5 Tokyo Area Art Exhibitions – New Ideas and Cultural Understanding | Guidable - Your Guide to a Sustainable, Wellbeing-centred Life in Japan

5 Tokyo Area Art Exhibitions – New Ideas and Cultural Understanding

By Guidable Writers Aug 24, 2017

As you know, Japan is famous for its unique culture. And it cannot be denied that art is integral when discussing culture. Some of you may have come to Japan hoping to learn more about Japanese art and would like to understand it further. The best strategy is, of course, to visit museums, exhibitions, etc., and experience the art with your own eyes.

So here is a list of events for people interested in Japanese art, in and around Tokyo. Check out these events to deepen your interest and knowledge!



1. Yokohama Triennale 2017 (ヨコハマトリエンナーレ2017)

(Image: Yokohama Triennale official Twitter)


Yokohama Triennale is an international art exhibition held in Yokohama once every three years. Some specialists from different fields discussed issues occurring on the world stage, and came to“Islands, Constellations and Galapagos” as the theme for this year, 2017 being the sixth year of the event.

“Connectivity and Isolation” is the concept of this exhibition. It will give you an opportunity to rethink global issues such as immigration and the refugee crisis. The exhibition consists of artwork by not only Japanese artists, but artists from all over the world. Your knowledge and ideas will be broadened further by their outstanding work.


【Exhibition Dates】

August 4 – November 5, 2017 (closed on Aug. 10, 24 / Sep. 14, 28 / Oct. 12, 26)

【Open hours】

10:00 – 18:00

Open until 20:30 on Oct. 27, 28, 29 / Nov. 2, 3, 4 *Admission until 30 minutes before closing time


Yokohama Museum of Art

Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse No.1

Yokohama Port Opening Memorial Hall (Basement) and others.

【Official HP】




2. The Japanese House : Architecture and Life after 1945

(image: The National Museum of Modern Art official HP/ Sou Fujimoto, House NA, 2011 © Iwan Baan)


This is an art exhibition which I recommend to people who study Japanese architecture. The exhibition was held in London and Rome in Autumn of last year, and launched in Japan in this year. 56 groups of Japanese architects got involved this exhibition, and they used more than 400 elements including photographs, videos, plans and models, to introduce 75 houses to show characteristics of Japanese houses. You can also attain deeper understanding about the history of the Japanese houses, which has radically changed through the post-war years.


【Exhibition Dates】

July 19 – October 29, 2017 (closed: Mondays…except September 18 and October 9, 2017 and September 19 and October 10, 2017)

【Open hours】

10:00-17:00( Friday and Saturday is 10:00-21:00 )*Last admission : 30 minutes before closing.


Art Museum Special Exhibition Gallery

【Official HP】




3. ARAKI Nobuyoshi: Sentimental Journey 1971-2017-

(image: Tokyo Photographic Art Museum official Twitter )


This is a limited photograph exhibition presented by a Japanese photographer, Araki Nobuyoshi to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Tokyo Photographic Art Museum. Araki has brought photographs capturing his beloved wife, Yoko across the world through his life as a photographer in this exhibition. He mentioned his wife as the reason he has worked as a photographer. This exhibition looks into the focus on his wife as the main subject for his work. You will be informed by how important his wife was for him and his precious work through this exhibition. Moreover, this exhibition might lead you to find out more about life in Japan from the 70s to the 90s.


【Exhibition Dates】

July 25 – September 24, 2017 (closed: Monday, if Monday is a national holiday or an observed holiday, the following day will be closed.)

【Open hours】

10:00 – 21:00. Last entry must be 30 minutes before closing.


Tokyo Photographic Art Museum

【Official HP】





(image: 21_21 DESIGN SIGHT official HP)

The venue 21_21 DESIGN SIGHT holds a program titled “HOW FAR WILL YOU GO?”, and it is certainly a place to spend your free time if you are willing to pick up some ideas about design. This program focuses on what people see in their daily life through the perspective of design. Currently, their program shows some extraordinary projects, like the design of a balloon with a capacity of 500 people. You will be impressed by the artists’ unique work, and stimulated to come up with some of your own novel ideas.


【Exhibition Dates】

June 23 – October 1, 2017 (Closed on Tuesday)

【Open hours】

10:00 – 19:00 (Entrance until 18:30)



【Official HP】





(image: ART AQUARIUM 2017 official HP)

This popular exhibition will help you cool down with its unique aquarium art, and you will be inspired by a beautiful and mysterious world made up of underwater scenes and many many goldfish. Goldfish, having a strong connection with Nihonbashi (where the exhibition is held), are displayed along with traditional artwork. Just as watching goldfish swim was historically an activity for cooling off during the hot summer, you will forget the heat thanks to this authentic fine art. Additionally, the exhibition mimics “The Palace of the Dragon King” from an old Japanese fairy-tale, Urashimataro. So you can truly immerse yourself in this novel atmosphere.


【Exhibition Dates】

July 7 – September 24

【Open hours】

11:00 AM – 11:30 PM (last admission 11:00 PM)

ART AQUARIUM 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM NIGHT AQUARIUM 7:00 PM – 11:30 PM


Nihonbashi Mitsui Hall

(5F, COREDO Muromachi 1 [The entrance is on 4F], 2-2-1 Nihonbashi Muromachi, Chuou-ku, Tokyo)


【Official HP】





Take a gander and visit these art events, earning some inspiration through the process. A weekend trip to an art exhibition is a great way to deepen your understanding of Japanese culture!

Have fun!