It’s a story of Friendship and Passion.
In 2003, a shared dream of three friends became reality: Arima Toys Museum was born.
But this project has started in the head and heart of these three friends years before it finally came into shape. KANAI Hironobu ( the 15th generation owner of the 8 centuries old Ryokan TOCEN GOSHOBOH ), NISHIDA Aquio ( A world known Automata artist and Auberge owner) , and KATO Yuzo ( A toy artist well known in Japan for his beautiful tiny wooden toys made for glico chocolate brand) were friends that shared a profound passion for art, culture, and playfulness. KANAI, who is born and raised in the historic town of Arima Onsen shared his dream of reviving craftsmanship in the town, and talked to his two friends about how Arima Onsen was once very famous for its wood craft, how it was the origin of automata in Japan, and how Arima doll brush ( Arima Ningyo Fude ) was just one example. KATO and NISHIDA were profoundly touched by this, and the three friends arrived to the brilliant conclusion of creating a Toys Museum that will share with all Arima visitors toys from different categories, with different stories, and not limited to any age. The point was to encourage people to be more playful starting from their visit to Arima Onsen!
ATAM is a world of wonder, diversity, and playfulness.
KANAI, KATO and NISHIDA have selected a wonderful collection of toys with the collaboration of their friends artists around the world. But what we have inherited the most is that unchanging passion for toys, and that deep realization that by making toys alive, we also light-up liveliness in people.
We are so grateful to these co-founders who had the vision to create such an inspiring place!