The Roppongi area in Tokyo is known for its international atmosphere, as well as its nightlife with hundreds of clubs and bars. Roppongi is also known for its art scene. There is a big number of museums and art galleries. Three of the biggest museums of the area form the “Art Triangle Roppongi”: a must-see for every art lover!
The three museums are the Suntory Museum of Art, The National Art Center Tokyo, and the Mori Art Museum. When you draw a line on a map connecting these three museums this will result in a triangle. That is why it’s called „Art Triangle“.
Roppongi Art Triangle Map:
Each museum has its own characteristics and the distance between the museums isn’t far. This is perfect for a “art walk”! (However, if you try to rush through all three museums in one day, it may be a bit tough. You might want to spend some time in the museums^ ^)
Suntory Museum of Art – The Art of every day life
The Suntory Museum of Art is located in the Tokyo Midtown complex that opened in 2007. This museum has its focus on Japanese antique art, but there are also many artworks from different countries, too, such as ceramics and glass. An example of this interesting mixture is an exhibition of European ceramics and glasses of the world which was held this spring. (They also have an English audio guide.)
The museum shop in the entrance area of the Suntory Museum has many items such as beautiful glasses, elegant chopstick rests, and postcards of exhibitions. On the third floor of Tokyo Midtown where the museum is located, there are a lot of shops selling Japanese-style items in a higher priced range. If you are looking for a gift for something special or a very elegant Japanese souvenir, you should give this area a go!
By the way, the Suntory Museum also has a cafe. You can eat desserts like Japanese “Anmitsu” parfait and drink green tea.
The National Art Center, Tokyo – Amazing Architecture!
Even if there is no art exhibition you want to see, it is always a good idea to visit the National Art Center, Tokyo. The famous Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa designed this museum: the building itself is very beautiful.
Actually, this museum also appeared in a recent animated movie called “Your name”. There is the cafe where one of the main characters had a date with his co-worker from his part-time job.
I often come here when I want to relax a little and rest. Also, the art shop on the basement floor is my favorite one out of all museum shops in Tokyo.
Unlike the other national art museums, this museum does not have permanent collections. The characteristic of this facility is that you can always discover new art works at changing exhibitions and other events.
Several big exhibitions will be held this year at the 10th anniversary of the National Art Center, so be sure to check it when you visit Japan!
Mori Art Museum – Modern art of the whole world and panorama of Tokyo set!
The Mori Art Museum is located on the 53rd floor of the skyscraper “Mori Tower” at Roppongi Hills. However, you cannot enter directly from the building. To enter, use the entrance of the “Tokyo City View” on the platform at the foot of Mori Tower.
When you buy a ticket for the Mori Art Museum, you can actually use it to visit the observation deck as well! Thinking that way, it is a really great deal^ ^
(Admission to Mori Arts Center Gallery is an extra charge)
Mori Art Museum is the art museum in Tokyo I have visited the most over the years. Whatever exhibition it is – even if you don’t know the artists yet – you’ll be 100% satisfied. (That’s due to the excellent taste of choice of the museum when picking artists to feature.) The artworks are displayed on the walls, the floor, and ceiling of small rooms and large halls. Especially when there is a huge screen displayed in the hall it’s very impressive.
Recently, the Mori Art Museum allows taking pictures with your digital camera or smartphone (which is very rare). You are free to upload those pictures on your SNS. By doing so, it feels like a whole new way to experience art. Sharing is a way of communication, a kind of rebirth that might even produce a new type of art.
After enjoying the museum, you can overlook the megapolis at the Tokyo City View. There are a cafe and an art shop, …pretty much everything an art-lover needs to spend the whole day!
What’s the conclusion? There is just one thing I have to say: when visiting Tokyo, please check the “Art Triangle Roppongi” information in advance… come to Japan and visit the Art Triangle!
Suntory Museum of Art
10: 00 – 18: 00, Friday & Saturday: 10:00 – 20: 00
9-7-4 Akasaka Minato-ku, Tokyo, 3rd floor of Tokyo Midtown Galleria
From Toei Subway Oedo Line Roppongi Station Exit 8 directly connected
About 3 minutes on foot from Nogisaka Station exit 3 on Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line
The National Art Center Tokyo
10: 00 – 18: 00
(Closed on Tuesday)
7-22-2 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line Nogisaka Station Exit 6 (there is a direct connection to the museum),
It is approximately 4 minutes on foot from Roppongi Station 7 exit of Toei Oedo Line,
About 5 minutes on foot from Tokyo Metro Hibiya line Roppongi station Exit 4a
Mori Art Museum
Monday, Wednesday – Sunday 10: 00 – 22: 00
Tuesday 10: 00 – 17: 00
Roppongi Hills Mori Tower 53F, Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line “Roppongi Station” Exit 1C
Toei Subway Oedo Line “Roppongi Station” Exit 3, 4 minutes on foot