Post: Monday May 26, 2014
You may or may not be aware but the Roppongi neighborhood is home to a thriving arts community, center-pieced by what is collectively known as the Roppongi Art Triangle. While there are other art displays around Roppongi, the three corners of the Triangle, the National Art Center, Tokyo, the Suntory Museum of Art, and Mori Art Museum, are the best value for your money. Let's do a little exploring and find out what can be seen!
The National Art Center is unmistakable, with its gorgeous glass facade designed by renowned architect Kisho Kurokawa. It is one of five art institutions maintained by the national government and unlike many other art museums, has no permanent exhibits. This allows it to maintain a regular rotation of new and innovative exhibitions along with its mission of serving as a center for education and the dissemination of information about modern and contemporary art in Japan.
The current exhibition is The Power of Images: The National Museum of Ethnology Collection, and a collection by Nakamura Kazumi.
Getting there: Take the Tokyo Metro to Nogizaka station and enter directly.
The museum is open everyday except Tuesday from 10 am to 6 pm.
The Suntory Museum of Art is located in the Tokyo Midtown complex. The museum was designed by Kengu Kura and is based on the concept of Japanese modernism and combines traditional and contemporary elements in its interior and exterior construction. Like the NATC, it maintains no permanent exhibits, though it does have a collection focused on “Life in Art,” containing over 3000 articles closely connected to Japanese life and these pieces often appear in primary exhibits. The museum also has a traditional Japanese tea room where you can observe the full tea ceremony (1,000 yen admittance; every second Thursday at 1, 2, and 3 pm; no reservation required).
Getting there: Take the Tokyo Metro to Roppongi station and access the museum directly from exit 8.
The museum is open daily except Tuesdays from 10 am to 8 pm.
The third corner of the Roppongi Art Triangle is the Mori Art Museum, located on the 53rd floor of Mori Tower in Roppongi Hills. While the museum is unfortunately closed at present due to preparations for a new exhibit, it re-opens on 5/30/14, so plan to visit soon after. Entry to this museum offers the added benefit of the “Tokyo City View” so don't miss it when you visit.
Getting there: Take the Tokyo Metro to Roppongi station and take the Roppongi Hills exit.
Under normal circumstances, the museum is open daily 10 am to 10 pm except Tuesdays from 10 am to 5 pm.
The best way to visit the Roppongi Art Triangle is using the “ATRo Saving” pass. The three museums have partnered to encourage art appreciation by offering discounted entrance when you present an entrance ticket stub from any one of the three museums. Make sure to take advantage of it and see all the art that the Roppongi neighborhood has to offer!
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