Tokyo is a true cultural hub that offers endless options for art museums and galleries. While it’s always nice to have new places to go, the sheer number of facilities to be found in this metropolis makes it easy to miss some fantastic exhibits. This article will introduce five of Tokyo’s lesser-known museums and art galleries that you should definitely stop by when you’re in the city.
Whether you’re an artist or just trying to find a place to spend your weekend afternoons, the Tokyo Museum Grutto Pass is also something to consider for anyone on a budget. The Tokyo Museum Grutto Pass is a convenient annual ticket book that offers free admission tickets, plus discount coupons to 99 museums and other facilities in the Tokyo area for just ¥2,500. More information here.
Tokyo Station Gallery
Founded in 1988, Tokyo Station Gallery was added to Tokyo Station’s Marunouchi Building as a facility where people could gather to enjoy art and culture at one of Tokyo’s busiest stations. the city. It now offers rotating exhibits that feature both traditional Japanese and Western artwork. Additionally, a panoramic view of Tokyo Station can be enjoyed from the second floor of the museum. You’ll also find a permanent exhibit showcasing the history of the museum and the station as well as a gift shop with a range of Tokyo Station-themed items.
1-9-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku
10 a.m. to 6 p.m. * Friday until 8 p.m.
Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum
The Teien Art Museum stands out among the many museums in Tokyo. Designed in an Art Deco style heavily influenced by France, it once served as the residence of Prince Asaka and his family. Inside the museum you will find glass doors, chandeliers and marble staircases. In its park, there is both a traditional Japanese garden and a European-style garden adorned with statues and fountains. Also designated as one of Japan’s Important Cultural Properties in 2015, this museum is located a seven-minute walk from Meguro Station. With architecture being one of its main strengths, various exhibitions of art deco and western art are held throughout the year.
5-21-9 Shirokanedai, Minato-ku
10 a.m. to 6 p.m. * Closed on Mondays
The Nezu Museum has many exhibits focusing on pre-modern Japanese and East Asian art. Many of the artworks found in this museum once belonged to Nezu Kaichiro, the former president of Tobu Railway. After his death in 1940, Kaichiro’s son opened the Nezu Museum to preserve the impressive collection, which started with 4,642 works and now numbers over 7,400. Another highlight is the Nezu Cafe located in the garden traditional japanese setting. Relax with a coffee and sweets while taking in the beauty of the surrounding nature. Located a short walk from Omotesando Station, this is a recommended museum for those looking to immerse themselves in Japanese culture.
6-5-1 Minamiaoyama, Minato-ku
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. * Closed on Mondays
Ota Memorial Art Museum
Ota Memorial Museum of Art displays a range of works centered on the ukiyo e kind. Ukiyo-e is a Japanese artistic genre that appeared in the 18and century and depicts the lifestyle of common people during the Edo period. The museum’s collection has 14,000 works of art, about 12,000 of which once belonged to the late Seizo Ota, the former president of the Toho Insurance Company. Easily accessible from Shibuya station, many rotating and permanent exhibitions are to be discovered throughout the year in a traditional Japanese atmosphere. Learn about Japanese culture through exquisite woodblock prints and nikihitsu-ga (hand-painted ukiyo-e works).
1-10-10 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku
10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. * Closed on Mondays
Tokyo Museum of Photographic Art
Founded by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the Tokyo Museum of Photographic Art houses thousands of fine art photographs, photographic videos, and photographic reference materials from Japan and around the world. It showcases a wide range of works that have had a cultural impact and pushed the artistic boundaries of photography. You can find this museum just a short walk from Ebisu Station at Yebisu Garden Place. It’s also free and open to the public, so take your time browsing through the extensive collection of photography books and magazines available.
1-13-3 Mita, Meguro-ku
10 a.m. to 6 p.m. * Thursdays and Fridays until 8 p.m. Closed on Mondays.
Countermeasures against Covid-19
Please check each location beforehand to see if there have been any changes to hours of operation or services available.