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[2016] Stay Warm with Art: Tokyo's Best Exhibitions in January

[2016] Stay Warm with Art: Tokyo's Best Exhibitions in January

Date published: 16 November 2016
Last updated: 29 November 2018

With Christmas and New Year's just around the corner, December in Tokyo isn't just cold but also very atmospheric - and what better way to stay warm in winter than strolling through Tokyo's exhibitions and gallieries while losing yourself in art and culture? From traditionally Japanese themes such as the paintings of the Akita ranga or the enigmatic tea ceremony, to the many faces of Marie Antoinette and the modern Marimekko aesthetics, there's much and more to discover!

Marie-Antoinette, a Queen in Versailles
October 25th (Tue) to February 26th (Sun) 2017
Marie Louise Élisabeth Vigée-Lebrun
Marie Antoinette of Austria, Queen of France
1785 Palace of Versailles
©Château de Versailles (Dist. RMN-GP)/
©Christophe Fouin

Seven Daring Years: Odano Naotake and Akita Ranga

Seven Daring Years: Odano Naotake and Akita Ranga
Mount Fuji, by Odano Naotake Edo period, 18th century Akita Museum of Modern Art Exhibition period: December 7th to January 9th

November 16th (Wed) to January 9th (Mon, national holiday) 2017
In the latter half og the 18th century, a young samurai if the Akita clan created a beautiful fusion between Western and Eastern aesthetics in his paintings. This art style came to be known as the Akita ranga school, named after the very clan that made this style popular. The central artist of this school is called Naotaka Odano, specifically known for his illustrations in Japan's first book about Western medicine, the Kaitai Shinsho, or New Book of Anatomy. The Seven Daring Years: Odano Naotake and Akita Ranga exhibition focuses on Naotaka Odano and his art style of Akita ranga.

Entry fee: 1,300 yen
Hours: 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
until 8:00 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays, and December 22nd.
Holidays: Tuesdays, December 30th - January 1st. Open on January 3rd.

Discovering the Tea Ceremony and its Utensils

Discovering the Tea Ceremony and its Utensils
Important Cultural Property Iga ware, Yabukebukuro Momoyama period, 17th century Gotoh Museum

December 10th (Sat) to February 12th (Sun) 2017
One of the attractions of the famous Gotoh Museum is its beautiful garden - and two tea rooms can be found among the lush green on its Musashino side. Around 70 different items and utensils used in tea ceremonies held on the very floor of these two tea rooms are showcased in a special tea ceremony exhibition, many used by masters such as Sen no Rikyu and his disciples Furuta Oribe and Hosokawa Tadaoki. Besides these matserpieces, a special exhibition focuses on the masterfully made ceramics of the Korean peninsula.

Entry fee: 1,000 yen
Hours: 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Holidays: Mondays (open on January 9th), December 26th - January 4th, January 10th

Definitive Nihonga Masterpieces: The Kyoto Art World

Definitive Nihonga Masterpieces: The Kyoto Art World

December 10th (Sun) to January 5th (Sun) 2017
Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Yamatane Museum of Art's opening, a collection of carefully selected Nihonga, Japanese paintings, has been chosen to be exhibited in two parts. In Japanese, the exhibition is called "Textbook of Japanese Paintings," a befitting name for a collection that brings together the most important masterpieces of old, those that are the foundation of modern Japanese art.
The first part of the exhibition is about Kyoto's masters, such as Uemura Shoen, Murakami Kagaku, and Fukuda Heihachiro - experiencing these famous painters under one roof is a once in a lifetime opportunity to get to know Nihonga, the art of Japanese painting.

Entry fee: 1,200 yen
Hours: 10;00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Holidays: Mondays (or the next day if Monday is a national holiday)

The Marimekko Exhibition - Design, Fabric, Lifestyle

The Marimekko Exhibition - Design, Fabric, Lifestyle

December 17th (Sat) - February 12th (Sun) 2017
The Marimekko design House is representative of Finland's aesthetics. With its bold usage of colors and patterns, it boasts a tremendous popularity in Japan - and now, the Marimekko Exhibition - Design, Fabric, Lifestyle, a traveling exhibition, sheds liught on the 60-year long history of the iconic brand. Introducing the works of individual designers under the Marimekko roof, around 50 different pieces of fabrics, 60 vintage dresses, and a whole lot of original design sketches from Helsinki's Design Museum are showcased. Take a time travel through the different eras of fashion, as seen through the lens of Marimekko!

Entry fee; 1,400 yen
Hours: 10:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Until 9:00 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays
Holidays: January 1st

  • Bunkamura
    • Address 2-24-1, Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 150-8507
      View Map
    • Nearest Station Shibuya Station (JR Shonan Shinjuku Line / JR Yamanote Line / JR Saikyo Line / Tokyo Metro Ginza Line / Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line / Tokyo Metro Fukutoshin Line / Tokyu Toyoko Line / Tokyu Den-en-toshi Line / Keio Inokashira Line)
      5 minutes on foot
    • Phone Number 03-3477-9111


William Hamilton Marie Antoinette being taken to her Execution, 1794 ©Coll. Musée de la Révolution française/ Domaine de Vizille

October 25th - February 26th 2017
Born in Austria, married in France at the age of 14, guillotined at the age of 37 as the Queen on France - such is the turbulent life of Marie Antoinette. The Marie-Antoinette, a Queen in Versailles Exhibition promises to take a closer look at the life of this queen, supervised by the very place she once lived in: Versailles. Around 200 different items come together to illustrate the day to day life and different stages of life, from portraits to beloved day to day items such as dishes, cutlery, and furniture. Even some of her clothes are on exhibition, along with items from the time of the revolution. A special highlight is the Petit Appartement, a full-scale and authentic recreation of Maire Antoinette's private space in Versailles - step in the elegant room and feel like a queen yourself!

Entry fee: 1,800 yen
Hours: 10:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Until 5:00 p.m. on October 27th and Tuesdays
Holidays: none

  • Mori Art Museum
    • Address 6-10-1, Roppongi Roppongi Hills forest tower 53F, Minato-ku, Tokyo, 106-6153
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    • Nearest Station Roppongi Station (Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line / Toei Oedo Line)
    • Phone Number 03-5777-8600
*This information is from the time of this article's publication.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.

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