Museums in Roppongi

Trip Start Jan 02, 2013
Trip End Mar 17, 2013

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Flag of Japan  , Kanto,
Saturday, February 23, 2013

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I thought about what I should do today and decided to visit the art museums in Roppongi.  There are three good museums that are relatively close together.  The area defined by the three has become known as Art Triangle Roppongi.   A couple of them have extended hours on Saturdays, which is why I thought they'd be a good choice today.

The first one I went to was the National Art Center, Tokyo.  One side of the building is a wavy glass wall that looked interesting.  The building also looked huge.  I started wondering whether hitting all three museums in one day was feasible even if I had until 10:00.

When I first went in I looked for a ticket booth.  I didn't see one.  It turns out that most of the exhibits are free although there was one temporary exhibit that had an additional charge.  When I started going through the galleries I found that all of them except the one with the additional charge contained what seemed to be work by art students from a number of Japanese colleges.  Since none of the signs were in English and since I had little interest in most of the pieces I could go through fairly quickly.  I paid for the one temporary exhibit when I got to it.  It featured mostly Japanese artists and I don't recall a single name.

Next I headed for the Suntory Museum of Art in the Tokyo Midtown complex.  It took me a while to find the museum tucked way in the back on the third floor of the building.  The museum has temporary exhibitions only.  They currently are showing an exhibit on kabuki theater.  I got the audio guide and headed into the exhibit.  It was very crowded and it was hard to move around.  The museum is fairly small so, in spite of the crowds, I was out of there before sunset.

The third museum I wanted to visit was the Mori Art Museum.  The museum is in Mori Tower, which also contains Tokyo City View, an observation floor near the top of the building, and Sky Deck, an outdoor observation deck on the roof.  I wanted to visit them around sunset as the lights started coming on throughout the city.  Unfortunately, I forgot that today was a Saturday and that most of the office buildings would be relatively dark so my plan didn't work out quite as well as expected.  I wandered around checking out the views and taking pictures until the last bit of light sunlight was gone.  Then I headed for the museum.

The Mori Art Museum had only temporary exhibits.  Most of the space was taken up by the show Aida Makoto: A Monument for Nothing.  I wasn't familiar with the artist but I liked a lot of his work.  The other show was called MAM Project 018: Yamashiro Chikako.  It was a three-channel video being played in one room.  I can't say I got anything out of it.

When I was done at the museum I headed for the restaurants that I had noticed when I went around Tokyo City View.  Unfortunately, they were closed for a private event but I was directed to a lower floor in the building.  The first restaurant I found with an English menu was an Italian place.  I ate there and had a very good mushroom fetuccini.  Then I headed for the metro and caught a train back to my hotel.
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