Pic: Gregory Lane


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Art in Tokyo

Whether you prefer traditional exhibitions, art festivals, magical museums or awe-inspiring street sculptures, Tokyo has the art scene covered—and at a far more reasonable price than most capital cities.

Home to four exceptional primary art galleries, there is no shortage of exhibitions and permanent collections to visit, often for free. The National Museum of Modern Art (MOMAT) is the place to go for all things creative as it not only holds great exhibitions with a strong permanent collection, but it is also home to the National Film Center and Craft Gallery. With MOMAT free on the 1st Sunday of every month and the National Museum of Western Art free on the 2nd and 4th, you’ll be spoiled for cheap choices.

If traditional exhibitions aren’t for you, the immersive Studio Ghibli Museum is a wonderful adventure into the imagination of Miyazaki and includes a screening of short films shown nowhere else in the world. If you prefer your art with a breeze and some sun, the options for street art ranging from sculptures to graffiti are endless. Take a walk along the river near Tokyo Tower to see the GTS project’s 12 contemporary pieces or hunt down the works of prestigious artists Taro Okamoto and George Rhoads which are scattered across the city. Miyazaki’s “Really LARGE Clock” is also wonder to behold, with giant spiders and at least two towering Godzillas also worth spotting. And don’t forget some of the most impressive works of art come in building form—a half-day walking tour in Omotesando is all you need to see some epic architecture.

Check out our mega-guide to the galleries in Tokyo for more!