Architecture and design
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Note: Museums and galleries that are usually closed on Mondays will be open if Monday is a national holiday, but will be closed the following day.

Picks - architecture and design

Archi-Depot - Museum: Tennozu Isle
[Open 11am-8pm (enter by 7pm). Closed Mondays.]
Hundreds of detailed architectural models, showcasing the current state of contemporary Japanese architecture, are on display at this impressive new museum. Visitors can explore numerous works by contemporary stars like Kengo Kuma, Shigeru Ban and...
Edo-Tokyo Open-Air Architectural Museum - Museum: Koganei
[Open April-Sept 9:30am-5:30pm; Oct-March 9:30am-4:30pm (last entry 30 min earlier). Closed Mondays (or Tues if Mon is natl holiday).]
This massive open-air museum features preserved and reconstructed examples of Tokyo's Edo-era architecture. Besides merchants' mansions and crowded shops, there's also a mausoleum and a bathhouse. The visitor's center was once a pavilion of the...
Ginza Graphic Gallery - Art gallery: Ginza
[Open Mon-Fri 11am-7pm; Sat -6pm. Closed Sundays.]
Monthly exhibitions focus on contemporary graphic design, showcasing the work of prominent designers from Japan and abroad. The gallery is run by Dai Nippon Printing, one of Japan's largest printing companies.
Kigumi Museum - Museum: Waseda
[Open 10am-4pm. Closed Fri, Sat, Sun, Mon.]
Traditional Japanese wooden architecture is the focus of this fascinating mini-museum, with a particular emphasis on the technique of wood joinery - the art of constructing wooden buildings with interlocking wooden joints instead of nails and...

Architecture galleries

GA Gallery - Art gallery: Sendagaya
[Open noon-6:30pm daily.]
Despite their compact gallery space, the Global Architecture Gallery puts on some excellent exhibitions focusing on contemporary Japanese and international architecture. There's also a very well stocked architecture bookstore.
Gallery Ma - Art gallery: Nogizaka
[Open 11am-6pm (Fri -7pm). Closed Sun, Mon.]
Established by Toto, the manufacturer of bathroom appliances, Gallery Ma is a small two-story gallery located above a Nogizaka showroom. They specialize in modern architecture and contemporary design, with frequent exhibitions devoted to...
Lixil Gallery - Art gallery: Kyobashi
[Open 10am-6pm. Closed Wednesdays.]
Lixil is the biggest gallery in Tokyo devoted to architecture, urban design and spacially focused artwork installations. Recently the gallery has been hosting collaborative works between well-known architects and visual artists, including a...
Prismic Gallery - Art gallery: Gaienmae
[Open 10am-5pm. Closed Mondays.]
Occupying a one-room gallery space across from Aoyama Cemetery, this intimate gallery puts together correspondingly small-scale exhibitions, focusing on the works of up-and-coming architects and landscape designers.

Graphic arts, product design

Ad Museum Tokyo - Museum: Shiodome
[Open 11am-6pm. Closed Sundays, Mondays.]
Graphic artists, designers, and anyone interested in the evolution of Japanese graphic design through the ages will find a lot to see at this compact advertising museum. The museum was renovated and reopened in December 2017, and we were pleasantly...
Amuse Museum - Museum: Asakusa
[Open 10am-6pm (enter by 5:30pm). Closed Mondays.]
Established in 2009, this rather specialized ethnological museum focuses on unique textiles, graphics and product designs with a traditional Japanese aesthetic. One highlight is Chuzaburo Tanaka's massive collection of "boro" patchwork-style...
Tobacco and Salt Museum - Museum: Oshiage
[Open 10am-6pm (enter by 5:30pm). Closed Mondays.]
Run by cigarette conglomerate Japan Tobacco, this oddly specialized museum focuses on the history of tobacco use around the world and the history of the Japanese salt industry. Graphic design historians can draw inspiration from a huge wall display...
Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery - Art museum: Hatsudai
[Open 11am-7pm (Fri, Sat -8pm). Closed Mondays.]
In addition to contemporary fine arts, the gallery also presents diverse and well-put-together shows covering fashion, architecture and design. Attached is an interesting museum shop called Gallery 5, run by Nadiff art bookstore.

Resources for architecture and design

Lixil Museum - Museum: Koto-ku
[Open 10am-5pm. Closed weekends.]
Run by the Lixil corporation, a global conglomerate that manufactures kitchen and bathroom fixtures and building materials, this in-house museum focuses on the history of the company and the building industry in general. The biggest attraction...
Architecture Model Workshop - Retail: Tennozu Isle
[Open 10am-7pm. Closed Sundays, Mondays.]
Located next to the Archi-Depot architecture-model museum, this model-making workshop also doubles as the museum's retail shop, and it's well worth a visit on its own for anyone with an interest in architecture. The shop sells everything from...
Fab Cafe - Cafe: Shibuya
[Open 10am-9pm. Closed holidays.]
Equipped with laser cutters, a 3D printer and similar machinery, Fab Cafe encourages its patrons to turn their stylish ideas into stylish physical objects. The bright and convivial space feels like a beehive of creative activity - lone patrons peck...
Gallery Ma - Art gallery: Nogizaka
[Open 11am-6pm (Fri -7pm). Closed Sun, Mon.]
Established by Toto, the manufacturer of bathroom appliances, Gallery Ma is a small two-story gallery located above a Nogizaka showroom. They specialize in modern architecture and contemporary design, with frequent exhibitions devoted to...
Pigment - Retail: Tennozu Isle
[Open 11am-8pm. Closed Mondays, Thursdays.]
Tokyo's most gorgeous art supply store, designed by architect Kengo Kuma, may tempt you to pick up a paintbrush, just for an excuse to shop here. The wall of pigments took a full week of chromatic coordination to get right, and they stock more than...
SuperDeluxe - Event space: Nishi-Azabu
[Open 8pm-2am daily.]
SuperDeluxe have established themselves as a center for experimental music, performance and art, with interesting events scheduled for nearly every night of the week. The monthly event called PechaKucha is especially worth checking out - it's a...
Terada Mokei - Retail: Shimo-Kitazawa
[Open 11:30am-7pm. Closed weekdays.]
Although they started out providing 1/100th-scale cut-out figures to be used in architectural models, Terada has greatly expanded their line-up to cater to scale-model hobbyists, offering kits that feature miniature animals, sports settings,...
Tokyo Design Center - Notable building: Gotanda
[Most shops open 10am-6pm; closed Wednesdays.]
Designed by Italian architect Mario Bellini, the Tokyo Design Center was completed in 1991. The most prominent feature is a galleria passageway that cuts upward through the building diagonally, leading to a garden area sitting on a steep hill behind...

Selected design shops

Spiral Building - Notable building: Omotesando
Pritzker Prize-winning architect Fumihiko Maki designed this Aoyama landmark, which was completed in 1985. There is an excellent design shop on the second floor.
Angers Bureau - Retail: Marunouchi
[Open 11am-9pm (Sun -8pm) daily.]
Stationery enthusiasts will marvel at the breadth of offerings at this gorgeous little shop - everything from vintage fountain pens and artisanal ink to deluxe planners and notebooks from Japan and abroad. There are tasteful knickknacks and...
D47 Design Travel Store - Retail: Shibuya
[Open 11am-8pm daily.]
Located right next to the excellent D47 design museum, this well-curated shop offers a wide range of beautifully designed household goods and crafts from all 47 prefectures of Japan. Products are selected by the editor of D Design travel magazine,...
Good Design Store Tokyo - Retail: Marunouchi
[Open 11am-9pm (Sun -8pm) daily.]
All the goods on display here have been past winners of Japan's Good Design Award for noteworthy industrial design, so browsing the shelves is a bit like visiting a design museum. The collection is incredibly diverse but often quite mundane,...
Herman Miller Store - Retail: Marunouchi
[Open 11:30am-8pm.]
Run by the well-known US furniture manufacturer, the Herman Miller Store offers ergonomically designed chairs and office furniture, lighting equipment and stationery.
Japan Traditional Crafts Aoyama Square - Retail: Aoyama 1-chome
[Open 11am-7pm daily.]
The Traditional Craft Center in Aoyama offers handy one-stop shopping for a range of Japanese crafts. It's all here and it's all for sale - from pottery, lacquerware and carving knives for your everyday needs to more esoteric washi (paper...
Koncent - Retail: Kuramae
[Open 11am-7pm. Closed Mondays.]
With its inspiring collection of housewares, stationery and assorted knickknacks from up-and-coming designers, Koncent is a fun shop to browse even if you don't need anything. There's a tiny branch of the locally famous Sol's cafe up front if you...
Maach Ecute - Shopping complex: Akihabara
[Open 11am-9pm daily.]
This repurposed former train station (Manseibashi, last used in 1943) has been beautifully transformed into a niche shopping complex, housing a handful of upscale interior and design stores, cafes, restaurants and other shops. Part of the original...
MoMA Design Store - Retail: Harajuku
[Open 11am-8pm daily.]
More than 1800 very tasteful items are stocked at this museum shop from the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Everything from stylish lamps to clever wristwatches to stationery and kitchenware. The selection also includes a number of items...
On Sundays - Retail: Gaienmae
[Open 11am-8pm. Closed Mondays.]
Located next to the Watarium Museum's exhibition space, the museum bookstore has an impressive selection of imported art books, nicely printed art postcards, and various items notable for their design. There's a small cafe space downstairs.
Rin - Retail: Ochanomizu
[Open 11am-8pm (Sun -6pm) daily.]
Feeling a bit like a modern-art museum gift shop, Rin offers a well-curated collection of design-conscious goods from around Japan, with an emphasis on traditional craftsmen with a modern aesthetic sensibility. They've put together a good selection...
Souvenir from Tokyo - Retail: Nogizaka
[Open 10am-6pm (Fri -8pm). Closed Tuesdays.]
The name of this shop really doesn't do it justice - more than just a souvenir shop or museum shop, it's actually one of the best design shops in Tokyo. You'll find excellent selections of pottery, glassware, fabrics, paper goods and many other...
Spiral Market - Retail: Marunouchi
[Open 11am-9pm (Sun -8pm) daily.]
One of the many design and lifestyle stores in the Kitte complex, this tiny branch of Spiral Market focuses on housewares and casual gifts, and it seems like a good place to find a tasteful housewarming present or a party gift. The main branch is...

Preserved buildings

Asakura Museum of Sculpture - Art museum: Nippori
[Open 9:30am-4:30pm (last entry 4pm). Closed Mondays, Thursdays.]
The former home and studio of sculptor Fumio Asakura (1883-1964) now houses the museum dedicated to his work. The building, which was designed by Asakura himself, consists of a European-style studio wing with reinforced concrete construction and a...
Hayashi Fumiko Memorial Hall - Museum: Nakai
[Open 10am-4:30pm (last entry 4pm). Closed Mondays.]
The memorial here consists of the preserved house and garden of novelist Fumiko Hayashi (1903-1951), best known for her autobiographical novel "Vagabond's Song" and "Floating Clouds." The house is actually made up of two separate traditional-style...
Kodaira Hirakushi Denchu Art Museum - Art museum: Kodaira-shi
[Open 10am-4pm (last entry 3:30pm). Closed Tuesdays.]
Dozens of works by renowned wood sculptor Hirakushi Denchu (1872-1979) are on display at this dedicated museum. The museum has preserved his former residence and atelier, and most of the works are shown in a newly built annex.
Kyodo no Mori Museum - Park/garden: Fuchu-shi
[Open 9am-5pm (last entry 4pm). Closed Mondays.]
An open-air folk-history museum, Kyodo no Mori houses a number of historical buildings including farmhouses, stores and a townhouse. The main building has exhibition rooms focusing on local history and a large planetarium. The park is also...
Kyu-Iwasaki-tei Garden - Museum: Yushima
[Open 9am-5pm (last entry 4:30pm) daily.]
The former estate of the founder of the Mitsubishi Group, this property is made up of three buildings - a European-style residence and a Swiss-style billiard room designed by British architect Josiah Conder, and a Japanese house designed by master...
Maach Ecute - Shopping complex: Akihabara
[Open 11am-9pm daily.]
This repurposed former train station (Manseibashi, last used in 1943) has been beautifully transformed into a niche shopping complex, housing a handful of upscale interior and design stores, cafes, restaurants and other shops. Part of the original...
Nihon Minka-en - Museum: Mukogaoka Yuen
[Open 9:30am-5pm (last entry 4:30pm). Closed Mondays.]
Also known as the Japan Open-Air Folk House Museum, this sprawling park is home to two dozen old houses that were built between the 17th and 19th centuries. The buildings were transported from various parts of Japan and reconstructed here, and they...
Teien Art Museum - Art museum: Shirokanedai
[Open 10am-6pm (last entry 5:30pm). Closed second and fourth Wednesdays.]
The lovely Art Deco building that houses the Teien Museum was completed in 1933, with interiors designed by Henri Rapin and decorative glass work by Rene Lalique. The beautifully decorated and well-preserved rooms serve as a unique backdrop for the...
Yuzo Yamamoto Memorial Museum - Museum: Mitaka
[Open 9:30am-5pm. Closed Mondays.]
This museum is devoted to the life and works of writer and playwright Yuzo Yamamoto (1887-1974), and is located in the large European-style house where he once lived and worked.
See also our section on notable buildings around Tokyo.