Tokyo doesn't only have famous art galleries and museums, there are also many unique galleries. Here is a selection of 5 that are particularly recommended.
The JP Tower is ust outside the Tokyo Station Marunouchi south exit. This place is known as a historical building that represents Showa era modernism and is the former site of the Tokyo Central Post Office. The 2nd and 3rd floor of the building was renovated into a museum space and the collaboration “Intermediatheque” (IMT) was born between the Japan Postal Corporation Ltd. and the University Museum, the University of Tokyo. In here, the University of Tokyo has a permanent exhibition of animal skeleton specimens, stuffed and mounted animals, minerals and other valuable scientific cultural property accumulated since 1877. Virtually everything on display in the cases and cabinets is used for educational and research purposes giving the exhibition room an air of importance and dignity. The beautifully displayed specimens in the classic-style room are so much like works of art, you will instinctively sigh in wonder at their beauty. It is a recommended spot for stirring up the imagination and satisfying the intellectual curiosity of the visitors.
2. Ginza Maison Hermès Forum
The well-established French fashion brand Hermès has an art space called “Ginza Maison Hermès Forum” on the on the 8th floor of their largest Japanese flagship store Hermès Ginza. The characteristic facade of the building that seems to be encased in a glass block was based off the design of global architect Renzo Piano. Renzo Piano himself refers to it as a “magic lantern” and when night falls, the building shines faintly, illuminating the streets of Ginza. The inside of the gallery has a high ceiling and soft light filters through the glass block giving a wide, open image. While the space is a bit small, the impeccable attention to detail and the high quality exhibitions will cause you to forget the confusion of everyday life and give you great value for your time. The window display on the 1st floor also has various style installations so have a look at that too!
3. POLA MUSEUM ANNEX
The cosmetics maker POLA which established in 1929, has actively supported the culture and fine art sectors since its establishment in order to help realize the beauty that comes from inner fulfilment. Through managing art museums, providing overseas training for young artists, and providing assistance in every area of international exchange that relates to the fine arts, they have broadened the horizons of the fine art field and contributed to the development of Japanese culture. Their culture space POLA MUSEUM ANNEX operates under the concept of 3 fine things: fine form, fine art, and fine food. It is located on the 3rd floor of the POLA Ginza building and in the hopes that visitors can experience art freely, they hold exhibitions up to 10 times a year. From items in the POLA collection to modern art, the diverse fields featured in the exhibition really give you a sense of their strong commitment and attention to beauty and aesthetics. This is a recommended spot for women who are well attuned to beauty as well as people who usually don’t have much of an affinity towards the arts and fine art.
A look at the exhibition “teamLab Exhibition, Walk Through the Crystal Universe” that was held from August 21st to September 27th, 2015.
4. NTT Intercommunication Center (ICC)
The NTT InterCommunication Center is a cultural facility that opened in 1997 in Shinjuku’s Tokyo Opera Tower to commemorate Japan’s 100th year anniversary of phone service in 1990. Since its opening with the theme of “communication” as the focus, they have promoted the unification of science, technology and the arts. They aim to be a hub of information exchange that links science and art and in addition to exhibiting media art made using state of the art electronic technology like computers, they also hold various events like talks from exhibition artists, performances, workshops and more. In addition, the HIVE archives on the 5th floor have records and clips from 1997 till now that you can view. People who want to experience stimulating, cutting-edge art should definitely pay a visit here.
Located in Tokyo’s trendy epicenter Aoyama, SPIRAL is a complex that opened in 1985 with the concept of “uniting daily life and art”. What SPIRAL considers art comprises of artistic activities like modern art, theatrical plays, dance, music etc., to things like food, beauty, houseware, things that resound with people's’ hearts and bodies and are tied to inner fulfillment. Throughout the year, in addition to modern art exhibitions, performances, concerts, art festivals etc., they also help create networks between domestic and foreign artists and creators and have various programs aimed at the public. What really shows SPIRAL’s concept however is the spiral garden space which from the entrance, passes through a cafe, a gallery and connects to the 2nd floor. There are no walls separating them so it’s possible to appreciate the artwork in the adjacent gallery while drinking tea at the cafe. It’s a perfect spot for those who want to feel close to art and enjoy it in a relaxed way.
The “Ayashi no Interior” exhibition that was held from December 12th - 14th, 2014.
There are still so many galleries in Tokyo that will satisfy our intellectual curiosity. You will also be happy to know that the facilities mentioned here are mostly free, so try taking a tour of Tokyo’s galleries.
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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