There’s not a space to spare at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum. From oil paintings to calligraphy, pottery and sculpture, this is the place where contemporary Japanese artists show off their work.
In total there are six galleries. The “Museum Gallery” is reserved for special exhibitions. The other five are hired out to various art groups. Exhibitions change periodically, so for latest details, check the listings magazine, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum: https://www.tobikan.jp/exhibition/index.html
If the artwork inside the museum requires a lot of interpretation, rest assured, it probably doesn’t require half as much as buying your ticket! Minimalism has clearly been the big inspiration behind the presentation of information and signposts in English. Unless you’ve come with a specific exhibition in mind, great powers of guesswork will be called for. Don’t worry though, whatever you choose you’ll get a good overview, each gallery is usually crammed from floor to ceiling with a wide variety of work.
Each of the six galleries has a separate admission charge. Having guessed which gallery to go to, confusion is liable to strike. Trying to work out which ticket office to buy your ticket from, can be quite a task. However, keep your wits about you, pay special attention to the numbers written on the ticket booths and it will all become embarrassingly obvious! For example, to buy a ticket for Gallery 1, you need to go to ticket office number 1. Couldn’t be more straight forward, could it? But make sure you get this right. If you don’t, the staff behind the counter are prone to becoming even more confused than you!
Don’t forget to go upstairs! Once inside the gallery, the exhibits are likely to be displayed on at least two floors. Signposting in English is again more or less non -existent, so advice remains – keep going up, until you can go no further.
Open: 9:30 am to 5:30 pm (ticket office closes at 5:00 pm for galleries 1-5 and the Museum Gallery).
The Museum Gallery is open for extended hours on Fridays from 9:30 am to 8:00 pm (ticket office closes at 7:30 pm)
Closed: Galleries 1-5 are shut on the first and third Monday of each month.
The Museum Gallery is shut every Monday except when it falls on a national holiday then it shuts the following day.
All galleries are shut – Tuesday if the day before was a national holiday
All galleries are also closed on New Year’s Holidays, from December 29th to January 3rd.*
*Please check out their official site for their schedule as the museum may close due to maintenance.
Each gallery has a separate admission charge. The price varies according to the exhibition but it’s usually around 800 yen to 1400 yen. Over 65’s are free.
How to get there
Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum is situated in Ueno Park. Take the JR YAMANOTE LINE to JR UENO STATION. Leave via the PARK EXIT. Once inside the park, follow the signs.
Suggested amount of time needed
Will, of course, vary from exhibition to exhibition, but probably 1 – 1-½ hours.
Other Places Nearby
Featured image in this article by Joe Mabel CC 2.0