Tokyo, Japan is a popular tourist attraction. From great restaurants to international shopping, Tokyo is a place that has something for everyone. In Tokyo tradition meets modern age and they coexist together creating a beautiful and unique vibe. There are historic temples and tall skyscrapers standing next to each other. Tokyo has many museums from classical art to theater and everything in between. For those art lovers out there looking to see some of the best galleries in Tokyo, this article lists some of the most popular. So be sure to check it out when planning your trip. Scroll below for the top 10 best art galleries in Tokyo, Japan.
1. SCAI The Bathhouse
SCAI The Bathhouse is a modern art gallery in Yanaka, established in 1993. It is housed in an ancient 200-year old bathhouse that holds many historical tales. Inside guests will find ambient lighting and mortar floors. There are always numerous, changing exhibitions, commission projects, and public works. The museum serves to help foster careers of unknown artists. Works of artists such as Lee Ufan, the lead figure of Mono-ha school, and sculpturists Toshikatsu Endo and Mariko Mori can be found at SCAI. SCAI The Bathhouse has an ambient atmosphere that guests are sure to love. It is within walking distance of many other popular museums in Tokyo.
SCAI The Bathhouse
Address: 6 Chome-1-23 Yanaka, Taitō, Tokyo 110-0001
Website: SCAI The Bathhouse
Opening hours: Tue - Sat: 12pm - 6pm
2. Mori Art Museum
Mori Art Museum is located in Mori Tower. The tower is 52 floors high, with express elevators that transport guests to the top. Incredible panoramic views of Tokyo and beyond are sure to wow all who see them. Famous city attractions like Tokyo Tower, Rainbow Bridge, Odaiba, Ebisu Gardens, Yoyogi Park, Aoyama Cemetery, and Tokyo Skytree are all visible. The Mori Art Museum is also included in the Observatory ticket. It is a fine place to stop off and enjoy some of the modern art that Tokyo has to offer. For those interested, Viator offers a tour that takes guests to the tower and the art museum. If nothing else, the fashionable Roppongi Hills neighborhood is sure to wow and please all who visit.
Mori Art Museum
Address: Japan, 〒106-6108 Tokyo, Minato, Roppongi, 6 Chome−10−１ 六本木ヒルズ森タワー53階
Website: Mori Art Museum
Opening hours: Mon - Wed: 10am - 10pm; Tue: 10am - 5pm
Price: 14.50 USD
3. National Art Center, Tokyo
Tokyo’s National Art Center sits in a place that was formerly occupied by a research facility of the University of Tokyo. It has one of the biggest spaces to showcase exhibitions in the entire country. The National Art Center is a museum that does not have a collection, permanent display, or curators. It is an “empty museum”. Thus it can hold temporary exhibits that are sponsored and curated by other organizations. In 2007, NACT held a Monet exhibit for three months which ended up being the second most visited exhibition of the year in the entire world. The museum is unique and innovative, focusing on outreach through educational programs. It is a great place to experience the diversity of expressions and creativity. Be sure to check it out while in Tokyo. Access is from Nogizaka Station on the Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line.
National Art Center
Address: 7 Chome-22-2 Roppongi, Minato, Tokyo 106-8558
Website: National Art Center
Opening hours: Mon - Wed: 10am - 5:30pm
Price: 13.65 USD
4. Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum
Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum has five galleries that are dedicated specifically to Japanese art. A sixth gallery is for special exhibitions, such as Brueghel, Van Gogh and other artists. Local artists with a wide range of styles and subjects are often featured at Tokyo’s Metropolitan Art Museum. The founding aim of the museum is “to promote the advance of art for the sake of the city’s residents”. They aim to showcase artistic talent for the people of Tokyo and all who come to visit. Children and the disabled are all welcome to visit and enjoy the art. Budding artists can also debut their works here. The Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum is a unique place that inspires all who choose to visit.
Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum
Address: 8-３６ Uenokoen, Taitō, Tokyo 110-0007
Website: Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum
Opening hours: 9:30am - 5:30pm (closed every 1st and 3rd Mon)
5. Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography
Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography is a museum that focuses entirely on photography. It was founded by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. The museum supports creative activities, regularly recognizing artists with potential. They collect, display, preserve, study, and popularize all aspects of photography. The museum also has a movie theater for guests to enjoy additional insights. The small museum offers the chance to study and appreciate outstanding photographic works. Even if you’re just walking by, on the outside of the building are three large photographs that are stunning!
Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography
Address: Japan, 〒153-0062 Tokyo, Meguro, Mita, 1 Chome−13−３ 恵比寿ガーデンプレイス内
Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 10am - 6pm
6. IMA Gallery
Photo is only for illustrative purposes
IMA Gallery is dedicated to photographic art. It showcases rotating exhibits that aim to inspire audiences. The gallery is part of the IMA Concept Store, which also has a cafe and a bookstore. IMA represents photography and its developments throughout history, especially as technology has rapidly changed and transformed our media environment. The IMA Gallery inspires audiences to interact with artists and dive into a world of creative possibilities. The exhibition space is small, and the coffee in the cafe is tasty. The IMA Concept Store is definitely worth a stop for those interested in photography or in the area of Roppongi.
Address: Japan, 〒140-0002 Tokyo, Shinagawa, Higashishinagawa, 2−２ テラダウェアハウスボンドストリートＴ３３
Website: IMA Gallery
Opening hours: Tue - Sat: 10:30am - 5:30pm
7. Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo
The Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo has inspirational art and edgy exhibitions. It was opened in 1995, located in Kiba Park. For those who enjoy contemporary art, this is the place to go. There is local and international art for viewers to enjoy. As with modern art anywhere, the message of the artist either resonates or it doesn’t. So enjoyment of the museum often depends on what is currently being displayed. Regardless, it is enjoyable to take a walk through the museum and see what’s there. The building itself is really beautiful and peaceful as well.
Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo
Address: 〒135-0022 Tōkyō-to, Kōtō-ku, Miyoshi, 4 Chome−1−1
Website: Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo
Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 10am - 6pm
Price: 13.65 USD
8. Hara Museum of Contemporary Art
The Hara Museum of Contemporary Art is one of the oldest contemporary art museums in Japan. It works to promote international exchange through contemporary art. The museum is in the Kita-Shinagawa district, in the residential area of Shinagawa. The building was originally built as a private home of Meiji-era industrialist Kunizo Hara. The Hara Museum has about three or four exhibitions every year. It is a unique venue with a variety of events like lectures, performances, workshops, and other educational activities.
Hara Museum of Contemporary Art
Address: 4 Chome-7-25 Kitashinagawa, Shinagawa, Tokyo 140-0001, Japan
Website: Hara Museum of Contemporary Art
Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 11am - 5pm; Wed: 1am - 8pm
Price: 10 USD
9. 3331 Arts Chiyoda
This expansive art and culture center has workshops, galleries, and a cafe. It was formerly a school that has since been turned into an art center. It still works to educate people, building a sense of community and awareness. Arts Chiyoda has four floors of exhibition space and workshop facilities. Visitors can enter to connect with other artistic-minded people or simply to view the exhibitions. It is a unique space where creative-minded people from all over the world can come together. 3331 Arts Chiyoda is located in downtown Tokyo, in Kanda, one of the most eclectic neighborhoods of Japan.
3331 Arts Chiyoda
Address: 6 Chome-11-１４ Sotokanda, Chiyoda, Tokyo 101-0021, Japan
Website: 3331 Arts Chiyoda
Opening hours: 10am - 9pm (daily)
10. Okuno Building
The Okuno building was built in 1932, originally intended as a luxury apartment complex. It survived the bombings of WW II and the building boom of the 80s to now stand as the second oldest building in Ginza, and one of the oldest buildings in Japan. It now functions as a collection of art galleries, artist studios, and shops. The building itself almost looks like a piece of art itself! Inside are exceptionally narrow halls and short ceilings. The collections are eclectic and interesting. Another fun part of the building is the manually operated elevator. The Okuno Building offers an experience in itself. It’s definitely a place you won’t want to miss while in Tokyo.
Address: 1 Chome-9-8 Ginza, Chūō, Tokyo 104-0061, Japan
Website: Okuno Building
Opening hours: 12pm - 7pm (daily)
Art in Tokyo
Busy Tokyo has so much to offer sometimes it’s hard to know where to even start. So whether you’re just looking for some good museums or specifically looking for art galleries, these 10 all have something to offer. Housed in unique historical buildings with a wide variety of art, there is sure to be something for everyone to enjoy. So if you are in Tokyo or planning a trip there, be sure to take a look at these top 10 art galleries the city has to offer.
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