Home > Japan In-depth > Exotic Experience > A Heart for Art

A Heart for Art

Exotic Experience

Not so long ago, any mention of Japanese art almost invariably referred to ukiyoe, kimono, tea ceremonies, flower arrangements or other aspects of traditional culture. These days, however, Japan is perhaps more famous for its anime and manga, and great works of Japanese contemporary art are increasingly popular all over the world.

What follows here is only a brief introduction to a handful of museums and galleries, but there are many, many more. In cities like Tokyo and Kyoto it is also pleasant just to stroll around and search out all the smaller galleries.

Some Noteworthy Museums and Galleries

The charm of Japan is by no means limited to its traditional culture, but extends to the leading edge of contemporary culture, such as fashion, anime and of course art. Art is nourishment for the soul, and training your eye to appreciate art is a way of enjoying contemporary life to the fullest. Here, we have picked up some museums that are attracting particular attention thanks to their original activities.

Last entry at most museums is 30 minutes before closing time.
Also note that many museums are closed between exhibitions.

Traditional Japanese arts for the modern mind

Here are some museums that strive to preserve Japan’s traditional arts and crafts, but also to exhibit them with a contemporary sensibility. This might be a chance to discover fascinating aspects of Japanese culture that you had no idea even existed.

One of the pleasures when you visit a museum is all the clever and interesting items you can find in the gift shop, which make for unique souvenirs as well.

Art Event Highlights

Recently, exciting art events are held all over Japan at various times of the year. Many of them actively try to revitalize the region by making the most of the local culture and environment. Note that some of these events are not held every year, so make sure to check the schedule before you set out.