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Three Museums You Can Walk To From Roppongi Station

Three Museums You Can Walk To From Roppongi Station

Tokyo 2015.12.21 Bookmark

Roppongi is an area filled with style and sophistication. This article features three unique museums located within walking distance from Roppongi Station.

Translated by Shinji Takaramura

Written by Ai Yoneda

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Roppongi, Tokyo, is famous for the number of well-known clothing shops, flagships of renowned brands, foreign embassies, and expensive condominiums that fill its streets. It has a "high society" image, but it is also a town of art. There are many public works of art on the streets, and a few museums are located in this area too. In this article, we will introduce museums located within walking distance from Roppongi Station.

Mori Art Museum

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Mori Art Museum is located on the 53rd floor of the Roppongi Hills Mori Tower. It boasts the highest location among other Japanese museums. It is one of the facilities of the Mori Arts Center, and hosts exhibitions mainly regarding contemporary art, along with fashion, architecture, design, photography, and visual arts.

This museum was designed by Richard Gluckman, who was also in charge of the renovation and addition at the Whitney Museum of American Art in the United States, and the design of the Deutsche Guggenheim in Germany. The two escalators smartly placed at the museum entrance look impressive.

Mori Art Museum often host exhibitions of artists from overseas, and avid fans waiting for the Japanese exhibition rush to the museum, so it tends to get crowded on weekends. In the past, works by the nineteenth-century artist Alfons Mucha, and horror-movie director Tim Burton were introduced here.

The museum is open until 10:00pm, so a late-night visit is possible. It might be fun to view contemporary art after shopping.

National Art Center, Tokyo

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The glass-encased, unique National Art Center, Tokyo, stands out in Roppongi, where there are many high-rise towers. It has three floors above ground and one floor underground, and boasts the largest exhibition space in Japan.

The National Art Center hosts special exhibitions based on a specific theme, and exhibitions with works solicited from the general public, which are judged and awarded. There are also exhibitions with works on loan from internationally renowned museums.

This museum also hosts exhibitions of Japanese designers, and exhibitions of award-winning works from the Japan Arts Media Festival, so the visitors are able to observe the trend in the domestic arts scene.

The museum has a cafe, restaurant, and a shop inside, along with the barrier-free design. It is equipped with 10 multi-purpose restrooms. Also, wheelchairs and walking sticks can be borrowed, making the museum available to everyone.

At the National Art Center, Tokyo, the visitors will be able to trace the history of Japanese art.

Suntory Museum of Art

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For those who want to learn about Japanese culture and its history, Suntory Museum of Art is the place to go. The museum is specialized in Japanese art, and visitors can view, listen, feel, and experience various artworks.

The museum's collection consists of ancient Japanese paintings, ceramic wares, and textiles. Visitors can appreciate the sumi (India ink) paintings on the byobu (a folding screen used as a windbreak in ancient Japanese houses, and recently used for decoration in modern houses), up close.

Workshops regarding the ongoing exhibitions and lectures about Japanese art are held infrequently, so visitors from abroad can learn about the artworks. Also, tencha (the preparation of powdered tea) workshops are held regularly on the sixth floor of the museum.

The museum shop has mugs and towels with traditional Japanese patterns, which make for ideal souvenirs. The cafe offers Japanese-style dishes and desserts such as matcha-flavored parfait, so the visitors can have a taste of Japan as well.

The rental audio guides for the exhibitions are available in both Japanese and English, so visitors from abroad can use them as well. The Suntory Museum of Art is located inside Tokyo Midtown, and is easy to find. By the way, if you wear a kimono to an exhibition, 100 yen will be deducted from the normal admission fee.

Free Art

Besides these museums, Roppongi offers places where you can appreciate artworks for free. For example, Louise Bourgeois' bronze spider, placed at the entrance of the Roppongi Hills, has become famous as its symbol.

This is titled "Chair That Disappears in the Rain," by Tokujin Yoshioka. There are a total of 21 commissioned artworks by renowned artists in Roppongi Hills. Visitors can not only appreciate them for free, but they can touch and enjoy them as well.

See Roppongi: A Town Filled with Public Art for more of these works.

Visiting museums while traveling is one of the ways to enjoy the trip, so if you visit Roppongi, try and immerse yourself in Japanese art.

Information

Mori Art Museum
Address: Tokyo, Minato-ku, Roppongi 6-10-1, Roppongi Hills
Hours: Mondays, Wednesdays-Sundays 10:00am - 10:00pm; Tuesdays 10:00am - 5:00pm. Open 365 days
Credit Cards: VISA, MASTER, JCB, American Express, Diners Club cards
Nearest Station: Roppongi Station (Toei Subway Oedo Line, Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line)
Access: Directly connected to the concourse from exit 1C of the Hibiya Line Roppongi Station; 4 minute walk from exit 3 of the Oedo Line Roppongi Station
Admission: Differs according to the exhibition
Phone number: +81-3-5777-8600
Website: Mori Art Museum

National Art Center, Tokyo
Address: Tokyo, Minato-ku, Roppongi 7-22-2
Hours: 10:00am - 6:00pm
Closed: Tuesdays
Credit Cards: VISA, MASTER, JCB, American Express, Diners Club cards
Language: Differs according to the exhibition
Nearest Stations: Nogizaka Station (Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line); Roppongi Station (Toei Subway Oedo Line, Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line)
Access: Directly connected to exit 6 of Nogizaka Station; 4 minute walk from exit 7 of the Oedo Line Roppongi Station, or 5 minute walk from exit 4a of the Hibiya Line Roppongi Station
Admission: Differs according to the exhibition.
Phone number: +81-3-5777-8600
Website: National Art Center, Tokyo

Suntory Museum of Art
Address: Tokyo, Minato-ku, Akasaka 9-7-4, Tokyo Midtown
Hours: Sundays-Thursdays 10:00am - 6:00pm; Fridays and Saturdays 10:00am - 8:00pm
Closed: Tuesdays
Credit Cards: VISA, MASTER, JCB, American Express, Diners Club cards
Language: Japanese and English
Nearest Station: Roppongi Station (Toei Subway Oedo Line, Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line)
Access: Directly connected to exit 8 of the Oedo Line Roppongi Station; directly connected to the concourse of the Hibiya Line Roppongi Station
Admission: -
Phone Number: +81-3-3479-8600
Website: Suntory Museum of Art

The information presented in this article is based on the time it was written. Note that there may be changes in the merchandise, services, and prices that have occurred after this article was published. Please contact the facility or facilities in this article directly before visiting.

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