Tokyo is a haven for design lovers – a perplexing combination of opposing concepts fusing modern architecture, cutting-edge technology and eclectic fashion contrasted with ancient traditions, historic temples and simplistic ways of life. These contradicting ideas are seen in the fast-track lifestyle, bright neon lights and mixed amid the peaceful and elegant parks and sights throughout the city. Tokyo is filled with galleries, exhibitions, and museums satiating design buffs, but exciting design can be seen in everyday life in the surrounding elements of the city. Here are a few of the top spots for design lovers in Tokyo.
MUSEUMS for design lovers in Tokyo
Mori Art Museum
Found in Roppongi Hills, the Mori Art Museum is one of the largest contemporary art spaces in all of Asia and a sight for Tokyo design lovers. The museum houses a variety of modern and contemporary rotating exhibits and also has offers a panoramic view overlooking the city. The museum sits on the 52nd floor of the building making the view extra special.
6-10-1 Roppongi | 53f, Minato 106-6150, Tokyo Prefecture
21 21 Design Sight
If you are interested in architecture and want to learn more about Japanese design, the 21 21 Design Sight museum created by well-known architect Tadao Ando and famed fashion designer Issey Miyake is the place for you. Both the exhibitions and the building itself are an exciting look into Japanese style and design. Simplistic yet edgy, this museum is a 10-minute walk from Roppongi and worth visiting for design lovers in Tokyo.
9-7-6 Akasaka, Akasaka, Minato 107-0052, Tokyo Prefecture
Advertising Museum Tokyo (ADMT)
An exciting look into the history of Japanese advertising dating back to the Edo period all the way up to modern day, the ADMT is a museum specifically designed to showcase advertising and marketing in Japan. The museum was created by the Yoshida Hideo Memorial Foundation and the exhibitions display well-preserved items both in print and TV and a glimpse into both the design and execution of advertising campaigns throughout the years.
Caretta Shiodome, 1-8-2 Higashishimbashi, Minato 105-7090, Tokyo Prefecture
As you pass through the bamboo-lined entrance to the Nezu Museum you will enter to see a variety of exhibitions showcasing Japanese, Korean and Chinese art. Beyond the impressive exhibits, the museum also houses a tranquil Japanese garden and tea house. This is the perfect place for Tokyo design lovers to feel inspired and enjoy a peaceful zen space.
6-5-1 Minamiaoyama, Minato 107-0062, Tokyo Prefecture
Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery
If you find yourself in the Shinjuku neighborhood, slightly off the beaten path you will find the Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery. The museum showcases contemporary art, fashion, and design in a sleek and modern way. Although it can be tricky to find, it is a gem worth seeking out for design lovers looking to feel inspired.
3-20-2 Nishishinjuku, Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku 163-1403, Tokyo Prefecture
A museum showcasing the work of Studio Ghibli and famed Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki. This unique museum provides insight into the work that goes on behind the animation showcasing preliminary works and sketches as well as excerpts of famous films like Spirited Away. The museum also houses a play area for children and a rooftop garden.
1-1-83 Shimorenjaku, Mitaka 181-0013, Tokyo Prefecture
Inspiring design elements can be found in the famous temples of Asakusa, the Meiji Shrine as well in the gardens of the Imperial Palace. Taking note of the complex details yet simplicity of these sites will delight any design lover in Tokyo.
WHERE TO SHOP FOR DESIGN LOVERS IN TOKYO
Shopping in Tokyo is exciting and diverse, and for design lovers, there is much to admire and find throughout the streets of Tokyo to feel inspired.
KIYA SHOP Tokyo Midtown
If you are looking to purchase a Japanese knife or kitchen items, look no further than KIYA. Here you will find everyday kitchen items neatly displayed as works of art, the layout of the store is simplistic and allows you to really admire the work and craftsmanship in each item.
GALLERIA 3F 9-7-4 Akasaka Minato-ku Tokyo 107-0052 Japan
A combination of bookstore, cafe, and fashion, La Kagu is a beautiful space filled with carefully curated goods. The store is designed by Kengo Kuma which can be seen immediately at the grand staircase used to enter the warehouse-converted space. Shop for everyday items here and enjoy a cup of coffee while browsing.
67 Yaraicho, Shinjuku 162-0805, Tokyo Prefecture
Maison Kitsuné Daikanyama
Enjoy both the clothing and the layout of the store, this is a Parisian brand which has opened a Daikanyama location. The simple and minimalist decor makes the shopping experience enjoyable and inspiring.
20-１４ Sarugakucho, Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0033, Japan