A Trip to the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo: Friendly, Accessible, and Interactive
The Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo is located near Kiyosumi Shirakawa, Tokyo. More than 20 years since its opening in 1995, the museum was closed for renovation in 2016 in the hopes of adapting to the ever-changing perspectives towards art and fulfilling the museum's purpose of bringing art closer to people. In 2019, the museum was reopened with a lot of new features that will appeal to all ages. Join us on a tour in today's Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo!
Apr 01 2021 (Apr 02 2021)
※This article is composed by a freelance writer.
A Museum That Fits Into Daily Life
In the past, the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo may have been the type of place that only those interested in contemporary art might want to visit. However, the spacious Kiba Park is located right next to the museum. Brimming with greenery, many people often come here for exercise or leisure. To help bring the contemporary art museum into people’s daily lives, a lot of public amenities have been installed on the museum grounds. Now, people of all ages strolling, exercising and playing with kids in the park can use these facilities and enter the museum freely, even if they aren't planning on buying tickets for the exhibitions inside.
You’ll need reservations while in Japan. See our writers’ top picks!
Get Closer to Art Through Nature
The reopened Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo is more lively than ever, and the bustling crowd inside and outside the museum is also broader in age. You'll see elders, couples, and friends chatting and relaxing in the lobby seating, parents bringing their kids to see the entertainment and water installations in the courtyard, and visitors from all walks of life enjoying food in the restaurant and café.
The souvenir shop NADiff contemporary offers not only a selection of exhibition-related products, but also exclusive limited-edition items like pieces co-launched by Kiyosumi Shirakawa-based local leather brand "i ro se" and popular clothing brand "PUGMENT".
Even the art library on the first basement floor is child-friendly. The hospitable atmosphere brings art closer to the public by creating a space that makes people want to visit again and again.
100 Spoons: A Delicious, Friendly Art Space
On the first basement floor of the building is 100 Spoons, a spacious and comfortable restaurant where parents and children can enjoy art together. Not only does it provides coloring art sheets for kids to use, the interior design is also very creative. Distinctive mirrors hung towards the back of the space reflect guests as if they were works of art themselves. This feature attracts the attention of many children eating here, and also leads to some interesting interactions between diners!
This sofa chair by the window is our favorite. Sitting here, you can enjoy a good view of the park’s greenery and the water-themed art installations. This is the perfect spot for taking a break over lunch or a drink.
Speaking of drinks, the restaurant’s homemade honey lemon and blueberry black tea with carbonated juice is a really cooling, delicious treat on hot summer days!
The most popular combo is a main dish with bread or rice. On weekdays, this set also comes with a free salad and drink of your choice, including the carbonated honey lemon and blueberry black tea we recommended earlier! 100 Spoons also serves smaller portions for the elderly, a kid's menu, and even baby food.
100 Spoons is not just a delicious restaurant everyone will enjoy, it's an elegant and friendly art space, too.
A Café With a Modern Artistic Ambience
On the second floor, there is a bright and refreshing café with a modern artistic atmosphere that serves light food such as sandwiches, desserts, and drinks. Its seating arrangement is particularly well thought out, catering to the needs of all ages while allowing guests to walk around freely.
The most beautiful feature is the window seats along the round edge of the café. They are perfect for guests who came alone and for small groups to sit side by side. Books are placed in front of the seats for guests to read as they please.
After reading some books with a strawberry smoothie under the natural sunlight shining through the windows, we're sure you'll feel relaxed and be reminded of just how nice it is to spend some time alone!
Interesting Events at the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo
The MOT Collection Part 2 exhibition was held from July 20 to October 10, 2019. This show showcased 400 pieces produced in the 2010s that were selected from the museum’s collection of 5,400 artworks, giving visitors a chance to engage with the works from new perspectives.
During the same period, there was another exhibition entitled Now, it's time to play. The most charming thing about this exhibition was that both adults and children could discover the fun side of art while experiencing the interactive artworks. They could even interact and create with the artists themselves! Visitors were also able to join in on a free treasure hunt activity. By wandering around interesting places around the museum and talking to the locals, they were able to uncover a few secrets!
The reopened Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo has transformed into a welcoming art space. People from all walks of life can feel free to experience contemporary art in this space. Next time you're in the Kiyosumi Shirakawa area, pay a visit to the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo. After its three year renovation, the museum's revamped style offers a whole new experience!
If you want to give feedback on any of our articles, you have an idea that you'd really like to see come to life, or you just have a question on Japan, hit us up on our Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!
The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.