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Contemporary Tokyo: A Guide to 6 of the City’s Best Small Galleries

Tokyo is a city that boasts an incredibly high density of art galleries. From major national museums to avant-garde spaces, if you’re an art fiend, you’ll find something to your taste in this sprawling, design-obsessed city. For those on the hunt for something a little more local and a little less tourist-trodden, here are a few of Tokyo’s best small galleries.

Contemporary Tokyo:  A Guide to 6 of the City’s Best Small Galleries

Index

  • Hakusen Art Space, Asagaya

  • Clouds Art Plus Coffee, Koenji

  • BnA Hotels Koenji

  • Bar Zingaro, Nakano

  • Gallery Hana, Shimokitazawa

  • Gallery Tsubaki, Ginza/ Nihonbashi area

  • Hakusen Art Space, Asagaya

    Hakusen Art Space, Asagaya

    Hakusen Art Space, Asagaya

    In one of the city’s more underrated neighborhoods, Asagaya is where you’ll find Hakusen Art Space, a free contemporary art gallery that regularly showcases work by domestic and international talent, both emerging and established. Aesthetically, the gallery space is an effortlessly fashionable juxtaposition of rustic exterior and elegantly minimalist interior. The gallery space is an embodiment of Asagaya itself, a pocket of Tokyo where modern ideas and traditional charm meld together to create something entirely new. If you’re exploring the back streets of Koenji, be sure to make a detour here.

    gallery hakusen
    Address
    Tokyo Suginami-ku Asagayaminami 1-36-14 House swan 1F-B
    Phone
    0359139286
    Remarks
    URL:http://hakusen.jp/
  • Clouds Art Plus Coffee, Koenji

    Clouds Art Plus Coffee, Koenji

    Clouds Art Plus Coffee, Koenji

    An excellent stop off to combine with a visit to Hakusen Art Space, Clouds Art Coffee, is a coffee shop-art space hybrid tucked right in the creative hub that is Koenji. A recent addition to the scene, Clouds Art Coffee only opened in the second half of 2017, but its regular rotation of incredible, genre-defying art exhibitions, world-class coffee, and warm, international atmosphere have made it one of Tokyo’s most exciting modern art spaces.

    Clouds Art Coffee
    Address
    Tokyo Suginami Koenjikita 2Chome25-4
    Phone
    0353569358
    Remarks
    URL:http://cloudsartcoffee.com/index.html
  • BnA Hotels Koenji

    BnA Hotels Koenji

    BnA Hotels Koenji

    Part hotel, part bar, part innovative art project, defining BnA is near impossible, but one thing is for sure; it’s arguably one of the best art bars in Koenji. Founded as a way to help local artists make some money through their work, space has a small two bedroom hotel upstairs designed by two artists Yohei Takahashi and Ryuichi Ogino, while the hotel’s check-in desk is the bar. Hidden behind a door at the back of the bar you’ll find Backroom Gallery, BnA’s live performance and art space, home to regular parties, rotating exhibits and some of the most modern creative concepts in the city. Welcoming to staying and non-staying guests, a drink at BnA, is the perfect way to end a day exploring the layered neighborhood of Koenji.

    BNA HOTEL KOENJI
    Address
    Tokyo Suginami-ku Kouenjikita 2-4-7
    Phone
    Remarks
    URL:https://www.bna-hotel.com/001108439337/
  • Bar Zingaro, Nakano

    Bar Zingaro, Nakano

    Bar Zingaro, Nakano

    If you want to kick on post-BnA, made your way over to the neighboring area of Nakano, one of Tokyo’s most densely populated and creatively vibrant suburbs. As soon as you step into Bar Zingaro bar-café, you’ll notice that the interior design has gone pretty heavy on Takashi Murakami style aesthetics, that’s because he owns it. Smiling cartoon flowers and cute street art inspired characters pop boldly against the rustic wooden interior and earthy ceramics, it's where nature and street aesthetics collide. The coffee is supplied by Fuglen Tokyo, and the space often hosts parties and events. It’s equal parts trendy and laid back, and the perfect Nakano inner-city hideaway.

    Bar Zingaro
    Address
    Tokyo Nakano Nakano 5-52-15 Nakano Broadway 2F
    Phone
    Remarks
    URL:http://bar-zingaro.jp/
  • Gallery Hana, Shimokitazawa

    Gallery Hana, Shimokitazawa

    Gallery Hana, Shimokitazawa

    A gallery focused on presenting and supporting emerging artists and their work; Gallery Hana is one of Shimokitazawa’s most important creative hubs. With its large windows looking out onto the sidewalk, the gallery is an incredibly inviting space, open to both serious art lovers and passers-by. Showcasing oil paintings, sculpture, illustration, tapestry, and so much more the displays rotate regularly, so you’re bound to always see something new.

    Gallery HANA Shimo-Kitazawa
    Address
    Tokyo Setagaya Kitazawa 3Chome26-2 ~ 1F
    Phone
    0363805687
    Remarks
    URL:http://www.g-hana.jp/schedule/
  • Gallery Tsubaki, Ginza/ Nihonbashi area

    Gallery Tsubaki, Ginza/ Nihonbashi area

    Gallery Tsubaki, Ginza/ Nihonbashi area

    Positioned down a quiet street in the strange space between salaryman populated Nihonbashi, and high-end shopping mecca of Ginza is where you’ll find one of Tokyo’s best-kept art secrets, Gallery Tsubaki. The gallery is home to a broad selection of works, traversing all genre boundaries, from painting to sculpture, to live performances and everything in-between. It does have a heavy focus on upcoming, contemporary artists, so if you’re looking to see something new, or want to check out the future of art in Japan then be sure to pop by.

    Gallery Tsubaki
    Address
    Tokyo Chuo Kyobashi 3Chome3-10
    Phone
    0332817808
    Remarks
    URL:http://www.gallery-tsubaki.net/access.html
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