Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo
Kiyosumi-Shirakawa: Art museum
Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo: Kiyosumi-Shirakawa
Kiyosumi-Shirakawa / Art museum
Open 10am-6pm (enter by 5:30). Closed Mondays.
Admission: Y500 for permanent collection, varying prices for special exhibitions
Average visit time: 1-2 hours

After a three-year hiatus for renovation work, Tokyo's premier contemporary-art museum finally reopened in March 2019, incidentally giving a boost to the handful of small independent galleries that have gathered in the neighborhood. The museum's four-level special exhibition space has, over the years, been the site of many well-curated shows devoted to international artists, architecture, design and fashion. The museum's slightly smaller permanent gallery displays portions of the museum's substantial collection of more than 5,000 contemporary artworks by Japanese and international artists.

The gorgeous building first opened in 1995, the work of Takahiko Yanagisawa + TAK Architects, who also designed Tokyo Opera City. The recent renovation work was undertaken to upgrade the air conditioning and lighting systems as well as the interior floors and walls. New furniture for the galleries and for the reconfigured cafe-lounge space was designed by Jo Nagasaka of Schemata Architects.

The museum building also houses an art library with 270,000 reference works, which has added a new children's library. A large branch of the NADiff art bookstore stocks a big selection of art books as well as experimental music CDs and more typical museum-shop goods. Up on the second floor is a cafe called Sandwich Upstairs, and another restaurant, called 100 Spoons, is down in the basement.

The museum has also added an outdoor gallery space, currently the site of a sound installation. And the museum now allows photography throughout most of the permanent gallery. If you have a Grutto Pass for Tokyo museums you can use it for free admission to the permanent gallery.

Koto-ku, Miyoshi 4-1-1.
10 min. from Kiyosumi-Shirakawa (Oedo, Hanzomon lines); 15 min. from Kiba (Tozai line); 15 min. from Kikukawa (Shinjuku line)
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