Photography, and especially film photography, have made a considerable comeback in the last few years, despite the huge rise of social media platforms such as Instagram and TikTok that are transforming the way we perceive and value photos day by day.
In Tokyo, you can find a good mix of both smaller and larger photo galleries all around the city. These have helped keep photography alive and well, showcasing the work boh of legends of the photography world as well as helping newcomers with a fresh eye establish themselves.
Best Photography in Tokyo You Can Discover Now
Discover some of the best photo galleries in Tokyo through our selection of galleries that, despite the pandemic and multiple declarations of a state of emergency, are keeping the photography scene vibrant.
Photo Gallery International
Photo Gallery International (PGI) was one of the first galleries dedicated to photographic art that opened in the capital, back in 1979. In 40 years the gallery has hosted exhibitions by both Japanese and international photographers. PGI has a space dedicated to storing photographic materials and prints and also offers services such as photograph matting and framing.
If you go, why not leaf through the beautiful publications available at the shop?
Paper pool is not only a photo gallery but also a darkroom and cafe. There are photo exhibitions being set up continuously within its space and it’s the perfect place for newcomers to the photography world and beginners who want to have a chance to showcase their work in a place where they can potentially meet people who are interested in their work, more easily.
You can even rent the darkroom to develop your monochrome prints!
Totem Pole Photo Gallery
Totem Pole Photo Gallery is an artist-run photo gallery that currently has eleven active members. Members organize exhibitions with their own material but they periodically also try to host events. When they are not holding an exhibition, the Totem Pole Photo Gallery is available to rent to anyone.
Tokyo Photographic Art Museum
Tokyo Photographic Art Museum (TOP Museum) is one of the larger photo galleries in Tokyo. The museum has been running for 26 years and their collection at the moment encompasses over 36,274 works, which range from global rarities to both Japanese and foreign photographic treasures, however, they have also introduced some of the latest works by contemporary artists.
TOP Museum is definitely a bigger and more mainstream gallery than some of the smaller artist-run galleries, but it is definitely worth a visit not only for the high quality and rarity of the works showcased but also for the attention and care through which exhibitions are set up by their curators.
Zen Photo Gallery
Zen Photo Gallery is a space that was established in 2009 with the aim of creating a space to showcase experimental and stimulating photography by Asian photographers, aiming to make space for artists and works that would otherwise rarely be seen.
They also put a lot of dedication into publishing limited edition books that accompany each exhibition which can be also easily found on their online shop.
Photographer’s Gallery is a small gallery in Shinjuku run by members who mostly showcase their own work, but also give a chance to non-members to exhibit here.
The gallery also hosts events and workshops and we recommend that you have a browse of their online shop to check out photo books of the exhibitions that have been held here!
Nadar is more than just a photo gallery as they have dedicated themselves to “all things photography”. Nadar staff created a space where you can interact with photography in multiple ways: you can participate in an exhibition showcasing your own work, you can participate as a spectator or you can participate in one of their workshops or courses to learn more about this amazing and underrated world. Not only is this space used as a gallery, but it also is a photo school. What’s more, it offers framing services and the opportunity to purchase most of the pictures that have been showcased.
Exploring Photography in Tokyo
Photo Credit: canva.com
Tokyo has a wide range of photo galleries showcasing photographers with many different styles. Why not spend next weekend discovering one of Tokyo’s eclectic photo galleries!
Featured Photo Credit: unsplash.com
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