Five Must-Visit Art Museums Around Japan | Guidable - Your Guide to a Sustainable, Wellbeing-centred Life in Japan
A person at the art museum

Five Must-Visit Art Museums Around Japan

By Nadira A. Utari Feb 11, 2022

Wondering what you should do on the weekend? Or are you still looking for ideas on how to spend your Valentine’s Day with your loved one? Have you thought of art museums?

An art museum visit would be an option that you can consider as an activity that you can do to spend your weekend, holiday and your special days. In this article, we would like to introduce you to the five art museums around Japan!

Tokyo Metropolitian Teien Art Museum

One corner at the Tokyo Metropolitian Teien Art MuseumCredits: Jassie Liao

Opened in 1983, Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum (東京都庭園美術館) is an art museum that was a former residence of Prince and Princess Asaka in the 1930s. The main attraction of this art museum is its Art Deco-influenced building that is an artistic synergy of French and Japanese designers, architects, and craftsmen at the time. Various exhibitions are being featured in the museum, for example, the Mode Surreal: A Crazy Love for Wearing exhibition that is currently being held. Not only you can marvel at the beauty of the architecture of Prince Asaka’s residence, but you can also visit the beautiful Garden and the newly opened traditional Japanese tea house.

Address: 5-21-9, Shirokanedai, Minato-ku Tokyo, 108-0071
Telephone: +81 (0)3 3443 0201
Opening Hours: 10.00-18.00 (Last admission: 17.30), closed on Mondays

Hakone Open-Air Museum

Glass tower at the Hakone Open-Air Art MuseumCredits: Seiya Kawata

Being the first outdoor art museum in Japan to open, Hakone Open-Air Museum (彫刻の森美術館) offers you the beauty of art and nature at the same time. The incorporation of various sculptures and the outdoor exhibition concept enable the visitors to get a close-up art experience and enjoy different natural sceneries throughout the year as the seasons change. Not sculptures, you can also witness more than 300 works of the famous Picasso. You can have a nice stroll with your loved one, friends, and family surrounded by the greenery and arts.

Address: Ninotaira 1121, Hakone-machi, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa Prefecture 250-0493
Telephone: +81-0460-82-1161
Opening Hours: 9.00 – 17.00, 365 days/year (Last admission: 16.30)

21st Century Museum of Contemporary Arts21st Century Art Museum of Contemporary Arts

Credits: Satoshi Hashimoto

With the concept of “Open Museum”, the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Arts (金沢21世紀美術館) allows its visitors to experience the charm of contemporary arts in the center of Kanagawa City. Its modern architecture that complements the exhibited arts is the museum’s charm point, especially for you who love the concept of modernism and minimalism. Not only that, the use of glass walls inside and outside the museum gives off the feel of openness that will make you feel like being in a very wide space with no walls limiting your vision. Here, you can also go to the Art Library, tea rooms, and a cafe to relax!

Address: 1-2-1 Hirosaka, Kanazawa City, Ishikawa, Japan 920-8509
Telephone: +81-(0)76-220-2800

Opening Hours: 

Exhibition Zone: 10:00 – 18:00 (Open until 20:00 on Fridays and Saturdays, closed on Mondays and New Year Holidays)
Public Zone: 9:00 – 22:00 (Open until 21:00 on Fridays and Saturdays, closed on New Year Holidays)

Otsuka Museum of Art

In the Otsuka Museum of Art (大塚国際美術館), you will get to see the beauty of ceramic arts. Not only just another ceramic art, but the reproduction of famous western artworks like Davinci’s Monalisa, Vincent van Gogh’s Sunflower, and Jan Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring! What makes this art museum even more special is the various exhibition rooms that offer each visitor a breathtaking three-dimensional experience of viewing antique ceiling arts that are commonly seen in European churches–an experience that surely will be unforgettable for you. These exhibition rooms are a must-visit for any art and photography lovers, or even you who want to have great pictures to upload on your SNS page!

Address: 65-1 Tosadomariura Fukuike, Naruto-cho, Naruto-shi, Tokushima 772-0053
Telephone: + 81-88-687-3737
Opening Hours: 9.30 – 17.00 (Last admission: 16.30), closed on Mondays and New Year Holidays

Benesse Art Site Naoshima

art museums around NaoshimaPhoto credits:

Combining the beauty of the islands of Naoshima and art, Benesse Art Site Naoshima (ベネッセアートサイト直島) is a great trip destination for you! Unlike most art museums, this huge art site on the islands of the Seto Inland Sea has the beauty of the island and the local people as their main focus with contemporary art masterpieces to bring that charm out to anyone visiting. You can enjoy various art museums, exhibitions, architectures that are on five different islands! Visiting this site will always be a new experience, even for returning visitors! You can also stay in the beautiful Benesse House during your trip and make precious memories with your friends, family, and loved ones. Before your visit, please make sure to reserve a ticket for any museums you want to visit!

Address: Naoshima, Japan (Access)
Opening hours: Museums closed on Mondays (for more information, here)

Which of These Art Museums in Japan Excites You the Most?

Japan is the best place to experience different cultures and art, from traditional to contemporary arts, and you can experience it in so many art museums around the country. Not only it would be an enriching cultural activity to do, but an art museum visit can also be a great activity idea to spend the day with your friends and family, even with your beloved partner on Valentine’s Day!

Out of these five amazing art museums, which one excites you the most?

Nadira Anamika Utari

More reads:

The Best Tokyo Galleries for Photography Enthusiasts

Featured photo credits: Mihai Surdu (Unsplash)