chinsekikan is just a 10-minute walk from the Kagemori Station. Though it has been noted to be closed quite frequently due to personal reasons, so some reviews recommend if you are going to try and give it a visit to call ahead.

And hopefully, if you are lucky you may even find a rock that resembles some of the famous cavemen themselves like Fred Flintstone or Alley Oop!