Art Lover’s Guide to Tokyo
Given Tokyo’s enormity, the city has no shortage of galleries and museums where art lovers can get their fill of Japanese and international art. From galleries at the top of skyscrapers with spectacular city views to low-key venues displaying more-traditional art forms, here are a few of the best.
Mori Art Museum—Art with a View
The Mori Art Museum, on the 53rd floor of the Mori Tower in the Roppongi Hills development, displays contemporary Japanese and other Asian art. It’s attached to the Tokyo City View observation deck, and tickets include entry to both.
Ghibli Museum—For Anime Enthusiasts
The Ghibli Museum is one of the most popular attractions in Tokyo—it’s worth getting your tickets as far ahead as possible to make sure you don’t miss out. The museum displays the work of one of Japan’s most popular anime studios, Studio Ghibli. While fans of such animated films as Spirited Away and My Neighbor Totoro will likely enjoy the Ghibli Museum most, anyone interested in this aspect of contemporary Japanese culture will find this a fun destination.
Tokyo National Museum—Asian Art and Artifacts
One of the oldest and largest collections of art in Japan, the Tokyo National Museum displays a huge collection of Japanese and Asian art (mainly traditional) and artifacts, including archaeological finds. It’s located in the large Ueno Park, which also houses other attractions, such as the Ueno Zoo.
National Museum of Modern Art (MOMAT)—For Regular International Exhibits
MOMAT, located near the Imperial Palace, displays Japanese and Western artists mainly of the 20th century. It’s a particularly good place to go to see temporary exhibits from abroad, as many big-name artists and art movements from around the world are displayed here.
Matsuoka Museum of Art—Ancient Artifacts from Abroad
While the Matsuoka Museum of Art displays some modern art (such as Henry Moore sculptures), most people come to see the ancient art and artifacts, such as Indian Buddhist stone carvings and Chinese ceramics.