Despite being the political and economic hub of Japan, Tokyo is also a prominent centre for culture and art. Japan has a rich and excellent collection of art pieces from around the world, and the museums in Tokyo are no exception. In fact, without a proper plan, it can be impossible to navigate through the numerous art museums scattered across Tokyo. So, here are my recommendation of some of best Art Museums that you should not miss when you are in Tokyo.
1.Mori Art Museum
Located at the top of a 50 story skyscraper in the happening Roppongi District, the world-class art exhibitions at the Mori Art Museum primarily focus on contemporary culture. Art exhibits here have ranged from Bill Viola’s video art, to the “Go Betweens” exhibit which attempted to look at the world through the eyes of a child. A single ticket will allow you access to all areas of the Art Museum. This is perfect as once you have travelled the galleries, you can head to the observation deck for an delightful 360 degree panoramic view of the city. For an additional cost, you can take an elevator to the Sky Deck for an even better view.
Name: Mori Art Museum
Address: 53F Roppongi Hills Mori Tower, 6-10-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo, 106-6108, Japan
Access: 5 minute walk from Roppongi Subway Station
Business Hours: 10 a.m.–10 p.m. (till 5 p.m. on Tuesdays)
Official Website: https://www.mori.art.museum/html/eng
2.National Museum of Western Art (NMWA)
The main building of the National Museum of Western Art is listed a UNESCO certified World Heritage site, thanks to its design by the French architect , Le Corbusier, known as the Master of Modern Architecture. The Museum was opened in 1959 to allow access to the collection of Japanese art collector Matsukata Kojiro. The Museum houses over 5,500 works of arts, including 59 different styles of paintings and sculptures, from the 14th century to the 20th century. The permanent galleries feature paintings by renowned artists like Rubens, Renoir, Monet, Van Gogh, Gauguin as well as Picasso and Pollock. The museum also has rotating exhibitions by other artists as well as temporary special exhibitions. The Museum also has a bright cafe that serves light snacks and meals, along with coffee and beer, so you can relax after a couple of hours of exploring the galleries.
Name: National Museum of Western Art
Address: 7-7 Ueno-koen, Taito-ku, Tokyo 110-0007, Japan
Access: 2 minute walk from Ueno Station, on JR Yamanote Line, Park Exit
Business Hours: 9.30 a.m.–5.30 p.m. (till 5 p.m. in winter, and until 8.00 on Friday and Saturday)
Official Website: http://www.nmwa.go.jp/en/
3.Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum
The Teien Art Museum is located in the residence of a former Japanese prince, Prince Yashuhiko Asaka. Styled in the stunning Art Deco form, the museum features a variety of fascinating exhibits, including paintings, sculptures, tableware and even jewellery by European and Japanese artists. In addition to the exhibits themselves, the fine architecture and interior decorations – incorporating the works of French designer Rene Lalique, and carried out under the supervision of French designer, Henri Rapin – of the palatial house draws a number of visitors to the museum. The exquisitely designed Pond Garden, which gives the Museum its name (Tienen means Garden, in Japanese) is a must watch.
Name: Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum
Address: 5-21-9, Shirokanedai, Minato-ku, Tokyo, 108-0071, Japan
Access: 2 minute walk from Ueno Station, on JR Yamanote Line, Park Exit
Business Hours: 10.00 am to 6.00 pm
Official Website: www.teien-art-museum.ne.jp/
4.The National Art Center
The National Art Centre is a unique art facility run by the Japanese government that acts as a venue for different art exhibitions, instead of hosting a permanent collection of its own. The 14,000 sq.mtrs of exhibition space plays host to several small art exhibitions simultaneously. As a result, the exhibits include ceramics, photography, paintings, sculptures and other art forms. The centre is aimed at creating a better understanding about the diverse nature of culture and creativity.
Name: The National Art Center
Address: 7-22-2 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan, 106-8558, Japan
Business Hours: 10:00-6:00 pm (Tuesdays Closed)
Official Website: http://www.nact.jp
There are tons of things to do in Tokyo, and visiting Art Museums may not be on the priority list for everbody. But, if you do decide to visit even a few of them, you can be guaranteed to get a secret glimpse into Japan’s diverse history and culture. In any case, whether you are an art lover or not, you can always keep a visit to the Art Museums, as a perfect backup plan on an unexpected rainy day in Tokyo.
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