Translated by Yuko Perry
Hara Museum of Contemporary Art - Where Art and Food Converge At Café d'Art
Written by Marina Wada
Are you a self-professed art lover and foodie? At the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo's Shinagawa district, modern art and delectable food converge at Café d'Art: the museum's cafe. Why not make a date to dine at this stylish cafe that turns contemporary artworks into edible masterpieces?
If you'd like to check out some contemporary artworks while visiting Tokyo, we would highly recommend visiting the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art. Located on a quiet residential street in Shinagawa, this building was originally a home built in 1938. It was later renovated and opened as a museum focused on contemporary art in 1979. The moment you step inside this sleek gallery, you'll forget that you're in a bustling metropolitan area.
Highlights at the Hara Museum
Inside the museum, you can see famous contemporary artworks on display during regular exhibitions or its permanent collection that features Yasumasa Morimura's "Rondo" and Jean-Pierre Raynaud "L'Espace Zero"—all while enjoying the building's beautiful interior. In particular, the installation by Yoshitomo Nara titled "My Drawing Room" on the 2nd floor is a must see. This Nara installation will give you a better understanding of the world of Japanese contemporary art.
"My Drawing Room" by Yoshitomo Nara since August 2004. Photo courtesy of graf, Photo by Hirotaka Yonekura
There are also many lectures, talks, concerts and live performance art hosted by prominent artists and curators. Pease refer to the official website for the most up-to-date information before visiting.
Hara Museum's Original "Image Cake"
You should also make a stop for a snack at the museum's Café d'Art.
As sunlight shines through the cafe's windows, you'll begin to feel refreshed as you gaze out on the lush courtyard garden in front of the eatery. This serene scenery is especially relaxing after admiring a myriad of artworks. Just pop in and unwind here.
Café d'Art has an extensive lunch menu. I personally recommend the Special Lunch Set A: a luxurious and hefty plate that comes with an appetizer, main dish, and side of bread. Because the menu varies seasonally, you can enjoy a wide variety of dishes throughout the year.
However, one dish you cannot miss here is the "Image Cake." This original and acclaimed cake has been fashioned in the image of one of the artworks featured during a special exhibition. These distinct and delectable cakes are only available during the museum's exhibition periods and at this cafe.
This photo is an Image Cake from the summer 2014: a clock by Ryosuke Imamura from the exhibition Art Scope 2012-2014 – Remains of Their Journeys. Your day at the museum will be made even more memorable if you order an Image Cake after viewing some incredible artworks.
Once you've finished your cake, it would be a great idea to take a walk through the gorgeous courtyard. There are more artworks located outside, so you can come across some fantastic works just by walking around.
After immersing yourself in the world of contemporary art, why not muse over your favorite works of art at Café d'Art?