Tokyo’s Roppongi neighborhood has become an art and design hub that is home to a growing number of art museums and design galleries. Here’s how to design your day of sightseeing around the district bubbling over with creativity.
Mori Art Museum
Start your day with art at the top. On the 53rd floor of the Roppongi Hills Mori Tower, the Mori Art Museum features an eclectic series of exhibits that combine visual arts, design and contemporary culture.
Through January 9, “The Universe and Art: Princess Kaguya, Leonardo da Vinci, Teamlab” showing manages to mix space exploration, manga and the Italian Renaissance.
Next up: “N. S. Harsha: Charming Journey,” running February 4 through June 11, 2017, is a mid-career reflection of the Indian artist’s contemporary work.
National Art Center, Tokyo
Located roughly a 15-minute walk from the Mori Art Museum, the National Art Center, Tokyo, one of the largest art facilities in the country, has a unique programming philosophy. Rather than maintaining a permanent collection, the museum brings in exhibitions from around the world to fill its more than 150,000 square feet of space.
On view through February 5 is “19th DOMANI: The Art of Tomorrow,” a range of art — from media arts to traditional paintings — created by up-and-coming Japanese artists who have been studying overseas.
Suntory Museum of Art
Your next stop is the nearby Tokyo Midtown complex, where you have several more options for creative inspiration. On the third floor of Midtown’s Galleria building, Suntory Museum of Art collects arts and crafts with Japanese connections that convey the theme, “Beauty in Everyday Life.”
“Seven Daring Years: Odano Naotake and Akita Ranga” (now through January 9) highlights Akita Ranga, a style of painting that developed in Japan in the 1700s.
From January 25 through March 27, see recently acquired works, including ceramics from Europe and glasswork from other parts of the world.
Tokyo Midtown Design Hub
You have to look for the Tokyo Midtown Design Hub amid the complex’s corporate offices, but it’s worth seeking out for exhibits highlighting city’s contemporary design scene. At press time, the venue hadn’t updated its 2017 calendar, but if it’s anything like past years, art aficionados will be in for a treat.
The gallery is located on the fifth floor of the Midtown building.
21_21 Design Sight
Through the garden behind the Tokyo Midtown buildings, in a sloped concrete structure that almost resembles a bunker, you’ll find 21_21 Design Sight, a small museum devoted to engineering and design. “Design Anatomy: A Method for Seeing the World through Familiar Objects,” which looks at the mechanics and shape of items in our day-to-day lives, is on display through January 22.
After all this cultural stimulation, it’s time for refreshments. Fortunately, Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star The Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo is a short elevator ride away. On the 45th floor of Tokyo Midtown, the hotel’s spacious lobby lounge serves afternoon tea with a side of expansive views across the city.
For something even more relaxing, wrap up your day at the Lobby Lounge and Bar, which stocks more than 100 varieties of whiskey.
If you’d prefer a guide for your art explorations, consider the Roppongi Triangle Art Tour, a private art experience that The Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo offers its guests. You’ll visit the Mori Museum, the Suntory Museum and the National Art Center, and you’ll also explore the hotel’s own extensive collection.