Art museums and galleries
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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.

Art museum and gallery picks

Nezu Museum - Art museum: Omotesando
[Open 10am-5pm (enter until 4:30pm). Closed Mondays.]
Pre-modern art from Japan, China, and other Asian countries is the focus of the collection here, with some 7000 items including painting and sculpture, calligraphy, ceramics and lacquerware. The stunning building was designed by architect Kengo...
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...
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.
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. ...
Taka Ishii Gallery - Art gallery: Roppongi
[Open 11am-7pm. Closed Sundays, Mondays, holidays.]
One of Tokyo's better-known contemporary art galleries, Taka Ishii occupies the third floor of the "complex 665" gallery building in Roppongi. The gallery also regularly publishes art books showcasing their broad roster of artists, and participates...
Terrada Art Complex - Art gallery: Tennozu Isle
[Open 11am-6pm (Fri -8pm). Closed Sundays, Mondays, holidays.]
By assembling several major galleries in one massive warehouse space, Terrada Art Complex has rather successfully pursued their mission of "making Tennoz Isle into a hub of artistic culture." The complex is now an important stop on any contemporary...

Art museums

Bunkamura Museum of Art - Art museum: Shibuya
[Open 10am-7pm (Fri, Sat -9pm; enter by 30 minutes before closing) daily.]
One of the leading art museums in Japan, the museum at Bunkamura puts on several major international shows every year, often introducing masterpieces from foreign musuems.
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...
Meguro Museum of Art - Art museum: Meguro
[Open 10am-6pm. Closed Mondays.]
This small local museum is run by Meguro Ward, and focuses on modern Japanese and contemporary foreign artists, with frequently changing temporary exhibitions.
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 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 Art Center, Tokyo - Art museum: Nogizaka
[Open 10am-6pm. Closed Tuesdays.]
While the museum doesn't have a permanent collection, there are usually several small exhibitions going on at any given time, focusing on ceramics, photography, drawings and paintings. And while you're here, be sure to check out the fantastic...
Ota Memorial Museum of Art - Art museum: Harajuku
[Open 10:30am-5:30pm. Closed Mondays.]
Specializing in ukiyoe (woodblock prints), this three-story museum puts together thematic exhibitions every month showcasing portions of their collection of 12,000 woodblock prints. Around half the prints on display any given month have...
Sumida Hokusai Museum - Art museum: Ryogoku
[Open 9:30am-5:30pm (enter by 5pm). Closed Mondays.]
This lovely museum is devoted to the work of Katsushika Hokusai, Japan's most famous ukiyoe artist, who lived and worked for most of his life here in this traditional neighborhood. The wide-ranging permanent collection provides a good overview of...
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.
Yayoi Kusama Museum - Art museum: Ushigome-Yanigicho
[Open 11am-5pm. Closed Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays.]
Best known internationally for her prolific work with orange polka dots, the avant-garde sculptor, painter and novelist Yayoi Kusama now has a new museum (as of October 2017) devoted to her work and life. There's a lot to see, with closely packed...
Yokohama Museum of Art - Art museum: Yokohama Minato-mirai
[Open 10am-6pm. Closed Thursdays.]
The focus here is primarily on twentieth-century modern art, with works by Dali, Picasso, Cezanne and Magritte as well as notable Japanese artists. Several special exhibitions are held each year. The museum building was designed by Pritzker...

Art galleries

Ando Gallery - Art gallery: Kiyosumi-Shirakawa
[Open 11am-7pm. Closed Sundays, Mondays, holidays.]
This small one-room gallery puts on some interesting shows and installations from their roster of Japanese and international artists. It's worth checking out for a few minutes if you're making a coffee pilgrimage to the Allpress Espresso Roastery...
Artcomplex Center of Tokyo - Art gallery: Shinanomachi
[Open 11am-8pm. Closed Mondays.]
Founded in 2007, this community-oriented art complex comprises six gallery spaces, including a very large basement area. Not all the galleries are open all the time, and not all the exhibitions are equally polished, but there's usually something...
BankArt Studio NYK - Art gallery: Yokohama Bashamichi
[Open 10am-7pm. Closed Thursdays.]
Probably the most important center for contemporary art in Yokohama, the massive BankArt Studio space is run by the government-supported BankArt 1929 arts program as a venue for exhibitions, theatrical and musical performances, and educational...
Bunkamura Gallery - Art gallery: Shibuya
[Open 10am-7:30pm daily.]
Part of the Bunkamura art and culture complex, the ground-floor gallery holds around thirty exhibitions a year in various genres.
Cashi - Art gallery: Bakurocho
[Open 11am-7pm. Closed Mon, Tue, Wed.]
One of our favorite galleries in the thriving Bakurocho area, Cashi (the name means "fahrenheit") represents a diverse range of up-and-coming Japanese artists working in a variety of styles, and often puts on group shows. Founded in 2008, the...
Design Festa Gallery - Art gallery: Harajuku
[Open 11am-8pm daily.]
Sprouting out of the backstreets of Harajuku like some bargain-basement Pompidou Centre is the Design Festa Gallery. If not Tokyo's most avant-garde art space, the gallery - an offshoot of Design Festa (Japan's biggest art and design event, held...
Eitoeiko - Art gallery: Kagurazaka
[Open noon-7pm. Closed Sundays, Mondays.]
Since its debut at the Tokyo Contemporary Art Fair in 2009, the mission of this small gallery has been to showcase work that "treads the boundary between art and non-art," representing an interesting group of both international and Japanese artists....
Eye of Gyre - Art gallery: Harajuku
[Open 11am-8pm daily.]
This small two-room gallery located next to the MOMA Store specializes in contemporary Japanese art, and it's generally worth checking out if you happen to be passing by.
Gallerie Le Monde - Art gallery: Harajuku
[Open noon-8pm (Sun -5pm). Closed Mondays.]
This compact Harajuku gallery is devoted to showcasing the work of Japanese illustrators, and there are generally fresh new shows every week. Much of the work is quite affordably priced, and there are usually postcards and other goods for sale as...
Gallery MoMo Ryogoku - Art gallery: Ryogoku
[Open 11am-7pm. Closed Sundays, Mondays, holidays.]
Consisting of two large gallery spaces and a small library nook where you can look over artists' scrapbooks, MoMo puts on regular shows of their mostly Japanese contemporary artists. They also take part in international art fairs in Basel, Miami...
Gallery Niw - Art gallery: Edogawabashi
[Open 10am-6pm. Closed Mondays.]
This small, three-room rental gallery has frequent short-running group shows of up-and-coming Japanese artists and art students. Although the space is small, there are a number of other galleries in the immediate neighborhood, so this can be one...
Hiromart Gallery - Art gallery: Edogawabashi
[Open 1-7pm. Closed Mondays, Tuesdays.]
This local gallery puts on regular shows of up-and-coming international artists in their compact one-room exhibition space. It can be combined with visits to the nearby Gallery Niw and other galleries in neighborhing Kagurazaka, but you might want...
Makii Masaru Fine Arts - Art gallery: Asakusabashi
[Open noon-7pm. Closed Mondays.]
With multiple small showrooms spread out over two rather compact floors, Makii Masuru is a bit more spacious than most of the galleries in the area, and hosts some interesting group shows of international artists. They're located just north of the...
Megumi Ogita Gallery - Art gallery: Ginza
[Open 11am-7pm. Closed Sundays, Mondays, holidays.]
Manga, anime, toys and other aspects of pop culture are the inspiration for many of the shows at this international gallery. The exhibition area is comfortably spacious and can accommodate fairly large shows. As with all independent galleries,...
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...
ShugoArts - Art gallery: Roppongi
[Open 11am-7pm. Closed Sundays, Mondays, holidays.]
This influential gallery represents artists Ilya Kabakov, Jan Fable, Tomoko Yoneda, and Naofumi Maruyama. The relatively spacious two-room gallery is located in the "complex 665" gallery building, along with Tomio Koyama and Taka Ishii. All three...
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...
Tomio Koyama Gallery - Art gallery: Roppongi
[Open 11am-7pm. Closed Sundays, Mondays, holidays.]
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,...
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...

Architecture

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...
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 their 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.

Photography

Kanzan Gallery - Art gallery: Bakurocho
[Open 11am-7:30pm. Closed Mondays.]
Produced by the Japan Photo Arts Society, Kanzan puts on exhibitions of contemporary photography and other art. They have different guest curators for each show in order to present work from a variety of different perspectives. And be sure to...
Tokyo Photographic Art Museum (TOP) - 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. A branch of Nadiff bookstore, located on the...
Totem Pole Photo Gallery - Art gallery: Yotsuya 3-chome
[Open noon-7pm. Closed Mondays.]
Open since 2008, this contemporary photography gallery runs a program of frequent regular exhibitions, usually lasting a week or two, of member artists.

Ceramics and crafts

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...
Crafts Gallery, National Museum of Modern Art - Art museum: Takebashi
[Open 10am-5pm. Closed Mondays.]
Run by the nearby National Museum of Modern Art, the small gallery focuses on early and mid twentieth-century crafts. The six gallery rooms are filled with gorgeous ceramics and lacquerware, room-divider screens, metalwork and fabrics. The museum...
Hatakeyama Museum - Museum: Takanawadai
[Open April-Sept 10am-5pm; Oct-March 10am-4:30pm (enter by 30 minutes before closing). Closed Mondays.]
Antique ceramics and items related to the tea ceremony are the focus of this small facility. Everything is from the private collection of rich industrialist and tea-ceremony devotee Issei Hatakeyama, including 33 pieces that have been designated as...
Japan Folk Crafts Museum - Museum: Komaba-Todaimae
[Open 10am-5pm (enter by 4:30pm). Closed Mondays.]
If you are looking for a tranquil relic of old Tokyo, the Japan Folk Crafts Museum (Nihon Mingei-kan) is for you. This tiny but enchanting museum, hidden away in peaceful Komaba, displays folk crafts (mingei) from all over Japan. The founder,...
Musee Tomo - Art museum: Kamiyacho
[Open 10am-6pm. Closed Mondays.]
Tomo Kikuchi has assembled one of the best collections of contemporary Japanese ceramic art in the world, including works by many recognized master potters, and her collection is still growing with the addition of newly added pieces each year. ...
Taimeiken Kite Museum - Museum: Nihonbashi
[Open 11am-5pm. Closed Sundays.]
A visit to Nihonbashi's Taimeiken Kite Museum feels a bit like stepping into the attic of an eccentric old man. The room is a tangled heap of color and string, requiring you to duck under and step around the hundreds of kites that couldn't fit...
Toguri Museum of Art - Art museum: Shibuya
[Open 9:30am-5:30pm (enter by 5pm). Closed Mondays.]
The museum's impressive 7000-piece collection focuses on ancient Chinese, Japanese and Korean ceramics, although it includes some modern works as well. They put on four thematic shows per year, but unfortunately with only three small exhibit rooms...