Contemporary arts and culture
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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.

Contemporary art picks

Mori Art Museum - Art museum: Roppongi
[Open 10am-10pm (Tue -5pm). Open every day.]
Here on the 53rd floor of the Mori Tower, museum visitors can enjoy an impressive panoramic view of the city after seeing an exhibition. The space itself is relatively large for Tokyo, and exhibitions are well curated, often featuring Asian as well...
Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo - Art museum: Kiyosumi-Shirakawa
[Open 10am-6pm (enter by 5:30). Closed Mondays.]
One of Tokyo's best art museums, the MOT puts on well-curated exhibitions showcasing international artists, architecture, design and fashion. The permanent collection is also worth a visit, and the museum's cafe and restaurant are above average. ...
Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography - Art museum: Ebisu
[Open 10am-6pm (entry until 5:30pm). Closed Mondays.]
Run by the Tokyo metropolitan government, this first-rate museum showcases both Japanese and international photographers. Around twenty exhibitions a year are held in the museum's three gallery spaces, which reopened in September 2016 after a major...
Tomio Koyama Gallery - Art gallery: Roppongi
[Open 11am-7pm. Closed Sun, Mon.]
This major gallery represents over fifty Japanese and international artists, and occupies an important place in the Japanese contemporary art scene. Represented artists include Benjamin Butler, Atsushi Fukui, Ryan McGinley, Mika Ninagawa, Yoko Ono,...

Art museums

Hara Museum - Art museum: Shinagawa
[Open 11am-5pm (Wed -8pm). Closed Mondays.]
Originally built in 1938 as a private home for businessman Kunizo Hara, the building was converted to use as a museum in 1979. It plays host to five or six yearly exhibitions of contemporary Japanese and international art, as well as lectures and...
Museum of Contemporary Sculpture - Art museum: Naka-Meguro
[Open 10am-5pm. Closed Mondays.]
The work of 56 contemporary Japanese artists is presented on two indoor floors and four spacious outdoor areas, with over 200 pieces in all. There's a small tearoom inside the museum, although it isn't always open. Admission is free - just sign...
National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo - Art museum: Takebashi
[Open 10am-5pm (Fri -8pm). Closed Mondays.]
One of several museums and other attractions located in Kitanomaru Park just across the moat from the Imperial Palace, MOMAT displays an extensive collection spread out over three floors, and is well worth a visit for those with an interest in art. ...
Taro Okamoto Memorial Museum - Art museum: Omotesando
[Open 10am-6pm (enter until 5:30pm). Closed Tuesdays.]
The artist and sculptor Taro Okamoto is known for his iconic, cartoonish and somewhat surrealist large-scale public sculptures. The museum occupies the space that he used as a studio and residence for fifty years, until his death in 1996. Upstairs...
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.
Watarium - Art museum: Gaienmae
[Open 11am-7pm (9pm Wed). Closed Mondays.]
The relatively small exhibition space here hosts exhibitions of contemporary artists from around the world. Attached to the museum is an excellent art bookstore called On Sundays.

Art galleries

3331 Arts Chiyoda - Art gallery: Akihabara
[Open noon-7pm. Closed Mondays, Tuesdays.]
Once a junior high school, this unusual art complex is still furnished with blackboards in some of the former classrooms, which are now used as offices and galleries by more than two dozen artists. The first floor gallery space is the main...
Artcomplex Center of Tokyo - Art gallery: Shinanomachi
[Open 11am-8pm. Closed Mondays.]
Founded in 2007, the art complex comprises six gallery spaces, including a big basement area. Not all the galleries are open all the time, but there's usually something going on on any given day. The ground-floor cafe is open until 6pm, serves...
Nadiff a/p/a/r/t - Bookstore: Ebisu
[Open noon-8pm daily.]
A well-stocked bookstore specializing in contemporary art, photography, architecture and design. After you're done browsing here you can drop in to three or four small contemporary-art galleries that share the building with the bookstore.
SCAI the Bathhouse - Art gallery: Taito-ku
[Open noon-7pm. Closed Sun, Mon.]
Occupying a renovated 200-year-old bathhouse, this cutting-edge gallery represents some of Japan's best-known contemporary artists. The space itself is fairly small, so it's best to combine a visit here with other sights in the neighborhood. Also...
Tokyo Wonder Site Hongo - Art gallery: Ochanomizu
[Open 11am-7pm. Closed Mondays.]
Sponsored by the Tokyo metropolitan government, this branch of Wonder Site introduces the work of up-and-coming young artists in Tokyo. A diverse selection of art is on display in the three floors of galleries, and there's usually something worth...
Tokyo Wonder Site Shibuya - Art gallery: Shibuya
[Open 11am-7pm (enter by 6:30pm). Closed Mondays.]
The gallery's four exhibition rooms often show interesting works by established Japanese and international contemporary artists, including many installation pieces and videos. A bustling coffee shop and roastery in front of the gallery space is...
Vacant - Art gallery: Harajuku
[Open 1-8pm. Closed Mondays.]
Exhibitions here vary widely in content, but tend toward the edgy, underground end of the spectrum. The space is also used for live music and other events. On the ground floor is a bar-cafe with a vegetarian menu and a big shop area selling...

Other venues

ICC (Inter Communication Center) - Attraction: Hatsudai
[Open noon-5pm. Closed Mondays.]
ICC explores the interface between electronic technology and the arts with varying degrees of success. Some of the installations here seem more like cool toys than groundbreaking art, but there's always some fun stuff to look at and play with.
Pit Inn - Jazz club: Shinjuku
[Open 2:30-5, 7:30-10:30pm daily.]
It may be smoky and cramped, but you can hear some of the most interesting local and international jazz in town here.
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...

Art bookstores

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 5 - Bookstore: Hatsudai
[Open 10:45am-7pm (Fri, Sat -8pm). Closed Mondays.]
Run by the NADiff chain of art bookstores, Gallery 5 serves as the museum shop for the Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery. In addition to art books they also carry an interesting selection of experimental music as well as arty toys.
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 their Nogizaka showroom. They specialize in modern architecture and contemporary design, with frequent exhibitions devoted to...
Nadiff Contemporary - Bookstore: Kiyosumi-Shirakawa
[Open 10am-6pm. Closed Mondays.]
The museum shop of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo (MOT) is part of the NADiff chain of art bookstores.
Nadiff Modern - Bookstore: Shibuya
[Open 10am-9pm daily.]
Domestic and imported art books are the specialty at NADiff (the name is short for "New Art Diffusion"), and the collection here covers such diverse genres as photography, architecture, film, theater and music. The shop is attached to the art...
Nadiff a/p/a/r/t - Bookstore: Ebisu
[Open noon-8pm daily.]
A well-stocked bookstore specializing in contemporary art, photography, architecture and design. After you're done browsing here you can drop in to three or four small contemporary-art galleries that share the building with the bookstore.
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.
Shimada Yosho - Bookstore: Omotesando
[Open 11am-8pm daily.]
Despite its ultra-fashionable location nestled among high-priced clothing shops, Shimada feels like a comfortable, old-style browsing bookstore, with narrow aisles and towering shelves piled high with gorgeous large-format coffee-table-suitable...