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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Contemporary art galleries in Tokyo – Let's Tokyo about Art
Joanna James Joanna James
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Contemporary art galleries in Tokyo – Let's Tokyo about Art

The capital of Japan has among its many historic and culturally significant sights, a little something to offer to lovers of art as well. Here are 5 contemporary art galleries an art lover must visit!


Hara Museum of Contemporary Art

Hara Museum is an enchanting artistic hideaway located behind monotonous office buildings of Shinagawa-ku. The serene gardens and curved walls of the modernist residence houses permanently installed collections from artistic legends like Tatsu Miyajima and Nara Yoshitomo. The museum also provides a space for world-famous artists to showcase their work. Hara Museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday between 11am and 5pm and stays open until 8pm on Wednesdays; entry tickets cost Y1000.


Mori Art Museum

Mori Art Museum, located on top of a 54-storey skyscraper in Roppongi, is the metaphorical giant of the Tokyoite art, and the one gallery you should not miss out on during your art tour! The museum hosts numerous, diverse, themed exhibitions and shows that range from cerebral to eccentric, their website provides information on current exhibitions and show times. The museum is open from 10am to 10pm daily but closes at 5pm on Tuesdays. Ticket prices vary and can also be found on their website. Don't forget to go out onto observation deck once you're done exploring the museum, the breathtaking, 360-degree, panoramic view of the Tokyo the deck provides is unrivalled.


Mizumi Art Gallery

Mizumi art gallery houses a unique form of art. The gallery is home to artists who create distinctive images of fantasy by drawing on the aesthetics of traditional Nihonga painting. One such work installed at the gallery includes a piece created by Akira Yamaguchi that depicts 19th-century battle scenes where the soldiers ride horses with motorcycles for bodies. The gallery also proudly showcases the controversial and provocative works of Makoto Aida, a world renowned Japanese artist, whose paintings tackle sensitive social issues such as violent nationalism and sexual objectification of school girls. Mizumi Art Gallery is located in Shinjuku-ku and is open from Tuesday to Saturday between 11am and 7pm.


Wako Works of Art

Located adjacent to the Mori Art Museum is Wako Works of Art. The gallery features works that demonstrate a high-minded, unique and creative conceptualism and houses pieces from famous artists including Fiona Tan, Joan Jonas, Wolfgang Tillmans, Gerhard Richter and Shizuka Yokomizo. The gallery is open from Tuesdays to Saturdays between 11am and 7pm. Wako Works and Mori Art Museum are both located in the Roppongi entertainment district, which is home to the head offices of numerous international companies, as well as, a great number of restaurants, bars and clubs. The area is extremely accessible and is a close distance from many hotels and Tokyo service apartments such as the Somerset Azabu East Tokyo.


Watari Museum of Contemporary Art

Watari Museum of Contemporary Art, also known as Watari-um, is located in Shibuya-ku – one of Tokyo's wealthier neighbourhoods. The museum features an unconventional, impressive and diverse collection of art that includes offbeat videos, photographs and drawings by Tam Ochiai and pioneering street photography by Katsumi Watanabe. The museum basement houses one of Tokyo's best art bookshops, called 'On Sundays', where limited-edition, vintage photo books are sold. Watari-um is open from Tuesdays to Sundays between 11am and 7pm and stays open until 9pm on Wednesdays. Entrance tickets cost Y1000.

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